August 18, 2010

Report: Preserving Zebrafish Specimens in EtOH

“We” are trying an experiment to see if we can successfully preserve Zebrafish (Danio rerio) in 70% Ethanol (EtOH).  I am saying “we” because I consulted Rich several times over the phone throughout the experiment.  So far, the newly dead FLK1:GFP specimens (who carried out their entire lives in service to exhibits at the Exploratorium) are looking pretty official in their new specimen jars.  The reason this is an experiment is because usually specimens are “fixed” in formalin before they’re transferred to EtOH for long-term storage–we skipped that step, to see if avoiding carcinogens like formalin is possible.  I documented the process with our consumer-grade point-and-shoot camera (so please excuse the snap-shoddy photography).

The setup. One of the lab techs put the fish in clove oil for me this afternoon, so they died peacefully.

FLK1:GFP Danio rerio - this one is a lot better looking than the other one; photo taken immediately after I injected it with 70% EtOH (to preserve the insides)

FLK1:GFP Danio rerio - this is the bigger, but less pretty specimen. I'm pretty sure this one is female, and has been a breeder for quite some time; she was sick and her tail was busted before she died, that's why we euthanized her.

This is the stuff we use to kill the fish "humanely"

Captured in time...

-LBA

Posted by: lba @ 10:25 pm Bookmark and Share