Five Model Organisms In Biology And Why We Care
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Health and Wellness

Five Model Organisms In Biology And Why We Care

Model organisms are important in order to pick systems that will help in the discovery of new scientific knowledge

Five Model Organisms In Biology And Why We Care

Scientists use model organisms as a way to study biological processes and extrapolate how these processes may or may not be similar to humans. In this article I'm going to give you my five favorite model organisms and the reasons why we study them.

1. Arabidopsis thaliana

Thale cress is maybe something you haven't encountered in your everyday life, but it is incredibly important as a model organism in the plant science community because it helps us better understand plant functions like light response and energy production, leaf and flower development, pathogen defense, and symbiotic relationships with bacteria. This is important to study since a majority of our food sources depend on plants.

2. Danio rerio

The zebrafish is used as a model organism in developmental and neurobiology. Recently, it has been used to study as a model organism to to study Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because they have simple brains that function similarly to humans. Zebrafish are social and therefore prefer to swim in a group with other fish. Scientists use this and other behaviors to understand how genetic mutations may cause the neurological differences in people with ASD.

3. Takifugu rubripes

The Japanese puffer fish isn't a traditional model organism by any means. It was the first vertebrate genome to be published after the human genome, which is likely because it is also the shortest known vertebrate genome. This makes it easier to find and target conserved genes that it shares with humans and other vertebrates that have much larger genomes.

4. Mus musculus

The house mouse has been a model organism for studying everything from development, to disease, to immunological response because they have a similar genome size to humans and share a lot of the same genes. Often, mice are used when a model that is very similar to humans is necessary because of the genome similarity and that they are a simple mammalian system. Because of their importance in studying a wide variety of diseases, they are ranked at number two on my list.

5. Ambystoma mexicanum

More commonly known as the axolotl or the Mexican walking fish. These creatures look a little bit like aliens. Axolotls are actually a type of salamander that never undergo metamorphosis. They are extremely cute, which is why they are my favorite model organism of all time. However, the reason that scientists study these creatures is for their amazing ability to regenerate limbs after amputation.

Comment below if your favorite organism didn't make the list!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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