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Sun Journal profiles bio professor Williams and her zeal for zebrafish

Sun Journal reporter and photographer Amber Waterwan profiles one of the college’s newest faculty members, Larissa Williams.

She’s an aquatic toxicologist whose research interests include zebrafish, a familiar denizen of the family aquarium.

The freshwater zebrafish are valuable research specimens because they share a number of genes with humans.

An assistant professor of biology, Williams tells the Sun Journal that since zebrafish share similar genes with humans, the tiny species can help researchers in their search for clues about human diseases or afflictions.

For example, when one zebrafish gene is “knocked out,” or made inoperable, “the swim bladder does not inflate,” Williams tells Waterman. “In terms of human health, a lot of the same things that contribute to the swim bladder are analogous to our lungs.”

 

 

 



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