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The Art in Science

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Linda Barthel, B.S., M.S., Research Associate, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan

The retina is the light-sensitive neural tissue that lines the back of the eye.  The color sensitive cells (photoreceptors) in the retina are called cones and are sensitive to red, green, blue, and ultraviolet light. In this 7-day old retina from a zebrafish, some of the photoreceptors contain a red dye. Another molecular marker (blue) labels the green cones. The lens of the eye (the sun-like structure at the bottom) has endogenous red fluorescence. The zebrafish is an important model system for the study of eye development and eye disease because the structure and function of fish retinal cells are very similar to those of humans.