Somatostatin Zebrafish Farm

January 18, 2012 By arne hendriks 2

One of the most promising consequences of downsizing the human species is the change in space and time it’ll take to grow food. In several research installations at Food Forward (a look into the future of food) The Incredible Shrinking Man investigates new possibilities. Like the potential for a specific type of fish to feed us and suppress growth at the same time.

Zebrafish, or Danio rerio, are popular small aquarium fish. To investigate its future possibilities as a nutrient, we’ve set up an indoor hatchery. Danio’s easy breeding qualities and size of 6 cm could make it a perfect small consumption fish for The Incredible Shrinking Man. Especially since zebrafish share with us genetic similarities in many developmental pathways. Our genes are strikingly similar, which makes it a perfect model organism. This opens up the possibility to genetically alter the zebrafish’s endocrinological system so it produces hormones  and antogonists that surpress growth, like somatostatin, Pegvisomant, or GHRHR. Eating these fish would keep us small. Similar experiments with zebrafish as vaccine are already taking place.