CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Researchers at Oregon State University made a huge discovery that could impact the future of autism research.
Researchers found a way to use Zebrafish to create a model for studying autism. While using Zebrafish might sound odd, postdoctoral fellow Courtney Roper said they can actually be useful because they develop in five days and they have similar DNA to humans.
Researchers can use the fish to test different genetic and environmental factors of autism, that can be difficult to test on people. Through the study that was recently released, they were able to establish methods and tests to use in future research.
"So the main thing that we have kind of showed is that in under two weeks we can really assess these autistic-like behaviors in this model, and the potential for using that for future chemical and environmental interactions is huge," Roper said.
Zebrafish have been used to test for other diseases before, but the fish has never been used to test for autism.
While this breakthrough mainly sets the foundation for research in the future, long-term it can be used to make breakthroughs in treatments and medications.