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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Wee

Channel NewsAsia Feature

When Channel NewsAsia first approached me regarding this Food to Change the World series, I was quite surprised as there are obviously caveats with directly linking zebrafish diet and behavior to human mental health. However, I could not resist embarking on some exploratory experiments, both to reproduce published findings in the literature and also to discover some new ones on our own. I called it "Project CNA" and the entire lab spent about 3 weeks examining how different diets could modulate a range of phenotypes, from adiposity, inflammation, and heart rate to various behaviors such as sleep. As I mention in this episode, zebrafish work is very exciting as you get new results every week. At the end of those 3 weeks we had a lot to show (a subset of which were featured) and in fact are following up on some of these dietary effects right now.

The filming process was a full day affair, and a first for me as well. The producer and host made me feel very comfortable although I was undoubtedly nervous, and my lab members were also really helpful. The filming included many more scenes than featured: some cut scenes included gut and brain in vivo imaging, and the zebrafish egg-laying process (yes, they managed to catch our adult fish in action!)

Since the goal of this segment was to communicate science to a wide audience, some of my explanations were a bit simplified. However we are now writing a review article that provides more detail into how zebrafish can be used to model mental health endophenotypes. Will share it once it is out.

For now, enjoy the segment below! My segment starts at 12:10:

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