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Texas A&M professor identifies new fish species

The Danionella Cerebrum, a clear fish with a pink stained nervous system, has been swimming in front of scientists, undetected, for years.
Credit: Ralf Britz

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Danionella Cerebrum was discovered by a team of scientists along with a Texas A&M professor, according to a report from Texas A&M Today. This discovery could be groundbreaking for neuroscientist that study fish and humans alike. 

Kevin Conway, Ph.D. and associate professor at A&M, said the fish was known to be in the Danionella family of fish for decades. Still, scientists never discovered the distinctions between the variety of fish in the family. 

The Danionella translucida was discovered in the 1980s and named for its translucent body. 

The Danionella Cerebrum, discovered by Conway and his team, was named for their exposed brains and unique stained nervous system. 

Credit: Ralf Britz

The new species lack of a skull roof and tiny brain can be easily studied under a microscope and could lead to discoveries in fish and human neuroscience fields.

"They are a very important little fish in terms of potential scientific breakthrough," Conway said to Texas A&M Today. "It was a surprise find, but one that is important for science."

Conway said that human connections to the fish are far in the future, but he could imagine that this little fish could play a massive role in our understanding of the adult human brain 

If you would like to learn more about the Danionella Cerebrum discovery, click here