Researchers led by Derek Stemple from Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have found that the protein-coding genes in humans are similar to those found in zebrafish.
The researchers updated the zebrafish genome after a rough draft was first published in 2002 and found that it has the largest gene set in any vertebrae sequenced so far, with over 26,000 protein-making genes.
Around 70 percent of the genes are similar to the protein making genes in humans while 84 percent of the genes that are linked with various diseases in humans have been found to be present in zebrafish, which would make it an excellent model for human disease research.
"Our aim with this project, like with all biomedical research, is to improve human health. This genome will allow researchers to understand how our genes work and how genetic variants can cause disease in ways that cannot be easily studied in humans or other organisms", Stemple said.