When zebrafish have scoliosis

“Don’t slouch, sit up straight, or you’ll get scoliosis!”

Getting this kind of comment from adults used to infuriate me when I was a teenager, since 1) I did sit up straight, and 2) I already had scoliosis (despite all the sitting-up straight). In my mind, it ranked somewhere up there with, say, telling kids not to make a face because, if the wind happened to turn at that same time, their face would remain stuck that way, (I’m not the only one who’s ever heard that, am I?)

Scoliosis is a deformation of the spine. To be precise, it is defined as a lateral curvature of the spine of more than 10° (measured with the Cobb’s method), accompanied by a rotation of the vertebrae. In lay terms: one’s spine is not straight – in my case, it looks like a vertically elongated S.

Often, there is no known reason why the scoliosis developed. Continue reading