The Bryson-Richardson Lab Data Collection is an extensive collection of Biological Science datasets that relate to a series of projects being undertaken by the Lab. The group’s research focuses upon the genetics and cell biology of muscle development and muscle disease, as well as therapies that can be used to identify and test effective treatments. The group also studies the genetic and environmental signals relating to cardiac development, with the goal of gaining an improved understanding of congenital heart disease and how it can be treated.
The Bryson-Richardson Lab focuses primarily upon the genetics and cell biology of muscle development in order to improve the group’s understanding of muscle disease. The lab uses a number of techniques to study the way in which genetics affects the development of the disease, and the most effective ways of treating it. One of the mechanisms through which the cell biology of muscle development is tested is through the use of zebrafish. The laboratory has generated a number of unique strains of zebrafish that model human muscle disease. Detailed imaging of embryonic and juvenile zebrafish, coupled with analysis of swimming behaviour, allows the researchers to investigate how muscle function is disrupted. Once muscle function is disrupted, the result is muscle disease which can then be studied in order to provide potential avenues for therapies. This dramatically improves the group’s understanding of both normal muscle development as well as the causes of muscle disease. Additionally, zebrafish can be used to test therapies and to identify effective drug treatments.
Other projects in the laboratory include the examination of genetic and environmental signals controlling the changing shape of the developing heart as it grows from a simple tube to a multi-chambered pump. This improves the group’s understanding of how the heart forms and the processes that can be disrupted in congenital heart disease. The data gathered by the Lab has the potential to lead to discoveries of not only how to prevent the development of muscle disease and congenital heart disease, but to discover and test new and innovative treatments that can be used to assist those suffering from these afflictions.
The Lab utilises 3D and 4D imaging technology to record anatomy and examine disease models, and has generated reference data sets for the zebrafish and quail research communities. These images are produced by the Lab through confocal microscopy, optical projection tomography and x-ray tomography.