Medaka (Oryzias latipes) is a vertebrate and has similar structures and functions as those of humans. Its body is small, with a length of approximately 3 cm, and it grows rapidly attaining maturity within two to three months of hatching. Medaka lays eggs throughout the year under controlled conditions of light and temperature. Medaka is oviparous. Its eggs are transparent and thus suitable for studies of embryonic development. Medaka can be bred easily using a simple facility. Because of these characteristics, medaka has been widely used in various fields such as biology, medicine, environmental science and fishery. Genomic similarities between medaka and humans have been clarified because of the progress in comparative genome biology. Accordingly, medaka is an important resource in the functional analysis of genes. For these reasons, in recent years, the number of researchers using medaka has increased worldwide. Unfortunately, information on medaka, such as the techniques required in using medaka in research, obtained from studies in zoology such as breeding and egg collection as well as studies in molecular biology has not been made available systematically. With this in mind, the steering committee of the National BioResources Project (NBRP) Medaka has decided to release a collection of protocols, the "Medaka Book".
Procedures and improvements are currently incorporated in protocols in every laboratory for the conduct of even identical experiments; new protocols have been constantly introduced and steady progress has been made in this area. To respond to this situation, information released will be revised, and new information will be added to the Medaka Book. The web will be operated such that up-to-date features are maintained. Information released up to this time has been compiled mainly by members involved in our project; the contents of this Medaka Book may only cover a small fraction of existing protocols compared with the vast number of protocols used by researchers worldwide who use medaka. We plan to improve this Medaka Book by receiving information from readers of this Web site, and we encourage your active participation in this project by submitting your protocols. We look forward to receiving your opinions and proposals, which will greatly improve this protocol compilation.
15 July 2005