Wednesday December 21, 2022


At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute trainees Jingxun Chen and Emma Costa found an unusual way to pass the time during lockdown.

While some baked sourdough and others learned guitar, Chen and Costa recruited their families to help build automated fish feeders.

“It was such a family project, let me tell you,” said Chen, a postdoc in the research group of Anne Brunet. “I had my entire family building feeders with me. We had soldering stations at different places in our house—my dad would do one section, my mom would assemble them.”

This cottage industry was motivated by an ambitious collaboration between Brunet’s research group and the neighboring lab of Tony Wyss-Coray, where Costa is a graduate student, to crack age-old questions about the biology of aging itself by studying the remarkably short-lived African turquoise killifish.

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