Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a disease caused by mutation of the TSC1 or TSC2 genes, is a multi-organ disease whose severity depends upon the number and location of benign tumours known as hamartomas that grow in the brain, kidney, lung, heart and skin of affected patients. By using a novel zebrafish model, Kim et al. introduce a new experimental approach to studying mutant tsc2 gene function during normal development, as well as the mechanisms leading to hamartoma formation and disease progression.

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