photo of two Betta fish fightingChristie Wilcox (@NerdyChristie) and her daughter recently brought home the girl’s first pet, “Sky Banana,” a lavender Betta fish. But these creatures offer more than human amusement. Writing for The Scientist, Wilcox takes us from Sky Banana into research labs, which are taking advantage of Bettas’ wonderful variability, compact genome and hardy constitution to study how genetics influences phenotype. Could these fish, domesticated thousands of years ago, become the next big model organism? Image by Smrithy Raj via Wikimedia Commons