Navigation Links
New research on body parts' sensitivity to environmental changes
Date:11/21/2011

Research by a team of Michigan State University scientists has shed new light on why some body parts are more sensitive to environmental change than others, work that could someday lead to better ways of treating a variety of diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

The research, led by assistant zoology professor Alexander Shingleton, is detailed in the recent issue of the Proceedings of the Library of Science Genetics.

In particular, Shingleton is studying the genetics of fruit flies and zeroing in on why some of the insects' body parts will grow to full size even when suffering from malnutrition, while others will not. He uses fruit flies because they use the same genes to control this process as humans.

"The developmental mechanisms by which these changes in body proportion are regulated are really unknown," Shingleton said.

Shingleton said that in humans, a person's brain will grow to near full size despite malnutrition or other environmental, or nongenetic, problems.

If scientists can figure out why some organs or body parts are either overly sensitive or insensitive to environmental factors, then it's possible that therapies could be developed to deal with any number of maladies.

"If we know how we can control sensitivity to environmental issues such as malnutrition, we can, in principle, manipulate genes that are regulating that sensitivity," Shingleton said. "Genes can be activated so they can actually restore sensitivity."

Type 2 diabetes is a good example of the body's insensitivity to nongenetic issues. The most common form of diabetes, type 2, occurs when the body becomes insensitive to insulin, which is released in response to blood sugar levels. The body needs insulin to be able to use glucose for energy.

"In diabetes, that response is suppressed," Shingleton said. "We get desensitization. We know people become insulin resistant, but we're not quite sure why."

What Shingleton and colleagues discovered is that even when malnourished, the genitals of a male fruit fly continue to grow to normal size.

"The same developmental mechanism that a fly uses to make its genitals insensitive to changes in nutrition may be the same that we as humans use to modulate the responsiveness of individual body parts to changes in nutrition," he said. "Our job is to try to understand why some body parts are responsive to changes in nutrition and others aren't."

Using the fruit fly for this type of research "gives us enormous information about how we as humans work and how we respond to our environment," Shingleton said. "This provides information on biomedical issues that arise from things like malnutrition or insulin resistance."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Oswald
tom.oswald@ur.msu.edu
517-432-0920
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UT Dallas research widens study of brains role in tinnitus
2. UC Arlitt Center awarded NSF grant to research learning at PlayScapes
3. Scripps Research team finds a weak spot on deadly ebolavirus
4. Effects of climate change to further degrade fisheries resources: UBC researchers
5. Scripps research scientists develop brand new class of small molecules through innovative chemistry
6. UGA researchers develop super yeast that turns pine into ethanol
7. UofL researcher determines how Legionnaires bacteria proliferate, cause disease
8. Smart swarms of bacteria inspire robotics researchers
9. Gladstone scientist receives American Heart Associations Katz prize for cardiovascular research
10. Research aims to prevent obesity by reaching parents, young children through child care
11. Finnish researchers discover regulator of human cell activity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New research on body parts' sensitivity to environmental changes
(Date:1/13/2016)... --> --> ... report titled - Biometric Sensors Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... to the report, the global biometric sensors market was valued at ... US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of ... the biometric sensors market is expected to reach 1,799.6 ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, the ... nearly 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, today ... $40 million from existing investors. ... be devoted to further innovate higi,s health platform ... and web portal – including expanding services and ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... NEW YORK , Jan. 7, 2016 ... as regional markets for biometric technologies and devices, identifying ... application market for various types of biometric devices. Includes ... report to: Identify newer markets and explore the ... of biometric devices. Examine each type of biometric technology, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... Marktech Optoelectronics will feature their ... in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, 2016, and at the healthcare-focused BiOS ... InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 metal can with active areas of ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... research registry built on the secure online PatientCrossroads platform, has exceeded both its ... participants have joined the PROMPT study, which seeks to advance understanding of the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells ... with Singapore-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) and its affiliate Global Medical ... the latest adipose and bone marrow therapies. , Through the new collaboration, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Creation ... winner of the Highest Overall Customer Rating Award from Circuits Assembly , today ... units across the USA, Canada, Mexico and China. , The EMS provider, known ...
Breaking Biology Technology: