Navigation Links
A valuable fly for research into disease

Cancer, drug addiction, neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, immune system defects, visual pathologies, heart disease. A tiny insect, the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is providing an excellent model system to unravel these diseases and many others. More than 5,000 researchers worldwide are currently working with this organism and producing results that will have beneficial effects for health; Spain is among the leading countries for research that uses this animal model.

Twenty-six international researchers, selected on the basis of their experience in studying human disease using this animal system, will meet for the first time to present and discuss their research. The conference, to be held at the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB, Barcelona Science Park) on October 5-7, will focus on the use and exploitation of Drosophila as a tool to study human diseases. The event is organized by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA (Institución Catalana de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados), on the initiative of Cayetano González and Marco Milán, ICREA research professors at IRB Barcelona and experts in the field of cell and developmental biology.

The role of the fly

Studies using Drosophila date back to the last century and have provided valuable insight into the fundamental principles of biology and genetics. Only in recent years, however, and thanks in large part to the discovery of the high degree of homology between the genetic make-up of flies and vertebrates, has Drosophila emerged as one of the most effective model systems to analyze the function of genes whose human homologues play a crucial role in many diseases, including neurological, metabolic and developmental disorders, cancer, cardiovascular failure, and pathologies of the visual, auditory and immune systems.

A growing number of laboratories are modelling human diseases in the fly. These models are providing the basic tools for genetic and pharmacological tests that aim to identify target genes as well as compounds that may lead to future therapies. Moreover, more and more companies that exploit this model system are being established worldwide. In order to highlight the potential of applied science, the organizers of this conference have invited two of the main pharmaceutical companies currently making considerable investments into research using Drosophila: En Vivo Pharmaceuticals, in the US, and VASTox in Oxford, UK.

Drug addiction, cancer and heart disease

"What can a fly tell us about drug addiction?" is the title of a talk by the University of California's Ulrike Heberlein, a pioneer in drug abuse research using Drosophila. Her research group focuses on the possible links between genes and behaviour caused by drug abuse and the mechanisms that regulate responses to psychostimulants such as alcohol, cocaine and nicotine.

Drosophila is a key tool for studying certain aspects of cancer, and research into the development and proliferation of tumours will be a main topic of the conference. Ross Cagan, from the University of Washington, will present his recent research on a drug that has a direct effect on tumour progression. Cayetano González, from IRB Barcelona, will discuss his work on stem cells and cancer; and Ginés Morata, from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, will address apoptosis and tumourous transformation.

Heart disease is another topic that has recently been added to the list of diseases studied using Drosophila. Rolf Bodmer, from The Burnham Institute in the US, has begun to use this model to study arrhythmias and heart failure. His presentation "Arrhythmias and cardiac failure: the Drosophila model of congenital heart disease" will highlight the latest results in this field.


'"/>

Source:Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB)


Related biology news :

1. Hybrid grass may prove to be valuable fuel source
2. High-tech tags on marine animals yield valuable data for biologists and oceanographers
3. Columbia research lifts major hurdle to gene therapy for cancer
4. U of M researcher examines newly emerging deadly disease
5. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
6. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
7. New research questions basic tenet of neuron function
8. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
9. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
10. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
11. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The Department of Transport ... the 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost ... to a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global ... By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", ... 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing security ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a ... the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making ... aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the ... today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both ... physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Liquid Biotech USA , Inc. ... Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ("PENN") ... patients.  The funding will be used to assess ... outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety of ... to support the design of a therapeutic, decision-making ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in ... Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio ... practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how ...
Breaking Biology Technology: