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Breathing easy: When it comes to oxygen, a bug's life is full of it

peakers:

Gabriel Haddad, of the University of California, San Diego, will speak on the “Genetic basis for hypoxia tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster.?Haddad is interested in the ability of drosophila (fruit fly), to survive periods of hypoxia, that is, periods of insufficient oxygen supply. He is examining the role the fruit fly’s genes play in the ability of its nerve cells to remain healthy even under hypoxic conditions. The research aims to lead to better ways to protect humans who suffer periods of hypoxia due to medical emergency or accidents.

Mark Krasnow, of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, will speak on “Developmental responses to hypoxia in the insect tracheal system.?Krasnow has studied the development of the tracheal system in the embryo fruit fly, noting how cells form into trachea, and how trachea branch to smaller trachea and eventually connect to form the tracheal network. His laboratory, which has identified more than 50 genes controlling various aspects of airway development, has also studied how oxygen-starved cells behave in developing airways. Krasnow’s laboratory is also investigating the development of the mammalian lung using mice. The work is aimed at learning more about human lung diseases and developing ways to reactivate lung development to restore diseased tissue.

Stefan Hetz, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, will talk on “Spiracular control of tracheal gases in insects.?Hetz and his colleagues, noting that some insects close their spiracles during rest, have concluded that the insects?respiratory system is designed to deliver large amounts of oxygen while they are active. The drawback is that, when they are at rest, this level of oxygen is toxic, he has theorized. Insects close their spiracles during rest to avoid an overdose of oxygen, which can result in the production of free radicals which cause tissue damage, he has said. His work could have applications to insec
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Source:American Physiological Society


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