Navigation Links
UI researcher studies deafness in fruit flies, humans

University of Iowa Biological Sciences Professor Daniel F. Eberl and his colleagues at Duke University have uncovered genetic defects leading to deafness in fruit flies that may shed light on deafness in humans. Their research paper, "Myosin VIIA Defects, which Underlie the Usher 1B Syndrome in Humans, Lead to Deafness in Drosophila," is scheduled for publication in the May 10 issue of the journal Current Biology.

Eberl says their recent work -- showing that loss of function in the Myosin VIIA gene leads to complete deafness in fruit flies -- has brought scientists one step closer to understanding how such mutations result in inner-ear abnormalities and deafness in humans.

"Myosin VIIA was one of the first human hereditary deafness genes to be identified. But it is not clear exactly how this molecule works in the human ear," he says.

Previous evidence suggested that fruit flies and humans rely on the same genes to develop their auditory organs, which in the fruit fly is in the antenna. Eberl's research shows that at least one molecular component specialized for hearing function, myosin VIIA, is conserved in these ears.

In looking for clues to inherited deafness in humans, Eberl begins with the "love song" of the fruit fly. Although they may seem an odd choice, the fruit fly and its love song are very effective tools for learning about the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in hearing in insects and animals, including humans, says Eberl, who is trying to identify the genes responsible for hearing in fruit flies.

Whether or not mutant fruit flies can hear the fruit fly love song (actually a vibrating wing) enables Eberl to evaluate the function of genes responsible for hearing. He and his graduate student, Sokol Todi, implant electrodes into the antennas of the flies, and record the voltages the receptor cells generate as the flies listen to the love song. By comparing the electrical impulses generated by the normal flies to those generated by myosin VIIA mutant flies, they showed that the myosin VIIA gene is essential for hearing in flies, as it is in humans.

Now that they know the same molecule is used, scientists will be able to design experiments to test specific mechanisms that have been hypothesized. Eberl says, "These experiments are next to impossible in humans, but quite feasible in the fruit fly."

"Understanding how this protein works and examining its functional role in hearing will provide new insights into auditory mechanisms, not only in fruit flies, but in humans, as well," he says.


'"/>

Source:University of Iowa


Related biology news :

1. U of M researcher examines newly emerging deadly disease
2. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
3. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
4. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
5. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
6. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
7. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
8. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
9. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
10. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
11. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , April ... part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of ... today announced a partnership to integrate the Onegini ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) ... their customers enhanced security to access and transact ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Cambridge Semantics, the ... technology, today announced that it has been named to The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest ... and other markets, Cambridge Semantics serves the needs of end users facing some of ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most consumers engage with biometrics ... for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and facial recognition to help ... biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey Pritikin, Vice President of ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... The Board of Directors ... of John Tilton as Chief Commercial Officer.  Mr. Tilton joined Biohaven from Alexion ... commercial leaders responsible for the commercialization of multiple orphan drug indications. Mr. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... A compact PET scanner ... and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in existing third-party MRI systems. PET and MRI ... small animal subjects. Simultaneous PET/MRI imaging offers a solution to many challenges that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: