"But to look at a fly, how would you know?" she added. "They look different. They behave differently. How can you tell that what's going on inside is the same?"
prevent this loss of memory and learning."
As it turns out, one of those genes that exist in both fruit flies and humans has been linked to the hereditary form of Alzheimer's disease, which is particularly aggressive in people, said Thomas A. Jongens, a member of the fruit fly research team and an associate professor of genetics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Studying the disease in flies has several advantages over studying the disease in humans:
matter of weeks, whereas studying humans would take years or decades.
However, male fruit flies with this particular genetic propensity for Alzheimer's were unable to retain this lesson. They would keep badgering receptive and unreceptive females alike, incapable of remembering and learning that some females were not available for courtship.
Jongens' research team decided to use fruit flies to test treatments that would counter the genetic mutation that causes Alzheimer's in people.
Answers Among Fruit Flies
Tompkins, who has studied fruit flies for more than a Nike Shoes Latest Release
"In familial Alzheimer's, the genetics are pretty well characterized," Jongens said. "The idea is then to go and find what kind of treatments can be done to rescue and Nike Shoes Yellow And Grey
Take, for example, the work of one research team, which is studying fruit flies to help determine the genetic causes of Alzheimer's disease.
By Dennis ThompsonFRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) Medical research often involves a great deal of creativity, finding unique ways to solve challenging problems. But scientists can face skepticism when using creative methods to research human diseases, particularly when those methods involve animals or insects.
The researchers would place a virgin male fruit fly inside a chamber with a female fruit fly that had already been mated. The male fly might try to entice the female into mating, but she would rebuff him and eventually he would stop showing interest. That lesson would overlap into the fly's next encounter: Even if he were next paired with a virgin female ready for mating, his courtship behavior would be noticeably decreased.
So how can a person tell if a fruit fly is suffering from memory loss? And how would that help advance the fight against Alzheimer's?
decade, noted that animals, insects, plants and even microorganisms have certain genetic and systemic similarities to humans that can be exploited by researchers to better understand human illness. "People have a Nike Shoes For Girls White And Black hard time comprehending that a lot of the processes that go on in these organisms are similar to those in humans," she said.
A key expert on fruit flies, which are also called drosophila, said the connection is a fairly simple one: Humans are not that much different genetically from other animals or even insects. National Institute of General Medical Sciences in Bethesda, Md.
Researchers can do things to fruit flies that would be unacceptable on humans, including genetic manipulation to introduce the disease.
Jongens' team used a couple of unique methods related to fruit flies' courtship rituals to study memory and cognition in their subjects.
The flies' life cycle is much shorter, only 60 to 80 days, Jongens said. A researcher can watch the onset of senility in a fly over a Nike Sneakers Black Leather
For example, flies share about two thirds of the same disease genes found in humans, Tompkins said.
The flies are plentiful and provide much more research material. For example, the amount of human brain tissue available for study by Alzheimer's researchers is very limited. "You don't have available brain samples except for people who have already died," Tompkins said.
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