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Current Drosophila News and Events, Drosophila News Articles.
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Deciphering the fine neuroendocrine regulatory system during development
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba discovered that Crz is a key molecule for body size adjustment during the larval stage. Using Drosophila melanogaster, they demonstrated that Crz controls basal ecdysteroid biosynthesis by acting on PTTH-producing neurons during only a specific larval stage to facilitate larval transition to the next stage. These findings help understand how growth and maturation are regulated during development. (2020-05-20)

Eliminating damaged germline cells preserves germline integrity
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba discovered that the transcription factor Myc plays a central role in the elimination of damaged germline cells. Using the well-established P-M hybrid dysgenesis model in Drosophila, the researchers showed that damaged germline cells downregulate Myc to be eliminated. When Myc was overexpressed, the cells survived but were not of sufficient quality to develop into adulthood. These findings help understand how germline integrity is preserved. (2020-05-07)

Foraging Drosophila flies are open for new microbial partners
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology found that vinegar flies do not necessarily prefer yeasts from their natural environments, but were also attracted by yeasts found in a foreign habitat. Female flies even decided to lay eggs in presence of previously unknown yeast communities, although this reduced their offspring's chance of survival. Such processes could be a key factor that leads to the formation of niches and the evolution of new species. (2020-05-04)

Gene-network analysis is a valuable new tool for understanding Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from Osaka University, Niigata University, and the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology have found that disruption of protein domain networks that are driven by the RAC1 gene is associated with behavioral and neurological symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Their findings establish the value of using an integrated network approach to investigate the mechanisms and potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease. (2020-04-14)

Clemson geneticists zeroing in on genes affecting life span
Trudy Mackay and Robert Anholt's latest research published in PLOS Biology quantified variation in life span in the fruit fly genome, providing valuable insights for understanding human disease and aging. (2020-04-14)

Researchers map mechanism to explain role of gene mutations in kidney disease
Researchers from the Center for Precision Disease Modeling at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have uncovered a mechanism that appears to explain how certain genetic mutations give rise to a rare genetic kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome. (2020-04-03)

Taking a break helps drosophila germline cells reach their destination
Quiescence, or breaks during cell cycling, are common during germ cell development in many animals but the mechanisms regulating these periods are unclear. In a recent study from the University of Tsukuba, researchers identified a microRNA, miR-10404, and subsequently the entire pathway, governing the first of two quiescence periods in Drosophila germ-cell cycling. Understanding this mechanism furthers our understanding of the significance of quiescence in germline development. (2020-03-23)

Can traumatic memories be erased?
Tokyo, Japan - Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that Drosophila flies lose long-term memory (LTM) of a traumatic event when kept in the dark, the first confirmation of environmental light playing a role in LTM maintenance. The team also identified the specific molecular mechanism responsible for this effect. LTMs are notoriously difficult to erase; this work may lead to novel treatments for sufferers of trauma, perhaps even the erasure of life-altering traumatic memories. (2020-03-14)

How the historically misunderstood amyloid helps to store memories
For the first time, scientists from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and collaborators have described the structure of an endogenously sourced, functioning neuronal amyloid at atomic resolution. The amyloid is composed of self-aggregated Orb2, the fruit fly version of the mRNA-binding cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding (CPEB) protein, which has been linked to long-term memory storage. The results of this work, published online March 13, 2020, in Science, have some very interesting implications. (2020-03-12)

Protective brain-cell housekeeping mechanism may also regulate sleep
An important biological mechanism that is thought to protect brain cells from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's may also be involved in regulating sleep, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (2020-03-12)

'Zombie' brain cells develop into working neurons
Preventing the death of neurons during brain growth means these 'zombie' cells can develop into functioning neurons, according to research in fruit flies from the Crick, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. (2020-03-11)

Clemson geneticists' collaborative research sheds light on 'dark' portion of genome
Clemson University faculty Robert Anholt and Trudy Mackay have recently published work that identifies new portions of the fruit fly genome that, until now, have been hidden in 'dark' silent areas. The 'dark' portion refers to the approximately 98 percent of the genome that doesn't appear to have any obvious function. Their findings could significantly advance science's understanding of a number of genetic disorders. (2020-03-11)

Neither nature nor nurture: Behavioral individuality in fruit flies' neurodevelopmental origin
While some fruit flies wander, others prefer to walk the straight and narrow; the origin of these behavioral quirks in individual flies may be a product of random variation in how neural circuits are wired during brain development, a new study of fruit flies given 'lines to walk' finds. (2020-03-05)

Uncovering the plastic brain of a fruitfly -- new study
Genetic mechanisms that govern brain plasticity -- the brain's ability to change and adapt -- have been uncovered by researchers at the University of Birmingham. (2020-02-18)

Fruit flies have a radical strategy for dealing with free radicals
Flies belonging to the genus Drosophila combat oxidative stress by removing excess fat from their blood. This remarkable mechanism proves that evolution has no shortage of answers to a problem that affects all life on Earth. (2020-02-18)

Fruit flies respond to rapid changes in the visual environment
Researchers have discovered a mechanism employed by the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster that broadens our understanding of visual perception. Their results explain why the eye can correctly evaluate contrast, even in suddenly changing light conditions. (2020-02-05)

Researchers identify mechanism that triggers a rare type of muscular dystrophy
A study led by the IBB-UAB has identified the molecular mechanism through which a protein, when carrying genetic mutations associated with a rare disease known as limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, type 1G, accelerates its tendency to form amyloid fibrils and finally triggers the appearance of the disease. The research, published in Cell Reports, will pave the way for the study of possible treatments. (2020-01-29)

How fruit flies flock together in orderly clusters
Opposing desires to congregate and maintain some personal space drive fruit flies to form orderly clusters, according to a study published today in eLife. (2020-01-21)

Why we differ in our ability to fight off gut infections
Scientists at EPFL have published two papers showing how genetics affects the ability of different individuals to fight off gut infections. (2020-01-16)

A replacement for exercise?
Michigan Medicine researchers recently found that Sestrin, a naturally occurring protein in the body, mimicked the benefits of exercise in flies and mice. (2020-01-13)

Using light to learn
Maintaining long-term memories requires environmental light, according to research in fruit flies recently published in JNeurosci. (2020-01-13)

Long-term memory performance depends upon gating system, study finds
Why do we remember some experiences for our entire lives but quickly forget others? The brain is constantly deciding which events are important enough for long-term storage. A new study from the lab of Scripps Research Neuroscientist Ron Davis, PhD, sheds light on one element of that process. (2020-01-13)

Clemson geneticists identify small molecules that are potential indicators for disease
Clemson researchers identified hundreds of metabolites that might serve as intermediates to translate variation in the genome to variation in complex traits. Findings could someday facilitate early or more accurate diagnosis of illnesses detected by metabolite variation. (2019-12-10)

Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan named 20th Perl-UNC neuroscience prize recipients
The UNC School of Medicine has awarded the 20th Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize to Lily Jan, Ph.D., and Yuh-Nung Jan, Ph.D., both at UC San Francisco, for the 'discovery and functional characterization of potassium channels.' (2019-12-10)

Increasing food intake by swapping mitochondrial genomes
To uncover the relationship between variation in genes and phenotypic diversity, geneticists use a set of fully sequenced fruit-fly genomes. But little is known about the variation in the mitochondrial genome, for which mutations are linked to an array of diseases. Now, EPFL scientists have created a high-resolution map of mitochondrial DNA variants in the fruit fly, connecting mitochondrial genes to metabolic traits and diseases. (2019-12-09)

Belgian-American research team uncovers a new mechanism of neurodegeneration
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is an inherited neurodegenerative condition that affects 1 in 2500 individuals. Currently, however, it is still lacking effective treatment options. New research has demonstrated that a class of cytoplasmic enzymes called tRNA synthetases can cause CMT by interfering with the gene transcription in the nucleus. This breakthrough is the result of an international academic collaboration, where scientists from the VIB-UAntwerp Center for Molecular Neurology and the Scripps Research Institute were the driving force. (2019-11-21)

UCI-led study reveals non-image light sensing mechanism of circadian neurons
University of California, Irvine researchers reveal how an ancient flavoprotein response to ultra violet (UV), blue and red light informs internal circadian processes about the time of day. (2019-11-07)

What drives circadian rhythms at the poles?
Circadian clocks coordinate the organism to the alternating cycles of day and night. Scientists from the University of Würzburg have studied how these clocks work in polar regions where days or nights can last for weeks. (2019-11-04)

New clues as to why mutations in the MYH9 gene cause broad spectrum of disorders in humans
Researchers have used the Drosophila embryo to model human disease mutations that affect myosin motor activity. Through in vivo imaging and biophysical analysis, they demonstrated that engineering human MYH9-related disease mutations into Drosophila myosin II produces motors with altered organization and dynamics that fail to drive rapid cell movements, resulting in defects in epithelial morphogenesis. (2019-10-28)

Insects share the same signaling pathway to form their 3-dimensional body
Zoologist shows that beetles, bugs and crickets control their body shape through Fog signalling / publication in 'eLife'. (2019-10-21)

Deep3DFly: the deep-learning way to design fly-like robots
EPFL scientists have developed a deep-learning based motion-capture software that uses multiple camera views to model the movements of a fly in three dimensions. The ultimate aim is to use this knowledge to design fly-like robots. (2019-10-09)

A timekeeper for siesta
External stimuli can rearrange the hierarchy of neuronal networks and influence behaviour. This was demonstrated by scientists from the universities of Würzburg and Brandeis using the circadian clock of the fruit fly as an example. (2019-10-07)

Study gives the green light to the fruit fly's color preference
In a study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, University of Miami researchers made two unexpected discoveries. First, they found that, given a choice, fruit flies are drawn to green light early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when they are most active, and to red, or dim light, in midday, when like many humans, they slow down to eat and perhaps take a siesta. (2019-09-18)

Fruit flies' microbiomes shape their evolution
In just five generations, an altered microbiome can lead to genome-wide evolution in fruit flies, according to new research led researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. 'The fact that we can see this effect in experiments done over such a short time scale suggests that the magnitude of the fitness effects the microbes have is incredible,' says Schmidt. (2019-09-17)

Why fruit flies eat practically anything
Kyoto University researchers uncover why some organisms can eat anything -- 'generalists -- and others have strict diets -- 'specialists'. Using different Drosophila species the team found that diversity in diet stems from the flexible response to carbohydrates regulated by the TGF-β/Activin signaling pathway. Specialists accumulated metabolites under high carbohydrate conditions, culminating in reduced adaptation, while generalists do not. (2019-09-03)

Tracing the evolution of vision
The function of the visual photopigment rhodopsin and its action in the retina to facilitate vision is well understood. However, there remain questions about other biological functions of this family of proteins (opsins) and this has ramifications for our understanding of several evolutionary pathways. Now, an international research team led by the University of Göttingen has shown there are other functions of opsin outside vision and this provides insights into how the eye evolved. Their research was published in Current Biology. (2019-08-22)

Memory research: Fruit flies learn their body size once for an entire lifetime
Drosophila melanogaster develops stable long-term memory for its body size and reach through motion parallax while walking. (2019-08-22)

Identification of genes responsible for sex-related differences in cancer aggressiveness
An understanding of the molecular basis of differences in the incidence and survival of cancer between men and women may allow the discovery of specific and more effective treatments. The study, published in Science Advances, compares the brain tumours of male and female flies at the molecular level and identifies proteins responsible for the different degree of aggressiveness. (2019-08-16)

Smuggling route for cells protects DNA from parasites
An international research team has now uncovered new insight into how safety mechanisms keep genetic parasites in check so that they do not damage the genome. In the long term, the results can help to understand and remedy some of the genetic problems in humans, such as low fertility. (2019-08-09)

Geneticists unlock the secret of mutant flies' longevity
Russian researchers determined which genes are affected by mutation that extends lifespan of fruit flies. Comparing gene activity of long-living fly strains to the control insects helped reveal mechanisms of aging and identify drug targets associated with aging-related diseases. (2019-08-07)

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