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Current Fruit Fly News and Events, Fruit Fly News Articles.
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Extracting precious zinc from waste ash
Incineration of solid waste produces millions of tonnes of waste fly ash in Europe each year, that most commonly ends up in landfill. But this ash often contains significant amounts of precious metals, such as zinc. A unique method developed by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, can now help extract these precious metals, potentially leading to reductions in environmental pollution, landfill and transport. (2020-12-16)

Two tough fungi discovered in Denmark: Devour flies from within
University of Copenhagen researchers have found and described two fungal species for the first time. The fungi infect adult flies and subsequently create a hole in the abdomen of their hosts' bodies. Infected flies then buzz around days as the fungi devour them from within and eject fungal spores from these holes in their bodies. The discovery marks a contribution to the mapping of global biodiversity. At the same time, the new studies open the door for potentially useful nature-made pharmacological discoveries. (2020-12-15)

Otago study identifies 'three pillars' of good mental health for young adults
Getting good quality sleep, exercising, and eating more raw fruits and vegetables predicts better mental health and well-being in young adults, a University of Otago study has found. (2020-12-15)

What makes peppers blush
Bright red, tasty and healthy, that's how we know and love bell peppers. In a first, the team headed by Professor Sacha Baginsky from the Chair for Plant Biochemistry at Ruhr University (RUB) has deciphered in detail at the protein level what makes them turn red as they ripen. At the heart of the project are the so-called plastids, typical plant cell organelles in which chlorophyll is broken down and carotenoids are produced as the fruit ripens. (2020-12-14)

A human gene placed in fruit flies reveals details about a human developmental disorder
Meier-Gorlin syndrome, or MGS, is a rare genetic developmental disorder that causes dwarfism, small ears, a small brain, missing patella and other skeletal abnormalities. One mutation causing MGS, first reported in 2017, is a Lysine 23 to Glutamic acid (K23E) substitution in the gene for Orc6. Researchers have now put that mutant human gene into fruit flies to probe the function of Orc6 K23E. (2020-12-14)

Diet modifications - including more wine and cheese - may help reduce cognitive decline
The foods we eat may have a direct impact on our cognitive acuity in our later years, according to new Iowa State University research. The study is the first of its kind to connect specific foods with cognitive decline. The findings show cheese protected against age-related cognitive problems and red wine was related to improvements in cognitive function. (2020-12-10)

Charles Darwin was right about why insects are losing the ability to fly
Most insects can fly. Yet scores of species have lost that extraordinary ability, particularly on islands. (2020-12-09)

Spiders in space: without gravity, light becomes key to orientation
Humans have taken spiders into space more than once to study the importance of gravity to their web-building. What originally began as a somewhat unsuccessful PR experiment for high school students has yielded the surprising insight that light plays a larger role in arachnid orientation than previously thought. (2020-12-09)

Novel gene variants that modify the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease discovered
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have identified 216 new genetic modifiers of late-onset Alzheimer's disease. The newly-identified biomarkers could potentially be used in the future to refine risk assessment, patient prognosis and act as therapeutic targets for this untreatable condition. (2020-12-08)

Damage to brain cells reverberates to 'bystander' cells, study finds
Injury or disease that afflicts a relatively small number of brain cells causes a chain reaction that stops activity across a vast network of neural circuits, according to new research. The study may help to explain why people can suffer from temporary but severe loss of cognitive function in cases of traumatic brain injury or disease. (2020-12-08)

Synthetic llama antibodies rescue doomed proteins inside cells
Columbia researchers created a new technology using synthetic llama antibodies to protect endangered proteins inside cells. The technology could treat dozens of diseases. (2020-12-07)

Flightless bird species at risk of extinction
Bird species that have lost the ability to fly through evolution have become extinct more often than birds that have retained their ability to fly, according to new research from the University of Gothenburg. (2020-12-03)

Flightless birds more common globally before human-driven extinctions
There would be at least four times as many flightless bird species on Earth today if it were not for human influences, finds a study led by UCL researchers, published in Science Advances. (2020-12-02)

Tweaking carotenoid genes helps tomatoes bring their a-game
Researchers led by the University of Tsukuba demonstrated that Target-AID gene editing technology can be used to simultaneously introduce single-base changes into multiple genes in tomatoes. Using this technique, the researchers altered three genes associated with carotenoid accumulation, resulting in elevated levels of carotenoids, particularly lycopene, in the resulting tomato lines. This technology will allow tomato breeders to introduce multiple advantageous gene changes into elite commercial cultivars, bypassing lengthy back-crossing steps between generations. (2020-12-01)

Rock-a-bye fly: Why vibrations lead to sleepiness
Researchers discover that gentle vibration can induce sleep in flies through a simple form of learning (2020-12-01)

Scientists solve big limitation of stratospheric balloon payloads
Nearly all photons emitted after the Big Bang are now visible only at far-infrared wavelengths. Earth's atmosphere blocks most of this light, so scientists are turning to huge stratospheric balloons to explore it. However, it is quite difficult to cool a telescope the size of a living room to nearly absolute zero while flying it from a balloon. This is where the Balloon-Borne Cryogenic Telescope Testbed comes in. (2020-12-01)

How the insect got its wings: Scientists (at last!) tell the tale
How insect wings evolved has puzzled biologists for over a century. Finally, a team from the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, has shown that the insect wing evolved from an outgrowth on the crustacean leg that was incorporated into the animal's body wall. (2020-12-01)

Tomato's wild ancestor is a genomic reservoir for plant breeders
Today's tomatoes are larger and easier to farm than their wild ancestor, but they also are less resistant to disease and environmental stresses like drought and salty soil. Researchers from Boyce Thompson Institute created a high-quality genome for the ancestor, discovering structural variants that are involved in fruit flavor, size and ripening, stress tolerance and disease resistance. Plant breeders could use the resource to develop tomatoes that taste better, are more nutritious and more resilient. (2020-12-01)

Fruit flies reveal new insights into space travel's effect on the heart
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that fruit flies that spent several weeks on the International Space Station (ISS)--about half of their lives--experienced profound structural and biochemical changes to their hearts. (2020-11-25)

Eating dried fruit may be linked with better diet quality and health markers
Penn State research found that people who ate dried fruit were generally healthier than those who did not, and on days when people ate dried fruit they consumed greater amounts of some key nutrients than on days when they skipped. However, they also found that people consumed more total calories on days when they ate dried fruit. (2020-11-24)

Sestrin makes fruit flies live longer
Researchers identify positive effector behind reduced food intake. (2020-11-24)

BICRA gene provides answers to patients, doctors and scientists
Researchers identified the BICRA gene as a new disease gene involved in a neurodevelopmental disorder and found evidence that BICRA functions in neural development in humans and flies. (2020-11-23)

The very hungry, angry caterpillars
In the absence of milkweed--their favorite food--monarch butterfly caterpillars (Danaus plexippus) go from peaceful feeders to aggressive fighters. Researchers reporting in the journal iScience on November 19 observed that caterpillars with less access to food were more likely to lunge at others to knock them aside, and caterpillars were most aggressive during the final stages before metamorphosis. (2020-11-19)

Very hungry and angry, caterpillars head-butt to get what they want
When food is scarce, monarch butterfly caterpillars go from docile to domineering. The results look something like a combination of boxing and ''bumper'' cars. The less food, the more likely caterpillars were to try to head-butt each other out of the way to get their fill, lunging and knocking aside other caterpillars to ensure their own survival. And, they are most aggressive right before the final stages of their metamorphosis. (2020-11-19)

A gel for dosage compensation
Researchers at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics have discovered how the MSL complex responsible for dosage compensation can distinguish the X chromosome from autosomes in flies. The Akhtar lab used a unique research approach to determine the minimal molecular components essential for recognizing the X chromosome. The study, now published in Nature, shows that the MSL2 protein and the roX RNA form a gel which ''attaches'' the MSL complex to the X chromosome. (2020-11-18)

Small differences, big impact
In a new study, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have identified a handful of variations in an amino acid sequence critical for retaining the ancestral function of a gene over the course of 600 million years of evolution. (2020-11-17)

Cellular survivors
When it comes to complex life -- that of the multicellular variety -- cell death can be just as important as survival. It allows organisms to clean house and prevent the proliferation of damaged cells that could compromise tissue function. (2020-11-12)

Sugar work: U-M study finds sugar remodels molecular memory in fruit flies
A high-sugar diet reprograms the taste cells in fruit flies, dulling their sensitivity to sugar and leaving a ''molecular memory'' on their tongues, according to a University of Michigan study. (2020-11-11)

In flies, consuming high-sugar diet reduces sensitivity to sweetness
In fruit flies fed a high-sugar diet for one week, a complex that regulates taste-related sensory neurons reprogrammed the neurons to make the flies less sensitive to sweet taste. Half of these changes were not reversed even after the flies returned to a control diet, the study shows, suggesting flies' perception of sweet taste was permanently altered. Anoumid Vaziri and (2020-11-11)

One third of UK fruit and vegetables are imported from climate-vulnerable countries
One third of UK fruit and vegetables are imported from climate-vulnerable countries - and this is on the rise. Researchers call for a radical rethink of our trade strategies to ensure people in the UK have continued access to fruit and vegetables. (2020-11-09)

Natural enemy of Asian fruit fly - previously thought to be one species - is in fact two
CABI scientists have led new research which reveals strong evidence that a natural enemy of the prolific Asian fruit fly Drosphila suzukii - previously believed to be one species - is in fact two with only one of the parasitoid proving suitable as a biological control agent against the pest. (2020-11-05)

Nervous systems of insects inspire efficient future AI systems
Study explores functions of fruit fly's nervous system in food seeking / results valuable for the development and control of artificial intelligence. (2020-11-05)

Biologists create "atlas" of gene expression in neurons, documenting diversity of brain cells
New York University researchers have created a ''developmental atlas'' of gene expression in neurons, using gene sequencing and machine learning to categorize more than 250,000 neurons in the brains of fruit flies. Their study, published in Nature, finds that neurons exhibit the most molecular diversity during development and reveals a previously unknown type of neurons only present before flies hatch. (2020-11-04)

Buffalo fly faces Dengue nemesis
Australian beef cattle researchers trial the use of insect-infecting bacterium Wolbachia to tackle buffalo fly, a major blood-sucking pest that costs the industry $100 million a year in treatments and lost production. (2020-11-03)

Invisible fungi revealed by their genetic material
How can new life forms that we cannot see be discovered? Using a novel method based on looking for DNA in soil samples, researchers at Uppsala University have revealed the existence of two hitherto unknown, but very common fungus species. They are thought to perform a key function in the ecosystem, but their exact role remains to be clarified. The study is published in the journal IMA Fungus. (2020-11-03)

New remote sensing technique could bring key planetary mineral into focus
The mineral olivine, thought to be a major component inside all planetary bodies, holds secrets about the early formation of the solar system, and a team of Brown University researchers has a new way to study it remotely. (2020-11-02)

The protein dress of a neuron
New method marks proteins and reveals the receptors in which neurons are dressed (2020-11-01)

Beetle larvae think with a brain 'under construction'
In human brains, hundreds of billions of nerve cells are interconnected in the most complicated way. This is no different for insects, although their brains 'only' have up to one million nerve cells. To a large extent, the brain develops in the embryo, but in many animals it is completed only after birth. Biologists from G├Âttingen University found that beetle larvae start using their brains, although still 'under construction'. Results were published in PLOS Biology. (2020-11-01)

A groundbreaking genetic screening tool for human organoids
Researchers from the laboratory of J├╝rgen Knoblich at IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences - developed CRISPR-LICHT, a revolutionary technology that allows genetic screens in human tissues such as brain organoids. By applying the novel technology to brain organoids, the ER-stress pathway was identified to play a major role in regulating the size of the human brain. The results are published in the renowned journal Science. (2020-10-29)

Raptor-inspired drone with morphing wing and tail
EPFL engineers have developed a drone with a feathered wing and tail that give it unprecedented flight agility. (2020-10-28)

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