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Top Story

Biochemist studies fruit fly to understand Parkinson's disease, muscle wasting

The fruit fly may help us be less clueless about human muscle development and Parkinson's disease. Researchers at Kansas State University are studying the fruit fly, or Drosophila melanogaster, to understand a gene called clueless, or clu. The team have found a connection between clu and genes that cause Parkinson's disease. The researchers used fruit fly muscles as a model for human muscles because of their similar structures -- approximately 85 percent of the human disease genes have corresponding genes in the fruit fly. Fruit flies also have a short lifecycle of 10 days from when the egg is laid to when adults emerge, which allows for the rapid observation of muscle development and maintenance.

Visit Website | Image credit: Erika Geisbrecht, Kansas State University