Thursday, April 4, 2013
understanding the NMDA receptor in fruit flies
Fruit flies are the genetic model organism and have lead to genetic discovery. This experiment is looking in to the NMDA receptor (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor) as it is known to trigger cell death. This leads to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Scientists are looking into the process of degenerative cells in fruit flies, they lose and regrow all new organs from larval to adult stage. The cell degenerative stage is being looked at closely in the fruit fly's salivary glands because they are the largest gland. If understand the receptor while it trigger the cell death in the salivary glands, this could lead to slowing the process down in humans and even stopping it the process to hopefully eliminate or suppress neurodegenerative diseases.