Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Amazing Drosophila melanogaster

The model organism Drosophila melanogaster also known as the common fruit fly is very useful in the field of genetic research due to certain characteristics such as being cost efficient, having a high yield of offspring in a short time, quick reproduction rate, similar genome to humans, observable phenotypic traits, and minimal ethical issues.

As of recently professor Jason M. Tennessen who teaches at Indiana University has begun research on a molecule that is present at high levels during the larval stages of D. melanogaster that is responsible for their rapid growth. This molecule shares common biochemical similarities with the growth of cancer cells and can also be found in types of cancer that affects the brain and kidneys.
The molecule that was found and is responsible for the rapid growth is known as L-2HG. With the random discovery of this molecule Jason had been originally studying an enzyme known as lactate dehydrogenase which had been discovered to produce the L-2HG molecule.

This is a remarkable discovery and with continuous research and experiments of this molecule on what influences it to cause cancer and what doesn't will eventually lead to another type of method that can cure cancer.

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