Monday, April 17, 2017

Parkinson's and Fruit Flies

Researchers have discovered a new gene within fruit flies associated with the PINK1 and PARKIN genes, which are both heavily associated with Parkinson's disease. Because fruit flies carry 75% of the genes that are effected by disease, it is easy to use fruit flies to compare The new gene is named ATF4 and is vital in the health of mitochondria and can be used to control the expression of PINK1 and PARKIN.  People with Parkinson's have been found to have problems with their mitochondrial health.
The lead researchers on the case discovered that using bioinformatics, they were able to control the expression of the ATF4 gene. By making the gene expression more prominent, researchers noticed better health of mitochondria and reverted the damage done to the brain from the disease. By turning the gene off, there was a problem with the fly's movements, they didn't live as long, and the mitochondria in their brains was being more and more dysfunctional.
I would love to see the effects of encouraging this gene to be expressed in humans, as I do believe it can help many people regain control of their lives.

1 comment:

  1. This is great to know that we can study this disease to help many people. As simple as it sounds im sure theres many other factors that need to be considered.