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 in fruit fly and human genetics timing is everything
in fruit fly and human genetics, timing is everything

CHAPEL HILL, NC - Every animal starts as a clump of cells, which over time multiply and mature into many different types of cells, tissues, and organs. This is fundamental biology. Yet, the details of this process remain largely mysterious. Now, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have begun to unravel an important part of that mystery.Using the fruit fly Drosophila, a standard lab model for studying animal biology, the researchers discovered a cascade of molecular signals that program gene activity to drive the fly from one stage of maturation to the next, like a baby turning into an adult. Part of this programming, they found, involves alterations to the way DNA is packaged. Those alterations open up certain regions of DNA to allow gene activity and close off ot

revealed: the biochemical pathways of kidney disease

According to PKD International, 12.5 million people are affected by polycystic kidney disease. There is no known cure. But that may one day change, thanks in part to new research by a Concordia biology researcher.In a study, recently published in PLOS Genetics, Chiara Gamberi and her coauthors developed an innovative fruit fly-based model of the types of harmful cysts that can form on kidneys. The model has enormous potential for assisting the study of how cells proliferate in polycystic kidney disease and cancer.But what do fruit flies have to do with it?"The human and fly genomes show a surprising level of similarity. In fact, gene relationships, or genetic pathways, are virtually identical between human beings and fruit flies," explains Gamberi, who is affiliate assistant professor of b

otud6b gene mutations cause intellectual and physical disability

IMAGE: From left, Dr. Teresa Sim, Dr. Magdalena Walkiewicz and Dr. Jason Heaney discuss their recent paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
view more Credit: Baylor College of MedicineAn international team of researchers from institutions around the world, including Baylor College of Medicine, has discovered that mutations of the OTUD6B gene result in a spectrum of physical and intellectual deficits. This is the first time that this gene, whose functions are beginning to be explored, has been linked to a human disease. The study appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics."Our interest in this gene began when we carried out whole exome sequencing -- the analysis of all the protein-coding genes -- of one of our patients who had not received a genetic diagnosis for his cond

matching up fruit flies, mushroom toxins and human health

IMAGE: Drosophila guttifera is another species Thomas Werner studies in his genetics lab.
view more Credit: Thomas WernerPulling data from 180 different lines of fruit flies, researchers from Michigan Technological University compared resistance to a toxin found in mushrooms like the Death Cap and Destroying Angel. Their results were published by PLOS ONE this week. The team's main finding is the genetic mechanisms that control the toxin resistance correspond to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway that regulates cell physiology and metabolism in humans and other mammals. The findings could open up new possibilities for studying cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression and neurodegenerative diseases. Alpha-amanitin ResistanceNot all fruit flies come into the kitchen on gr

repel or get rid of fruit flies once and for all

Are fruit flies a plague in your kitchen? With the summer heat coming (and kinda already here in some parts of the country!), plus ripe stone fruit, juicy tomatoes, and sticky cherries and grapes, tiny fruit flies can be an issue. Fortunately there are many ways to banish them from your kitchen — even before the first frost arrives. Here are our best tips and tricks to go fruit fly-free!
Fruit Fly 101: Know Your Enemy
But first, what are these pesky little gnats that float in front of your face and alight in clouds on your fresh fruit?
Fruit flies are tiny, quick-reproducing flies that either sneak into your house right on your fruits and vegetables, or flit in through minuscule window cracks and screens. Because they can grow from egg to adult in just over a week, fruit flies quickly

matching up fruit flies, mushroom toxins and human health

Pulling data from 180 different lines of fruit flies, researchers from Michigan Technological University compared resistance to a toxin found in mushrooms like the Death Cap and Destroying Angel. Their results were published by PLOS ONE this week.

napping flies have higher resistance to deadly human pathogen

COLLEGE PARK, MD. -- A new University of Maryland study has found that fruit flies genetically coded to take frequent naps had the strongest resistance to both a fungal infection and to a bacteria that the World Health Organization says is one of the world's most dangerous superbugs for humans. Researchers study the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, because these tiny flies provide a great model system for studying issues important to human health. More than 70 percent of human disease-causing genes have a corresponding disease gene in this reproductively prolific and short-lived fly. Researchers can study traits across many generations of fruit flies to understand the genetic basis for specific and general immune system factors involved in individual differences in resistance to

study finds that napping flies have higher resistance to deadly human pathogen

Drosophila melanogasterA new University of Maryland study has found that fruit flies genetically coded to take frequent naps had the strongest resistance to both a fungal infection and to a bacteria that the World Health Organization says is one of the world's most dangerous superbugs for humans.
Researchers study the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, because these tiny flies provide a great model system for studying issues important to human health. More than 70 percent of human disease-causing genes have a corresponding disease gene in this reproductively prolific and short-lived fly. Researchers can study traits across many generations of fruit flies to understand the genetic basis for specific and general immune system factors involved in individual differences in resistance

fruit facial at home with dry fruits and normal fruits and its benefits

Love fruits? Why not? Who would like to run away from the juice, the pulp, the taste, and deliciousness of a fruit? Or for that matter – the taste and nutrition of a ‘dry fruit’? Both are simply awesome! Why deprive your face from the goodness of fruits and dry fruits, when there are fruit and dry fruit facials to enrich the skin?Let us find out what makes them work:Why Fruits For Facial?Ever wondered why fruits make the best facial? They are deeply connected with nature. They pamper your skin with pure stuff which is toxin-free and skin-friendly at the same time. The very smell of a fruit on your face can be quite de-stressing too. And unlike the “chemical-based” beauty treatments, fruits are cost-effective and bring in a visible difference on your face.Did you know “fruit facials” have b

recipe: fruit chaat (sweet and spicy fruit salad)

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)
Fruit chaat, a spiced fruit salad, is a ubiquitous iftar fruit dish, present on pretty much every South Asian iftar table. You could argue that there really is no recipe for chaat and if there was, the variations would number in the hundreds if not thousands, as it changes with the seasons and according to each family's taste. Traditionally, in India and Pakistan, fruit chaat, a type of spiced fruit salad, is made with apples, oranges, bananas, and guava, if they are in season. But the vital part of what makes chaat is the chaat masala.
What Is Chaat Masala?
Chaat masala is a spice mix that usually contains a blend of amchoor (or green mango powder), cumin, coriander, and ginger. It also contains black salt, a pungent and strong salt that adds the characteris

recipe: mango and papaya fruit salad

Have you ever been subjected to "filler fruit" in a fruit salad? This wasn't even a term I was aware of until a friend who served a truly gorgeous fruit salad at a brunch a while ago used the term to note the absence of melon and banana.
Now, I know some people like these fruits in their salad, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, for the most part, that bananas and cantaloupe are the least desirable additions to the whole of it. So now, when I come back to this minimalist fruit salad of papaya and mango tossed in a honey-lime dressing with a hint of mint, I know it's better for being super simple with not a filler fruit in sight.
(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)
This fruit salad is pretty straightforward, a quality that serves it well since you're able to taste both the unique

ashg opposes new executive order restricting travel to the us

BETHESDA, MD - The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) opposes and urges the White House to rescind its recent Executive Order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," issued March 6.Effective March 16, the Executive Order will suspend entry of nationals from six countries into the United States, and of refugees whose applications have not yet been approved by the Department of State."As a global organization that deeply values collaboration, we believe this order will harm the progress of scientific research in the United States and abroad," said Nancy J. Cox, PhD, president of ASHG. "Beyond its practical effects, this travel ban sends a message to some in the international scientific community that their presence is unwelcome -- a message we do n

camouflage apples: a new quality assurance spy

On the long journey from the fruit plantation to the retailer’s shelf, fruits can quickly perish. In particular, the refrigeration inside the cargo containers is not always guaranteed and existing methods for measuring the temperature are not sufficiently reliable. A sensor developed at Empa solves this problem. It looks like a piece of fruit and acts like a piece of fruit – but is actually a spy.Mangos, bananas and oranges have usually travelled long distances by the time they reach our shops. They are picked, packaged, refrigerated, packed in refrigerated containers, shipped, stored and finally laid out on display. However, not all the cargo makes it safely to its destination. Although fruit is inspected regularly, some of it is damaged or may even perish during the journey.This is becau

biodiversity loss shifts flowering phenology at same magnitude as global warming

Researchers have revealed that declining plant diversity -- from habitat loss, human use, and other environmental pressures -- causes plants to flower earlier, and that the effects of diversity loss on the timing of flowering are similar in magnitude to the effects of global warming. The finding could have a powerful influence on the way scientists study ecosystem changes and measure the effects of global warming."Losing species from a system can shift the timing of biological events as much as climate change can," said Amelia Wolf, a postdoc in the Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B) department at Columbia University and lead author on the study. "Climate change has been shifting the timing of biological events such as flowering, raising concerns about timing mismatches bet

ashg applauds passage of canadian genetic non-discrimination act

BETHESDA, MD - The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) applauds yesterday's passage of S-201, the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, in a 222-60 vote by the Parliament of Canada's House of Commons. Because of minor technical changes, the bill must still be passed by the Senate."At a time when genetic testing is increasingly being incorporated into clinical care and researchers are performing analyses of human genomes on an unprecedented scale, it is critical that the genetic information of patients and research participants alike is not misused," said Nancy J. Cox, PhD, president of ASHG. "If approved by the Parliament of Canada, S-201 will help ensure that all Canadians can benefit from genetics-based clinical advances without fear of genetic discrimination."If it becomes law, the legi

how molecular clocks are refining human evolution's timeline

DNA holds the story of our ancestry – how we're related to the familiar faces at family reunions as well as more ancient affairs: how we're related to our closest nonhuman relatives, chimpanzees; how Homo sapiens mated with Neanderthals; and how people migrated out of Africa, adapting to new environments and lifestyles along the way. And our DNA also holds clues about the timing of these key events in human evolution.

timing 2 makes time tracking on your mac a pleasure – macstories

Timing 2 for Mac is out today. I've been a long-time user of Timing, and have had the pleasure of beta testing the new version for a while now. It's an excellent update to a great tool.Timing is an app that runs on your Mac and tracks everything you do. Sounds creepy at first, but the data is completely safe, and the tracking is only for your own productivity purposes (never uploaded anywhere). By helping you see how you're spending your time, you can start to change behaviors. Plus – because it can intelligently associate activities with actual projects – it serves as a detailed work timer for your paid projects.Timing 2 comes in three versions: Productivity ($29), Professional ($49), and Expert ($79). No recurring payments needed, you own the app and you own your data. Some of the featur

identifying genes key to human memory: insights from genetics and cognitive neur

March 26, 2017 - San Francisco - Researchers have identified more than 100 genes important for memory in people. The study is the first to identify correlations between gene data and brain activity during memory processing, providing a new window into human memory."This is very exciting because the identification of these gene-to-behavior relationships opens up new research avenues for testing the role of these genes in specific aspects of memory function and dysfunction," says Genevieve Konopka of UT Southwestern, who is presenting this new work in San Francisco today at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) annual conference. "It means we are closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms supporting human memory and thus will be able to use this information someday to assist with al

farmers turn to sunscreen for crops as season ‘rapidly turning to sh--’

Pineapples and dragon fruit are fruit synonymous with summer, but even these tropical crops have been suffering in Queensland's blistering heat."We do a lot of praying, we're praying for rain all the time," said Bruce Wallace, a dragon fruit and sugarcane farmer from Bundaberg.
Bruce Wallace said prolonged hot weather is damaging their dragon fruit plants. Photo: Prickle Patch Dragon Fruit/FacebookHe had predicted a yield this year of roughly 40 tonnes of fruit, but said the hot and dry conditions over summer mean they might lose 20 per cent of their crop."The dragon fruit is suffering. We were hoping to have quite a good year this year but it's rapidly turning to shit," he said.
Bruce Wallace said their water and electricity bills have more than doubled thanks to extra irrigation. Pho

farmers turn to sunscreen for crops as season ‘rapidly turning to sh--’

Pineapples and dragon fruit are fruit synonymous with summer, but even these tropical crops have been suffering in Queensland's blistering heat."We do a lot of praying, we're praying for rain all the time," said Bruce Wallace, a dragon fruit and sugarcane farmer from Bundaberg.
Bruce Wallace said prolonged hot weather is damaging their dragon fruit plants. Photo: Prickle Patch Dragon Fruit/FacebookHe had predicted a yield this year of roughly 40 tonnes of fruit, but said the hot and dry conditions over summer mean they might lose 20 per cent of their crop."The dragon fruit is suffering. We were hoping to have quite a good year this year but it's rapidly turning to shit," he said.
Bruce Wallace said their water and electricity bills have more than doubled thanks to extra irrigation. Pho

how fruit fly brains control what they choose to eat

Using fruit flies, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a specific and very small set of brain cells—dubbed dopamine wedge neurons—responsible for driving the insects' food preferences toward what they need, rather than what they like.

improve evolution education by teaching genetics first

Evolution is a difficult concept for many students at all levels, however, a study publishing on May 23 in the open access journal PLOS Biology has demonstrated a simple cost-free way to significantly improve students' understanding of evolution at the secondary level: teach genetics before you teach them evolution.

fruit flies halt reproduction during infection

A protective mechanism that allows fruit flies to lay fewer eggs in response to bacterial infection is explained in a study published in the journal eLife.
The findings represent a case of 'behavioural immunity' in response to bacterial infection: in addition to triggering conventional antibacterial weaponry, fruit flies use nerve cell signalling pathways to reduce the impact of infection on their offspring and environment.It is widely known that all living organisms adapt their behaviour in response to infection, but the mechanisms behind this are less understood. Recent studies in fruit flies have started to unravel these behaviours, showing, for example, that flies can avoid contaminated food by sensing an odour emitted by dangerous bacteria. Professor Julien Royet, Group Leader at Ai

fruit flies halt reproduction during infection

A protective mechanism that allows fruit flies to lay fewer eggs in response to bacterial infection is explained in a study published in the journal eLife.The findings represent a case of 'behavioural immunity' in response to bacterial infection: in addition to triggering conventional antibacterial weaponry, fruit flies use nerve cell signalling pathways to reduce the impact of infection on their offspring and environment.It is widely known that all living organisms adapt their behaviour in response to infection, but the mechanisms behind this are less understood. Recent studies in fruit flies have started to unravel these behaviours, showing, for example, that flies can avoid contaminated food by sensing an odour emitted by dangerous bacteria. Professor Julien Royet, Group Leader at Aix-M

the truth behind the 10-a-day claim

A new study led by Imperial College London suggests that eating 10 portions of fruit and veg per day can cut the risk of heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Overall, scoffing this mound of vegetation appeared to cut the risk of ‘dying prematurely’ by 31 per cent. Understandably, many people reacted with a degree of horror. One portion of fruit and veg, according to official guidelines, is 80 grams. So 10 portions is a bowel-challenging 800 grams. Such an intake is fine if you’re a chimpanzee or a vegan, but for the rest of us – who already struggle to eat the regulation five-a-day – it’s a complete non-starter.However, a little nuance is required. The study is comparing health outcomes with people who eat no fruit and veg at all. And the kind of people prepared to eat

molecule stops fatal pediatric brain tumor

CHICAGO --- Northwestern Medicine scientists have found a molecule that stops the growth of an aggressive pediatric brain tumor. The tumor is always fatal and primarily strikes children under 10 years old. Every year, about 300 children under the age of 10 years old in the U.S. develop a tumor referred to as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). "This tumor kills every single kid who gets DIPG within one year. No one survives," said the study's first author, Andrea Piunti, a postdoctoral fellow in Shilatifard's lab in biochemistry and molecular genetics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.The study will be published February 27 in Nature Medicine."To the best of our knowledge, this is the most effective molecule so far in treating this tumor," said senior author Ali S

sensor-laden fake fruit ensures you get fresh produce

To create the fruit, the team first X-rays a real example and then has an algorithm generate the average shape and texture to produce a 3D-printed shell. From there, the team fills the shell with simulated fruit flesh made of carbohydrates, polystyrene and water. The result is obviously unnatural (and accordingly inedible), but realistic enough to produce accurate results in early testing.And importantly, this would be relatively cheap. An entire fake fruit would cost about $50 US, and you could reuse it many times. The trickiest part would be getting real-time data. Right now, you have to stop and check the sensors to get results. The current design isn't equipped to wirelessly transmit data, so there's no way to get an instant notice while the foodstuffs are in mid-route. Even so, the te

facial recognition software help diagnose rare genetic disease

IMAGE: A young boy undergoes facial recognition software for a possible diagnosis with DiGeorge syndrome, a rare disease.
view more Credit: Paul Kruszka, et al.Researchers with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their collaborators, have successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. The disease, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, also known as DiGeorge syndrome and velocardiofacial syndrome, affects from 1 in 3,000 to 1 in 6,000 children. Because the disease results in multiple defects throughout the body, including cleft palate, heart defects, a characteristic facial appearance and learning problems, healthcare providers often can't pinpoint the disease,

frisky female fruit flies become more aggressive towards each other after sex

Two flies are mating. Credit: Amy HongFrisky female fruit flies become more aggressive towards each other after sex.
Female fruit flies start headbutting each other after mating, becoming significantly more aggressive and intolerant Oxford University research has revealed.Levels of aggression soar after sex, when a variety of proteins, which flow freely in semen, stimulate dramatic behavioural and physiological changes in females. Other changes include increased ovulation, rejecting male advances and loss of interest in sex. Increased post coital levels of aggression may have wider in direct implications on female competition.Studies in many species have shown an association between increased levels of aggression in females, egg laying and reproduction. Protecting and providing for offsp

recipe: sparkling fruit jello mold

If you are skeptical about the magic of gelatin desserts, then this is the best recipe to start with. This stunning, sparkling jewel of a jello mold is simply flavorful sparkling wine set with gelatin and studded with fresh fruit. It will make every guest at your brunch table ooh and ahh in delight. The best part? It tastes incredible — light and fruity, with a tart, balanced sweetness that will surprise even the most ardent jello-salad skeptics.
How do I know? Because this is the dessert that turned me into a jello-mold fanatic in one slice.
This jeweled jello mold is a modern take on the jellied fruit salads that were popular in the '60s and '70s. But instead of fruit cocktail set in super-sweet fruit juice, this dessert uses fresh fruit set in a mixture of sparkling wine and elderflow

this is the best way to revive stale dates

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)
If you've ever brought a package of dates home, on at least one occasion you've probably pulled them out to find them looking kind of crystallized on the outside and way more firm than you remember. Am I right? Here's the thing about dates — these sweet fruits continue to dry out (and eventually harden up) as they age. It happens when they're stored properly, and even faster when they're not. They're still perfectly good, though, so don't toss them. You just need to revive them and bring them back to life. Here's the best way to do it.
Soak in Hot Water to Revive Stale Dates
While there are several ways to soften stale or extra-firm dates. This simple method quickly delivers the best results every time. Without fail, just a few minutes of soaking in hot w

sacrificing sleep for love | eurekalert! science news

Sleep is important, but if there is something more important or interesting to do -- for example, taking care of a baby, finishing a grant proposal before a deadline, or reading a fascinating book -- we may stay up late. Sleep in fruit flies is a lot like human sleep, and like humans, flies can keep themselves awake if there is something important to do. In research published on May 16th in eLife, researchers report discovery of neurons that allow male fruit flies to suppress sleep so they can court female flies."The idea that sleep and courtship might compete with each other is intuitive but had not been studied experimentally, and the underlying neural mechanisms had not been explored. We wanted to know how the sleep drive and sex drive compete to determine behavior," says Kyunghee Koh,

how to make a layered jello mold

With a vibrant fruit layer bursting with juicy flavor and fresh fruit, and a rich and creamy layer made sweetened condensed milk, you'd hardly think we'd be talking about a jello mold, but we are. And we're calling it! These delightful no-bake desserts are back. And it's not just in celebration of retro kitsch.
Nope, these delicious desserts serve many practical purposes: They require few ingredients and even less time, they easily serve a crowd, and, most importantly, they are fun to make and eat.
This two-tone number has a top layer made with tart cranberry juice and is packed with strawberries, cherries, and cranberries. The bottom layers is all dense, milky sweetness. Here's how to make it and a few tips on how to make one of your own creation.
(Image credit: Christine Han)Why Make

pay $8 for a buddha-shaped pear foolish or fun? your age may predict your answer

Pears shaped like a Buddha. Credit: Fruit MouldSquare watermelons, star- and heart-shaped cucumbers, and even Buddha-shaped pears can be found in some grocery store produce bins. Who buys them? And why? A recent University of Illinois study found younger consumers with an eye for adventure are more likely to purchase these avant-garde fruits.
First of all, growing a pear shaped like a Buddha is not an easy task. There is a lot of physical labor involved. A clear plastic mold must be placed over each new pear fruit as it begins to grow, then removed when the fruit is large enough to fill the mold. The harvest time is critical for shipping. It's no wonder they retail for $8 to $9 per piece."Before we started researching this, we had no idea that there were so many different novelty-shaped

migrant fruit pickers win european court case against greece | news

A group of strawberry pickers from Bangladesh have won a case against Greece at Europe’s highest human rights court, after being shot at by employers for demanding unpaid wages.The Council of Europe’s Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday in favor of 42 Bangladeshi nationals, and ordered the Greek state to pay them damages of 12,000-16,000 euros ($13,000-$17,000) each for having “failed in its obligations to prevent the situation of human trafficking, to protect the victims.”The 2013 incident occurred near the southern Greek town of Manolada, 260 kilometers (160 miles) west of Athens, when more than 20 migrant strawberry pickers were shot and wounded by foremen after demanding delayed pay.The shootings were widely publicized, highlighting the frequent mistreatment of migrant workers in Gree

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