Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Frozen flies may yield secrets for human organ transplants

Date:
August 20, 2010
Source:
Rutgers University
Summary:
Frozen fruit fly cells may hold key to human organ transplant process, according to new research.

When kitchens become infiltrated with fruit flies, especially during the dog days of summer, homeowners might wish that the flying pests would just turn to ice.

Related Articles


The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster does boast apowerful genetic system making it an ideal organism to test a cool new discovery: how an enzyme regulates body energy levels. Shutting off this molecular thermostat could result in a newfound cold tolerance that has multiple applications, including extending the 24-hour window donated organs now have for optimum use.

Thanks to a $385,419 grant from the National Institute of Health, a team of Rutgers-Camden biologists is working to engineer cold tolerant fruit flies and ultimately human cells within the next three years.

This research breakthrough can be credited to Daniel Shain, a professor of biology at Rutgers-Camden, who has traveled the globe seeking knowledge on how ice worms don't just survive in glaciers, but thrive. When Shain identified a key enzyme that helps ice worms do this -- AMP phosphatase -- he tapped Nir Yakoby, an expert Drosophila geneticist and assistant professor of biology at Rutgers-Camden, to create this cold-tolerant fruit fly.

"The goal is to make human cells survive on ice. Twenty-four hours on ice is pushing it and many people die waiting," says Shain, who is scheduled to travel to Tibet next year to observe ice worms in the vicinity. "We're lucky to have an expert Drosophila geneticist on campus to test this genetic switch."

Not just the ice worm lives on ice; the Rutgers-Camden research team, which includes undergraduate and graduate students, observed how other organisms, like bacteria, fungi, and algae, also are breaking through their internal thermostats.

"Shain accomplished this switch in mono-cell organisms and now we are going further up into the evolutionary tree to a more complex species," offers Yakoby, who joined the Rutgers­-Camden faculty last year after conducting postdoctoral research at Princeton University's Lewis Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. "If we can get these human cells to survive on ice, we should expect organs to do the same. Organs are just a collection of cells."

A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees, Shain earned his doctorate from Colorado State University and held a postdoctoral fellowship through the national Institute of Health at the University of California-Berkeley.

Yakoby, who earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Hebrew University in Israel, teaches genetics at Rutgers-Camden. Both Shain and Yakoby are active members of the Rutgers-Camden Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, which offers doctoral and graduate programs and strives to determine the quantitative organizational principles of complex biological systems, using a combination of theoretical and experimental approaches.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers University. "Frozen flies may yield secrets for human organ transplants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819112122.htm>.
Rutgers University. (2010, August 20). Frozen flies may yield secrets for human organ transplants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819112122.htm
Rutgers University. "Frozen flies may yield secrets for human organ transplants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100819112122.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins