Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The scent of cancer: Detecting cancer with fruit fly's antenna

Date:
January 24, 2014
Source:
University of Konstanz
Summary:
Researchers have, for the first time, detected cancer cells using the olfactory senses of fruit flies.

The fruit fly sits on the podium in the middle of the picture. Scents, including that of cancer cells, are emitted from the tube on the left, which is directed towards the fly. Above, you can see the lens of the microscope that is used for recording images of the fly's antenna.
Credit: University of Konstanz

A research unit in an international cooperation project, led by the Konstanz-based neurobiologist and zoologist Professor Dr. Giovanni Galizia, has been the first to demonstrate that fruit flies are able to distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells via their olfactory sense.

In an article, published on 6 January in the international scientific journal Scientific Report by the Nature Publishing Group, the researchers of the University of Konstanz and the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, describe how characteristic patterns in the olfactory receptors of transgenic Drosophilae can be recorded when activated by scent. Not only could a clear distinction be made between healthy cells and cancer cells; moreover, groupings could be identified among the different cancer cells.

"What really is new and spectacular about this result is the combination of objective, specific and quantifiable laboratory results and the extremely high sensitivity of a living being that cannot be matched by electronic noses or gas chromatography," explains Giovanni Galizia. Natural olfactory systems are better suited to detecting the very small differences in scent between healthy cells and cancer cells. This fact has already been shown in experiments with dogs; however, these results are not objectifiable and are thus not applicable for a systematic medical diagnosis.

The researchers from Konstanz and Rome used the fact that single odorant molecules dock to the receptor neurons of the flies' antenna and thus activate the neurons. In an imaging technique developed by the researchers, the different odorant molecules of the respective scent samples create different patterns of activated neurons, which fluoresce under the microscope when active, thanks to a genetic modification. In the experiment five different types of breast cancer cell lines were analyzed, compared to healthy cells and clearly divergent patterns were generated.

"As not only cancer cells can be distinguished from healthy cells, but also subgroups were discernible within the cancer cells, it seems that even different types of breast cancer cells can be differentiated via the antenna of Drosophila," explains Alja Lόdke, member of the research unit and researcher at the University of Konstanz.

The results of the interdisciplinary research unit, consisting of biologists and engineers from the field of electronic engineering, are a fundamental groundwork for cancer diagnosis: "The high sensitivity of the natural olfactory receptors, paired with the quickness with which we can generate these test results, might lead to the development of a cheap, fast and highly-efficient pre-screening that can detect cancer cells well before we can discover them with the present diagnostic imaging techniques," stresses Giovanni Galizia.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Martin Strauch, Alja Lόdke, Daniel Mόnch, Thomas Laudes, C. Giovanni Galizia, Eugenio Martinelli, Luca Lavra, Roberto Paolesse, Alessandra Ulivieri, Alexandro Catini, Rosamaria Capuano, Corrado Di Natale. More than apples and oranges - Detecting cancer with a fruit fly's antenna. Scientific Reports, 2014; 4 DOI: 10.1038/srep03576

Cite This Page:

University of Konstanz. "The scent of cancer: Detecting cancer with fruit fly's antenna." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140124082702.htm>.
University of Konstanz. (2014, January 24). The scent of cancer: Detecting cancer with fruit fly's antenna. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140124082702.htm
University of Konstanz. "The scent of cancer: Detecting cancer with fruit fly's antenna." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140124082702.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
from the past week

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