Painful heat sensed by 'painless' in flies

Sep 30, 2008

Japanese research group led by Prof Makoto Tominaga and Dr Takaaki Sokabe, National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Japan, found that a small fly, drosophila, has a receptor for noxious heat. The research group reports their finding in Journal of Neuroscience published on Oct 1, 2008.

It has been unknown how flies detect a noxious heat to avoid it. The research group investigated the function of "Painless" protein, which had been known to be important for heat avoidance behavior in flies. This protein had been predicted as one type of ionic TRP (transient receptor potential) channels. They found that the channel can sense noxious heat directly. The channel activity was modulated by intracellular calcium to maintain optimal sensitivity. Camphor, a moth repellent, did block the activity of this channel.

Dr. Sokabe said, "this is the first report to show that flies can sense hazardous heat by a specific sensor, namely 'Painless'. This finding may help designing new anti-fly substance."

Source: National Institute for Physiological Sciences

Explore further: Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fruit flies lead scientists to new human pain gene

Nov 11, 2010

While it has become clear in recent years that susceptibility to pain has a strong inherited component, very little is known about actual "pain genes" and how they work. In the November 12th issue of Cell, researchers at Chi ...

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

14 hours ago

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

Building 'smart' cell-based therapies

15 hours ago

A Northwestern University synthetic biology team has created a new technology for modifying human cells to create programmable therapeutics that could travel the body and selectively target cancer and other ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.