Fruit fly hearts similar to human hearts

Feb 27, 2007

U.S. scientists say Drosophila fruit fly research may lead to new treatments for heart disease, the leading cause of death in industrialized nations.

Coordinated research at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Calif.; the University of California-San Diego and the University of Michigan found mutations in a molecular channel in fruit fly heart muscle cell membranes caused arrhythmias similar to those occurring in humans. That, said the researchers, suggests understanding how the channel's activity is controlled in the cell could lead to new heart disease treatments.

"This study shows the Drosophila heart can be a model for the human heart," said Burnham researcher Professor Rolf Bodmer. "Fly hearts have many ion channels that also are present in human hearts, making it suitable to extend mechanistic insight found in the fly hearts to human heart function."

The findings are to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and are now available on the journal's Web site.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: The dopamine transporter: Researchers study a common link between addiction and neurological disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A crystal wedding in the nanocosmos

17 minutes ago

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the Vienna University of Technology and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Lublin have succeeded in embedding nearly perfect semiconductor ...

Study finds missing piece of biogeochemical puzzle in aquifer

21 minutes ago

A study published in Scienceby researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and co-authored by Georgia Tech may dramatically shift our understanding of the complex dance of microbes and minerals ...

Recommended for you

Scientists image a beating heart in 3D (w/ Video)

1 hour ago

Researchers of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden report how they managed to capture detailed three-dimensional images of cardiac dynamics in zebrafish. The novel approach: ...

New device to monitor lung function in space

1 hour ago

A new method of collecting blood from the ear, currently part of an interactive exhibition at the Science Museum, could be used to monitor lung function in space. Less invasive, faster and more accurate than current methods, ...

Primate research center plays key role in HIV study in Nature

2 hours ago

In a study reported in Nature this month, Yerkes National Primate Research Center researchers were key in determining that treating SIV-infected rhesus macaques with type 1 interferon, a protein known to trigger antiviral respon ...

Three-people IVF debate process on the move in UK

4 hours ago

Takes two to make a child, correct? No. maybe. The use of sperm and eggs from three people to create babies moved a step closer in the UK, with Tuesday's events. What kind of egg-sperm distribution are we talking about? The ...

User comments : 0