Gut feelings in common

January 13, 2011

Credit: Paola Cognigni/Irene Miguel-Aliaga

Scientists have devised a method of studying metabolism using the droppings of fruit flies. Researchers at the University of Cambridge, led by Irene Miguel-Aliaga, studied the droppings produced following various genetic manipulations of the nerve cells in flies' intestines. They discovered that many of the cells have specific functions, such as regulating appetite and water balance, and believe their research may provide important clues as to why pregnant women suffer from bloating and constipation and why there might be a link between a low-calorie diet and longevity. "Humans and fruit flies reproduce in very different ways, yet the associated symptoms of constipation and bloating and their cause - a reproductive hormone - are the same," Dr Miguel-Aliaga said. Images of fruit fly gut and nerve cells taken with a confocal microscope aided the researchers in their work.

to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments


Featured jobs

Lecturer in Economics

Royal Holloway, University Of London

Lecturer - Criminal Justice and Criminology

University Of The West Of Scotland

Lecturer in Aerospace Structures

Cranfield University

Accreditation and Planning Manager

University Of Greenwich