If you spend most of your time in dung piles and garbage heaps, you better have robust immune genes. Scientists sequenced the genome of the house fly for the first time and found an expanded number of immune response and defense genes. The findings could explain how flies quickly adapt to resist insecticides, which in turn could lead to new ways to control them....“Anything that comes out of an animal, such as bacteria and viruses, house flies can take from that waste and deposit on your sandwich,” says Jeff Scott, professor of entomology at Cornell University and lead author of a paper published in the journal Genome Biology. Read more
Scientists have sequenced the entire genome of the common housefly and say their findings should help uncover new cures for human diseases. The fly can carry some 100 illnesses, including one that can blind. By comparing its DNA with that of a fruit fly, the US team at Cornell University pinpointed the genes that makes houseflies immune to the pathogens they harbour. They also found unique code that helps the fly dissolve waste, such as faeces.Information about these genes could help us to handle human waste and improve the environment, Dr Jeff Scott and colleagues told the journal Genome Biology.
By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online Read more