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
The use of pesticides to eliminate insect pests on fruit trees is common throughout the world. To reduce the amount of damage and harm conventional pesticides pose to the environment, Prof. Arthur Agnello ’74, entomology, is looking at ways to produce high quality fruits without the use of toxic substances. Working at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, Agnello says his job is to make pest-management suggestions to the New York fruit industry.
“We provide guidance and recommendations about the best ways to use pesticides, the timing, the decision making that is involved in what kind of pesticides to use at what time, so the broad focus of my research is to test season-long management programs that incorporate many different kinds of pest management approaches against a whole range of pests in orchards,” Agnello said. Read more
Scientists have sequenced the house fly genome for the first time, revealing robust immune genes, as one might expect from an insect that thrives in pathogen-rich dung piles and garbage heaps. The research, published Oct. 13 in the journal Genome Biology, will increase understanding of house fly genetics and biology and of how flies quickly adapt to resist insecticides, which could lead to novel control methods. Read more