Dr. Eric Johnson’s research on Drosophila provides insight into human diabetes treatment. His laboratory’s findings were recently featured by the WFU News Service and the scientific journal Genetics.
Complexity doesn’t stem from having different genes or special nerve cells. The basic biophysical, biochemical makeup is the same. The difference in complexity is in the number of cells. Why flies are so simple is that they have approximately 100,000 neurons versus the approximately 11 billion in humans.
Johnson’s latest study appears in the October issue of the Genetics, which is available online now. In it, he and his research team use the fruit fly, Drosophila, to look at an enzyme called AMP-activated kinase and its role in signaling the hormone that elevates the level of sugar in the blood.