The Glasgow Fly Group are a collection of researchers at the University of Glasgow who work with Drosophila melanogaster. We use this powerful model system to answer basic and applied questions, in areas including development, cancer, physiology, ageing, obesity, nutrition and food security.
Many genes and processes are evolutionarily conserved: we find the same genes doing the same things in the same tissues in diverse organisms, even after millions of years of evolutionary divergence. This means that understanding the function of a conserved gene in one organism often gives us a good idea of its function in another organism.
In Drosophila, we can manipulate genetics very efficiently and effectively, for example by reducing or increasing the expression of a specific gene in a specific tissue at a specific time, tagging a protein to see where it goes in a cell, or by deleting parts of the genome. We can then rapidly and efficiently test the effects of the genetics manipulation, by measuring outputs like behaviour, survival or tumour formation.
We use this approach to understand conserved processes and functions including ageing, tissue-tissue communication and kidney function and to discover novel compounds for biomedicince and agriculture.
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