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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 9:29 EDT

Latest Trudy Mackay Stories

Transformational Fruit Fly Genome Catalog Completed
2012-02-09 05:08:03

Scientists searching for the genomics version of the holy grail — more insight into predicting how an animal's genes affect physical or behavioral traits — now have a reference manual that should speed gene discoveries in everything from pest control to personalized medicine. In a paper published Feb 8 in Nature, North Carolina State University genetics researchers team with scientists from across the globe to describe the new reference manual — the Drosophila...

2009-10-21 12:12:49

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a genetic "switch" in fruit flies that plays an important role in making flies more tolerant to alcohol. This metabolic switch also has implications for the deadly liver disease cirrhosis in humans. A counterpart human gene contributes to a shift from metabolizing alcohol to the formation of fat in heavy drinkers. This shift can lead to fatty liver syndrome "“ a precursor to cirrhosis. In the study, published in the October print...

2009-06-11 07:58:41

A suite of genes that affect aggression in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been identified. By investigating male flies from a large panel of lines which each carry a mutation in a single gene but are otherwise genetically identical, researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology identified particularly angry and particularly placid insects, uncovering 59 mutations in 57 genes that affect aggressive behavior.Trudy Mackay, from North Carolina State University, led a team...

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2009-02-23 09:39:30

For many animals, sleep is a risk: foraging for food, mingling with mates and guarding against predators just aren't possible while snoozing. How, then, has this seemingly life-threatening behavior remained constant among various species of animals? A new study by scientists at North Carolina State University shows that the fruit fly is genetically wired to sleep, although the sleep comes in widely variable amounts and patterns. Learning more about the genetics of sleep in model animals could...