Contact: Margaret Allen
Southern Methodist University
Caption: A dye test in fruit flies uncovers whether fat cells are responding to insulin. On the left, insulin signaling is active. On the right, insulin signaling is inactive. The overfed fruit flies develop insulin resistance, making them a new tool for researchers to use in studying Type 2 human diabetes. SMU researchers found that fruit flies overloading on carbs and protein not only gained weight but had shortened life spans -- and developed insulin resistance, a hallmark of Type 2 human diabetes. The insulin-resistant fruit fly was developed in the lab of SMU biologist Johannes H. Bauer, principal investigator for the study. It was accomplished by feeding fruit flies a diet high in nutrients, said Bauer, an assistant professor in SMUís Department of Biological Sciences. That process mimics one of the ways insulin resistance develops in humans -- overeating to the point of obesity. See http://bit.ly/Ku2BO4 for more images.
Credit: Image credit: Bauer, SMU
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Related news release: Overfed fruit flies develop insulin resistance; Represent new tool to study human diabetes