Fly genetics may increase understanding of human hearing disorders
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School have found genetic evidence linking humans and fruit flies in a new way: through their hearing. The link offers the future possibility that the insects auditory system may serve as a model for understanding human deafness and other hearing disorders.
The scientists found that a mutated fruit fly gene controlling hearing and the mutated human counterpart gene both produced similar consequences: hearing loss as well as limb deformities and genital abnormalities. The mutated human gene is responsible for a disorder called Townes-Brocks syndrome. The unexpected finding was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online (Sept. 2, 2003).
Dian Land | EurekAlert!
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