Deadly and damaging toxins that allow anthrax to cause disease and death in mammals have similar toxic effects in fruit flies, according to a study conducted by biologists at the University of California, San Diego.
Photo shows effect of anthrax lethal factor toxin in dorsal cells of developing fruit fly larvae. Credit: Annabel Guichard, UCSD
Their findings, which appear this week in an early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that fruit flies can be used to study the link between the biochemical activities and physiological effects of anthrax toxins.
Learning how these toxins attack developing and adult tissues is important because it can help scientists understand how they function at the molecular level and may lead to new therapeutic strategies for neutralizing their effects in humans.
Kim McDonald | EurekAlert!
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