Insects as Models of Disease
The common fruit-fly, Drosophila melanogaster, holds promise for enhanced understanding of highly conserved disease pathways shared by both flies and humans. Using insects as models of disease is a cost effective opportunity for therapeutic discovery that includes central nervous system disorders, inflammatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Calorimetry, or small insect respirometry can be an effective tool in drug screens, replacing or enhancing in-vitro, small molecule research.
Important System Considerations
- Measurement and control of atmospheric gas concentrations including water vapor
- Metabolic measurement
- Ingestive behavior
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Ma, J., Benson, A. K., Kachman, S. D., Jacobsen, D. J., & Harshman, L. G. (2013). Drosophila melanogaster Selection for Survival after Infection with Bacillus cereus Spores: Evolutionary Genetic and Phenotypic Investigations of Respiration and Movement. International journal of evolutionary biology, 2013.
Ridley, E. V., Wong, A. C., Westmiller, S., & Douglas, A. E. (2012). Impact of the resident microbiota on the nutritional phenotype of Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS One, 7(5), e36765.
Avanesian, A., Khodayari, B., Felgner, J. S., & Jafari, M. (2010). Lamotrigine extends lifespan but compromises health span in Drosophila melanogaster. Biogerontology, 11(1), 45-52.