BAR HARBOR – The MDI Biological Laboratory is identifying a new healing mechanism using fruit flies.
These insects have a mechanism known as wound-induced polyploidy (WIP) which heals the bug.
WIP enlarges existing cells to maintain the size and functional capacity of injured tissues.
According to MDI, WIP is a widely used part of the body’s healing arsenal which will help them in discovering whether or not they can replicate that ability through drugs or through a gene.
“We can understand how this strategy works in wound repair and be able to manipulate this process to enhance the ability for us to repair and regenerate when injury occurs,” said Vicki P. Losick, Ph.D.
Because they share many genes with humans, fruit flies offer the lab an inexpensive way of studying how to potentially heal the body of injury or diseases. According to those at MDI, 75 percent of known human disease genes have recognizable matches in the fruit fly.