The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster is a great tool to explore the biology of human diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Miguel’s group uses this cheap and powerful animal model to investigate problems with mitochondria, the power generators inside cells in living organisms, and how mitochondrial defects might contribute to diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Below is link to a video abstract summarising one of our most recent research articles. This focuses on the effects of a niacin-enriched diet in flies mutated for the Parkinson’s disease gene Pink1. The full research article was published a few days ago in Biology Open, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. We published another very similar study in another journal, Cell Death and Disease, looking at the effects of a niacin-enriched diet in flies mutated for another Parkinson’s disease gene, Parkin.
We show that fly food with increased levels of niacin or vitamin B3 rescues mitochondrial defects and has neuroprotective effects in a fly model of Parkinson’s disease.
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