Biomedical

Fly protects its brain against Zika virus.

While Zika virus is not a direct threat to healthy people, it is for pregnant women. Thus we should be looking for ways to limit infections, develop vaccines and find treatments. A new study shows that flies might be able to show us how.

A pathway related to inflammation in flies has been shown to stop the infection and ultimately protect the flies brain. While in some cases inflammation can be really bad for any organism, in this case it showed how important it is for inflammation to function properly.

We talked about a new chip made out of graphene, designed to detect the Zika virus even in tiny concentrations and help with diagnosis in a recent article here on Qul Mind. We see that more studies focus on eliminating this danger.

Here we do not see a proposed mechanism for prevention, diagnosis or treatment. But we do see a potential mechanism of defence in a model organism. If we end up discovering that such a pathway can be influenced by a drug then we may be able to stop the consequences of the infection even in pregnant women. But that may come later since such drugs take a lot of time to be developed and tested.

But exploring the mechanisms behind the disease and how organisms might work to protect themselves is certainly helpful. For more posts on science and tech news, follow Qul Mind. And for the full article check the sources below.

Sources: Inflammation-Induced, STING-Dependent Autophagy Restricts Zika Virus Infection in the Drosophila Brain

Image: By Jenett A, Schindelin JE, Heisenberg M. [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Drosophila_melanogaster_brain_expression_patterns.jpg

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