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Using fruit flies to study human cancer

  • Researcher: Dr Valeria Cavaliere
  • Institution: University of Bologna
  • Award Amount: £124,935 for 3 years from June 2011
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Using fruit flies to study human cancer
Dr Cavaliere is studying the role of a gene called Nm23 which has anti-cancer abilities. She is looking at how and when Nm23 is made in the cell and what other molecules it interacts with. To do this Dr Cavaliere is using fruit flies and bowel cancer models. Scientists use fruit flies for their research as these tiny creatures are extremely useful for lab studies focusing on how cells behave. Importantly, the genes that control the growth and death of cells in flies are almost identical to those found in human cells, making their findings highly relevant to what goes on in the human body.
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