HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Essential smell gene may provide key to new insect repellents

Insects navigate by smell to find food, mates and -- in the case of disease-spreading mosquitoes -- humans to bite. Researchers at Rockefeller University report in the September 2 issue of Neuron that insects' ability to detect odors depends on a single gene. Fruit flies lacking the gene, known as Or83b, cannot smell.

Because the gene is found in a wide variety of insect species, the results point to a new strategy for developing insect repellents. Repellents that block the gene, and thus prevent disease-carrying insects from finding human hosts, might eventually help fight malaria and other infectious diseases.

"This finding has a direct applied potential," says assistant professor Leslie B. Vosshall, Ph.D., head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior. "Insects are the primary vectors for malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile encephalitis, and they locate human hosts largely through their exquisitely sensitive olfactory systems."

"We need better insect repellents to use as weapons against the spread of infectious disease," Vosshall adds. "Most insect repellents are based on trial and error, or folk remedies. Now we have a scientific, rational basis for designing insect repellents."

An anomalous smell receptor

The sense of smell is very direct. In order for humans or fruit flies to smell bananas, for example, molecules from the fruit must waft through the air to specialized nerve cells that detect them. In humans these cells are at the top of the nasal passages. In the fruit fly they are located on the antennae and the maxillary palp, an appendage near the fly mouth. The odorant molecules bind to receptors on the neurons, fitting like chemical keys into the lock-like receptors, and set off a series of signals that the brain perceives as smell.

A different gene codes for each kind of receptor, and the Or83b receptor is unusual in two ways. First, nearly all the olfactory neurons in the fly
'"/>

Contact: Lynn Love
lovel@rockefeller.edu
212-327-8977
Rockefeller University
1-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Essential gene for male fertility found
2. Essential cell division zipper anchors to so-called junk DNA
3. Harvard Medical School Researchers Identify Four Human Genes Essential To Cell Division; Discovery Yields New Target For Cancer Therapies
4. Scientists Identify Protein Essential For Iron Absorption, Boost Understanding Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia
5. Gene Locus Found For Essential Tremor Disorder
6. Virginia Techs smelly corpse plant due to bloom Aug. 4
7. AChemS: Cutting edge research in taste, smell, & chemical irritation
8. Rockefeller University scientists take on controversial vibration theory of smell
9. Primates trade smell for sight
10. Progress in probing the mosquitos sense of smell
11. Ability to smell food regulated by enzymes interaction with RNA interference pathway

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/13/2019)... ... March 13, 2019 , ... Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic ... of the world’s population. One billion people worldwide suffer from sleep apnea ... more than 80 percent of whom go undiagnosed. Today, Beddr , the sleep ...
(Date:3/9/2019)... and OAKLAND, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... March 07, ... ... allergy, food intolerance, and infectious disease diagnostics and automation – is pleased to ... an online quality control resource giving customers access to lot-specific information, including pattern ...
(Date:3/9/2019)... ... March 08, 2019 , ... On International Women’s Day, the ... focused on women in the field. The Women in Cancer Immunotherapy Network ... and empower emerging female leaders in the cancer immunotherapy field. , Scheduled for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... , ... Bogey was nine years old when he injured both of his cruciate ligaments. ... caused Bogey to experience problems with his mobility. According to his owners, he could ... on the couch. , His owners, devastated at the sight of Bogey in so much ...
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... ... free webinar will review strategies for data management in modular and adaptive clinical trials. ... by up to 30 percent, reducing cost while increasing quality, achieving clinical site set-up faster ... migrate data – reducing risk and impact on trial success, trial teams, and trial execution ...
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... March 19, 2019 , ... Cirrascale ... announced it has begun offering NVIDIA® DGX-1™ deep learning systems as part of ... to provide the highest performance for artificial intelligence and deep learning research and ...
(Date:3/15/2019)... ... March 15, 2019 , ... ... Inc. and affiliate companies including AVAPCO LLC and API Intellectual Properties Holdings. ... Biorefinery and R&D center in Thomaston, Georgia, operations, research, and business development ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: