Why use Drosophila?
Some key points
- Since all animals descend from a common ancestor the molecular machineries controlling cellular processes are similar. Findings in animal model organisms can therefore often be directly extrapolated to other animals, including humans.
- The cellular processes that are miss-regulated in cancer, like cell signaling, -proliferation, -growth, -death, -polarity, -migration and more, can be studied in the fly.
- Drosophila is the most sophisticated animal genetic model system for in vivo analysis of gene function
- Genes that occur in several duplicated copies in humans (paralogoues), more often than not, are represented by one copy in Drosophila making genetic analysis of gene function easier
- Drosophila can be made genetically mosaic enabling studies of gene function in a subset of cells carrying a genetic defect emulating genetic changes occuring in cancer.