Sharing common genes with insects?


Sir: Almost everywhere you look, you’ll find one — or dozens — of the six-legged creatures called insects. A wildly diverse bunch, the class Insecta includes ants, fruit flies. bees, beetles and much more.

For years I was extremely interested in the study of insects and spiders, but I never conceived fruit flies as being involved in cell and molecular biology research involving human beings. That’s why I was excited to read Bruce Corcoran’s interview with Taylor Lidster in The Chatham Voice on Feb. 22 (“Learning on the fly”). According to Taylor, fruit flies “are very similar to humans as far as genes, particularly genes that cause diseases.” Her area of focus is the gastro-intestinal system.

When you think of the millions of insects we know about, you’re probably shocked to learn scientists discover 7,100 to 10,000 new insects each year and consider there could be anywhere from one million to 10 million still waiting to be discovered, you’re probably awestruck. Only God knows the number of unknown insects in this world He created.

It’s so wonderful to hear about this Chatham researcher’s work in the field of medical science. She plans on getting a PhD and, later, a professorship.

Stephen Beecroft



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