Fruit fly study: Chemicals increase lifespan

IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence welcomes Kyung-Jin Min to the UAA campus.

Min is currently researching fruit flies’ response to the chemical Metformin, which mimics the body’s response to a diet with a 30 to 40 percent calorie reduction without starving his subjects. This chemical is similar to the previously studied Resveratrol, found in red wine, which aids in weight control and overall health.

“We know that eating less makes you live longer; it’s called calorie restriction or diet restriction. The advantage of using fruit flies is they survive 60 to up to 80 days, so data is acquired quite fast, and surprisingly, about 70 percent of human genes are also found in fruit flies.”

Min said he is interested in the health response of fruit flies to music as a possible future endeavor, utilizing a genetically deaf variation of fruit fly for a control group.

Min received a doctorate in zoology from the University of Texas Austin in 2003 and has been working at Brown University since 2004. At UAA, Min will continue his research on health longevity and is scheduled to teach BIOL 252 Genetics for the Spring 2008 semester.

Contact Min at [email protected]

For more information about IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, visit www.inbre.alaska.edu.

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Contact Gretchen Weiss at 786-1576 or [email protected]