Sudbury·SUMMER U

Northern Ontario researcher looks to fruit flies for cancer cure

The Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics is using the genetic system of the fly to help understand the human system.
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      You will find thousands upon thousands of fruit flies behind the door of the aptly named fly lab at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

      But Thomas Merritt's research has nothing to do with how to rid your kitchen of the sometimes pesky creatures.

      Instead, the Canada Research Chair in Genomics and Bioinformatics is using the genetic system of the fly to help understand how the human system works.

      "We share about 80 percent of our genes with fruit flies," Merritt said. "The way that the genes work in a fly is exactly the way they work in a human."

      The research using the flies is providing a better understanding of how genes can be turned on and off, and that is helping in the search for a cure for cancer, among other diseases, Merritt said.

      The CBC Sudbury's Megan Thomas took a tour of the fly lab to find out more about the research:

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