Pests, Critters On Forefront of Medical Research

By  //  March 25, 2015

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'CRITTER RESEARCH' UNDERWAY FOR TREATMENT OF HIV, DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, CANCER AND OTHERS

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Dr. Jim Palermo

EDITOR’S NOTE: This fascinating article from Medical News Today chronicles how researchers on several fronts have identified common pests and critters, such as house flies, bees, scorpions, frogs, Gila monsters and spiders, that could actually help scientists learn more about human illnesses and apply that knowledge to the treatment of prominent diseases such as HIV, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and antibiotic resistance.

— Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief

Beauty in the Beasties: How Some of the World’s Creepiest Critters May Benefit Your Health

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY — Though a well-known hymn tells us we should love “all creatures great and small,” loving some of the smaller creatures on Earth – particularly the creepy-crawly kind – can prove a little challenging. So many of us have a fear of spiders, for example, that it sits in the top 10 list of phobias worldwide. But maybe this Spotlight will evoke a little warmth toward the beasts; we look at the surprising ways in which spiders and some other creepy critters may benefit human health.

Researchers have identified genes in houseflies that make them immune to the pathogens they carry - a finding that could open the door to treatments for human illnesses.

Researchers have identified genes in houseflies that make them immune to the pathogens they carry – a finding that could open the door to treatments for human illnesses.

Mary Astell – a 17th century English philosopher – once said: “None of God’s creatures absolutely consider’d are in their own nature contemptible; the meanest fly, the poorest insect has its use and vertue.” And it seems this may be true in relation to the medical world.

Take the common housefly. They feed on decaying organic matter – such as garbage and feces – and as a result, carry over 100 potentially life-threatening pathogens that can be transmitted to humans.

Based on this information, it is no wonder many of us take the opportunity to swat the little pests when they come into close range.

But you may be surprised to learn that the common housefly could actually help scientists learn more about human illnesses.

CLICK HERE to read the entire story on MedicalNewsToday.com


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