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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fly catcher robot help to accelerate biomedical research

Researchers at Stanford University using the most advanced fly catcher robot in the world that has the potential to improve scientific insights about diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

The use of robotics and computer viewing, and the cameras at high speed along with powerful sensors, the robot is able to handle and study the fruit fly with a speed and accuracy that is unprecedented before.
Fly-catching robot developed by Stanford scientists speeds biomedical research. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1N6VREA)
Fruit flies and humans share more than 50 percent of the genes known to influence human disease, making them important for genetic research.

"Historically fruit fly has become an important model for studying various biological processes and generate important early discoveries in the field of genetics and other fields," says Mark Schnitzer, an associate professor of biology and applied physics at Stanford University.

However, the increase in the scientific insights of the simple fruit fly is not easy to do because the brain is very little preparation they need a lot of time to study. "We see this situation and thinking, well, fruit flies offers many advantages, a strong genetic tools," he said.

"On the other hand there are still many people who are involved and working with advanced robot technology we should be able to change the situation and improve automation in the field," added Schnitzer.

Robot working releasing flies into the cup in the dark to ensure they do not fly. Then the suction needle guide infrared camera captures a fly. Researchers can then take the image and prepare it for further study. It all happened in a matter of seconds and without the need to deliver drugs to the flies.

"You can deal with the right flies without any anesthesia, which means that it really gives you a clean brain for study," says Stanford biologist flies, Cheng Huang. And brains were clean, according to Huang, bringing accurate study results.

"In flies there are many genes associated with human disease and there are a lot of fly-human models of disease and that means you can stimulate a lot of symptoms," he said as quoted by Reuters news agency.
The symptoms include symptoms of nerve degeneration diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are now, thanks to robot flytrap, can be understood by researchers at a faster pace. Description of first experiments using robots was published in the journal Nature Methods. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | REUTERS]
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