Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Can Africa end the curse of sleeping sickness?

Once the bane of sub-Saharan Africa, sleeping sickness is agonisingly close to being wiped out, but only if countries—and donors—keep up their guard, say scientists.

Medical research

A single, master switch for sugar levels?

A single neuron appears to monitor and control sugar levels in the fly body, according to research published this week in Nature. This new insight into the mechanisms in the fly brain that maintain a balance of two key hormones ...

Neuroscience

Scientists unpack how taste neurons control food intake

Using the common fruit fly as a model, a research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, studied how taste neurons control feeding behaviors and found that flies genetically modified to have only ...

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Fly

Nematocera (includes Eudiptera) Brachycera

True flies are insects of the order Diptera (Greek: di = two, and pteron = wing), possessing a single pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax.

The presence of a single pair of wings distinguishes true flies from other insects with "fly" in their name, such as mayflies, dragonflies, damselflies, stoneflies, whiteflies, fireflies, alderflies, dobsonflies, snakeflies, sawflies, caddisflies, butterflies or scorpionflies. Some true flies have become secondarily wingless, especially in the superfamily Hippoboscoidea, or among those that are inquilines in social insect colonies.

Diptera is a large order, containing an estimated 240,000 species of mosquitos, gnats, midges and others, although under half of these (about 120,000 species) have been described. It is one of the major insect orders both in terms of ecological and human (medical and economic) importance. The Diptera, in particular the mosquitoes (Culicidae), are of great importance as disease transmitters, acting as vectors for malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, yellow fever, encephalitis and other infectious diseases.

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