10/24/2011

A strain of the Wolbachia bacteria called wMau increased stem cell division in the fruit fly Drosophila mauritiana and reduced cell death rates, according to a study published in Science Express. "This is the first time that it is shown that a bacterial infection can basically manipulate the rate of division of a stem cell," said researcher Horacio Frydman of Boston University. The findings suggest Wolbachia could be used to manage vector-borne diseases, including those such as malaria and dengue transmitted through mosquitoes.

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