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Cell Biology
Scientists studying cancer biology learn from fruit flies

“Many screens have been carried out in flies looking for single gene lesions that drive tissue overgrowth,” Ken Moberg says. 

What can scientists studying cancer biology learn from fruit flies?

Quite a bit, it turns out. 

At a time when large projects such as the Cancer Genome Atlas seek to define changes in DNA that drive cancer formation, the insight gained from smaller arenas, such as fruit flies, is helping make sense of the mountains of data.

Emory cell biologist Ken Moberg crafted a fruit-fly–based strategy to identify growth-regulating genes that previous researchers may have missed. His approach allowed him to begin defining the function of a gene that is often mutated in lung cancer.

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