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Physiology Fridays: A feeding frenzy–Insulin signalling in larval brains

Insulin is perhaps best known as the crucial molecule whose lack leads to diabetes.  It’s a hormone that regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and signals cells to increase uptake of glucose from the blood.  What most people don’t know is that insects use insulin too. “Insulin signalling is a very conserved pathway which has been […]

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Physiology Fridays: Trace-metal phantoms

Living in metal-contaminated lakewater is just another day’s work for phantom midge larvae.  In the lakes surrounding Sudbury, Ontario and Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, over 75 years of smelter operations have left their mark by contaminating soil and water with the trace metals cadmium, nickel, copper, and zinc. This contamination led Maikel Rosabal, Landis Hare, and Peter Campbell, […]

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Physiology Fridays: From boozy breath to colony control: ethyl oleate production in honeybees

Honeybee colonies are famous for their orderly divisions of labour.  As worker bees grow up, they transition from housekeepers (cleaning the colony) to nurse bees (feeding young bees), to finally switching to foragers who go out and collect nectar and pollen for the rest of the colony.   To maintain a healthy colony, bees need to […]