Pakistan News Service

Thursday Apr 24, 2014, Jumada-al-thani 23, 1435 Hijri
Logo Logo
LATEST :
Pakistan News Home -> Health -> News Details

Hunger sharpens sense of smell

02 August, 2013

ISLAMABAD: When fruit flies are hungry, they become better in scenting out their next good meal.

"As humans, we sometimes forget that feeding behaviour has two components," said Jing Wang of the University of California, San Diego, who led the study.

"First, you have to go out and hunt for food," Wang said, adding that actually eating that food is secondary, reports the journal Cell.

As our experiences suggest, during hunger the fragrance of food becomes even more delectable. Likewise, food that smells especially good is also especially hard to resist.

Wang and colleagues set out to study what happens to flies' sense of smell after they were starved for a few hours, according to a California statement.

Insulin in flies works in essentially the same way as it does in humans, Wang said. It controls the amount of sugar in the circulation. "When a fly is hungry, insulin drops dramatically. This tells the olfactory neuron to change its sensitivity."

That change is controlled on certain neurons (nerve cells) through an increase in the activity of the gene encoding the neuropeptide F receptor.

With more receptors on their surfaces, those neurons grow increasingly sensitive to the neuropeptide and to the odour cues they are designed to pick up.

As their name implies, fruit flies forage on rotten fruits, Wang says, and it is the neurons that pick up the vinegary scent of fruit decay that is affected.

The shift in sensitivity reaches its peak in about four hours, a fact that Wang said he found intriguing in part because it mirrors the typical spacing of our meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner.

After all, not all animals are episodic feeders like we humans are. Some animals eat all the time and others eat only very infrequently. It remains to be seen how this system might be different in other species according to that variation in meal times.

End.

 What do you think about the story ? Leave your comments!

Heading (Optional)
Your Comments: *

Your Name:*
E-mail (Optional):
City (Optional):
Country (Optional):
 
 
Field marked(*) are mandatory.
Note. The PakTribune will publish as many comments as possible but cannot guarantee publication of all. PakTribune keeps its rights reserved to edit the comments for reasons of clarity, brevity and morality. The external links like http:// https:// etc... are not allowed for the time being to be posted inside comments to discourage spammers.

  Speak Out View All
Artilce 6 and Musharraf Trail
Blocking Nato supply line
  Quick Vote Show Results
Question: "In view of the current situation do you think Talks with Taliban should take place only within the ambit of Article 4 of Objectives Resolution that defines our Common Purpose i.e. PM/ President down to all Pakistanis to work till we achieve the rights of Democracy, Freedom, Tolerance and Social Justice for all Pakistanis:"
Yes
No
 
Candid Corner
Exclusive by
Lt. Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Drone kills 15 'Qaeda', three civilians in Yemen: security
Senior journalist Hamid Mir hurt in Karachi attack
Suggested Sites