I heard about the discovery of anticancer treatments, made from flies.Can anyone provide more information about this topic?

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Researchers at the University of St. Petersburg recently announced the development of antiviral and anticancer drugs that will produce a veritable revolution in pharmacology. Their novelty is that "raw material" is the disagreeable fly.

Since time immemorial, people have observed that substances secreted by certain living creatures are equally able to heal and kill, for a drop of these chemicals can remove the pain, while more drops bring  death ... Even today, the medical traditions of many peoples advocate for use in therapy of bee, Lady Bird and even  cockroach! And, although most scientists come out horrified by the perpetuation of such superstition, there are scientists who study the forward problem of using insects as a ... drug! Moreover, the fact that after so many millions of years, the small creatures have been able to withstand all weathers and adapt to any climate changes or of other nature, speak for themselves about their excellent immune system.

It is this aspect has attracted the attention of researchers who have tried to examine more closely the means by which the insect fight successfully against some "unseen killers" that could kill millions of people ...They found that insects can quickly identify "invasive" bacteria  with the help of molecules that play role of receptor , and can synthesize peptides almost immediately, as a response to any aggression.Moreover, they are already used in pharmaceutical antibiotics with strong anti-bacterial properties, and synthesized by insects. Unlike other invertebrates, they begin to produce such antibiotics only when they have to face to an infection - in a manner similar to adaptive immunity met in the humans. But the system is much simpler: insects have a so-called "body fat", which perform the functions of human liver. When an infection occurs in the body, this body fat affected region sends 15 different types of peptides, which together manage to remove the threat.

To demonstrate efficacy, Russian scientists have infected with influenza many lab rats  and some of them have been injected with peptides extracted from the larvae of flies. Rodents treated so far have recovered more quickly than others, which they were on an anti-influenza therapy with conventional antibiotics. Diseases, such as herpes and hepatitis B, could be cured using these substances. Once reached the blood, medicines identify and selectively destroy only those cells infected by viruses. Medicines made from insects have proved more efficient than classical in treatment of herpes, for example. They offer hope for the future in treating many diseases that affect human immunity.

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