News of the WeekNeurobiology

Mutant Fruit Flies Respond to Lorenzo's Oil

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Science  18 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5422, pp. 1899-1901
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5422.1899

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On page 1985, researchers report that a component of "Lorenzo's oil," a brew of fatty acids developed in hopes of curing the fatal hereditary brain disease adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), prevents neural decay in fruit flies with a similar condition. The finding might spark new research on the oil, and it already has researchers enthused about the potential of the mutant flies for studying what causes ALD and how it might be treated. The flies should also allow researchers to quickly screen potential ALD treatments for their effects on diseased brain cells.