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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Honey Bees Reveal Link Between Sugar Sensitivity And Metabolic Disorders

More wisdom from bugs (see post above).
Scientists studying the genetics of honey bees found they reveal some insights into the link between sugar sensitivity, diabetic physiology and carbohydrate metabolism that may also be relevant to humans.

Lead author Ying Wang, a research scientist, in the School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University (ASU), and colleagues, write about their findings in a paper published on 28 June in the open access journal PLoS Genetics.

Honey bees offer a useful model for studying what influences food-related behavior, such as the role of taste sensitivity in making choices between foods rich in carbohydrate and food rich in protein (for bees this is choosing between nectar and pollen).

A young bee's sensitivity to sugar predicts what she will forage for later in life, as Wang explained to the press:

"A bee's sensitivity to sugar reveals her attitude towards food, how old the bee is when she starts searching for nectar and pollen, and which kind of food she prefers to collect."
Move like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Do not behave like a human.

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