A bug might be the last thing that one would look at when it comes to treating human heart disease. Yet one such bug just might hold the key to its cure. Researchers have looked into a giant Thai water bug, which might very well be a core component in the battle against heart disease.
There is a new research being conducted involving a giant Thai water bug. It has been found that an essential muscle on helps it to fly. Using an electron microscope, researchers have looked into a strand of this muscle, as the Florida State University News reported. The strand has been shown to be made up of a protein called myosin. This protein helps the bug to contract its muscle in order for it to take flight.
What is important about the giant Thai water bug is that the muscle could be studied in its relaxed state. In that way, researchers could have a better understanding how such a relaxed state could relate to the human heart. It has been found that the bug's flight muscle and the human heart beat rhythmically.
Florida State University Professor of Biological Science Kenneth Taylor leads the ongoing research. His team has captured the strand of muscle from the Thai bug in great detail, which could aid in understanding more how the human heart works. The image shows the molecular motors that prevent the actin filament from re-extending the muscle.
All muscles have two types of filaments. These are the myosin and actin. The myosin filament has two parts, which is a molecular motor and a long rod, according to Science Daily. It is the molecular motor that grabs on the actin filament, causing it to shorten during contraction.
This study is important especially in the study of cardiomyopathy. One-third of the myosin mutations happen on the myosin rod. By having the image of the Thai water bug strand researchers then can find better treatment for cardiomyopathy in the future.
"We study insect flight muscle because it is a simpler route in understanding human heart disease," Professor Taylor has said. He also points out that cardiomyopathy could be better understood as flawed muscle relaxation.
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