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Black flies drink blood and spread disease such as river blindness-creating misery with their presence. A Univ. of Georgia study, however, proves that the pesky insects can be useful.

Don Champagne, an entomology professor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discovered a way to use the black fly’s blood-sucking tactics for medical advancement. The results of his research were published in the journal PLoS One.

“In order to feed on blood, these insects have to contend with our natural defense agents against blood loss-like clotting,” Champagne says. “Many insects use salivary injections packed with proteins to inhibit the enzymes in our bodies from reacting the way they normally would to injury.”

In order for insects to earn a blood meal, they have to override the human body’s battery of defenses. Most of these insects have anticoagulants to fight off clotting, inhibitors to stop clumping of platelets and vasodilators to speed up blood flow at the bite site.

Continue reading about the Great Medical Potential of Blood-Sucking Flys at Laboratory Equipment.com

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