The Niccoli Lab
Our lab is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to neuronal cell death in dementia. Dementia's main risk factor is increasing age, and as the population ages the prevalence of this disease has rocketed, making it the leading cause of death in the UK.
We use fruit fly models of dementia to understand disease progression. Fruit flies make excellent models to study this disease as they have well-defined brains, with similar cell types to human brains. They also don't live very long, allowing us to study disease progression throughout the whole lifespan of the organism which is very important in studying diseases affecting older population.
We had fun teaching visitors and curious minds about Dorosophila and how we use them in our research at the Its All Academic UCL Festival on October 4.
At our stall, visitors learned how to differentiate between male and female flies using the microscope and a brush. Visitors also learned about the different wing shapes and the climbing abilities of normal versus sick flies.