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Technisches Englisch
Electric fields signal 'no flies zone'

Elektrotechniker sollten englischsprachige Dokumentationen und Pläne lesen können. Dieser Beitrag erleichtert den Zugang zur englischen Sprache und vermittelt elektrotechnische Fachausdrücke.

Drosophila melanogaster (male) (Bild: aka/André Karwath)

Drosophila melanogaster (male) (Bild: aka/André Karwath)

Elektrische Felder haben offenbar einen nachweisbaren Einfluss auf Fruchtfliegen. Dies und weitere Erkenntnisse sollen nicht nur bei der Schädlingsbekämpfung helfen.

A new piece of research led by the Uni­versity of Southampton has found that the behaviour of fruit flies, which are commonly used in laboratory experi­ments, is altered by electric fields.

The research indicates that the wings of the insects are disturbed by static electric fields, leading to changes in avoidance behaviour and the neurochemical balance of their brains.

The paper, published in the Proceeding of the Royal Society B, suggests that the plastic housing laboratory fruit flies are commonly kept in (which hold their own static electric charge) could agitate the flies, changing their behaviour and neuro­chemical profile which has the potential to impact or confound other studies for which they are being used.

“Fruit flies are often used as model orga­nisms to understand fundamental prob­lems in biology,” say Professor Philip New­land, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Southampton and lead author of the study. “75 per cent of the genes that cause disease in humans are shared by fruit flies, so by studying them we can learn a lot about basic mechanisms.

“Plastic can retain a charge for a long period and, given the use of plastic in the rearing of these insects and other small insects such as mosquitos, long term exposure to these fields is inevitable.

”The researchers put fruit flies in a Y-­shaped maze, with one arm of the maze exposed to an electric charge and the other receiving none. They found that the flies avoided the charged chamber and gathered in the non­-charged arm. Inte­restingly flies with no wings didn’t display this behaviour, and flies with smaller wings only avoided higher charges – sug­gesting it is the wings of the fly that are involved in detection and are affected by the fields.

This was borne out when subjecting stationary flies to electric fields. The researchers observed that the wings of the flies could be manipulated by a field of a similar strength to that which produ­ced the avoidance behaviour.

Professor Newland explains: “When a fly was placed underneath a negatively char­ged electrode, the static field forces caused elevation of the wings toward the electrode, as opposite charges were attracted.

“Static electric fields are all around us but for a small insect like a fruit fly it appears these fields’ electrical charges are significant enough to have an effect on their wing movement and this means they will avoid them if possible.”

...

As well as having consequences for flies used in laboratories, the results also have implications for flies in their natural environment.“We are particularly interested in how electric fields could be used in pest control,” says co­author Dr Christopher Jack­son, also of Southampton. “Meshes that can generate static electric fields could be put across windows of houses or green houses to prevent insects like fruit flies or even mosquitos entering, yet allow air movement.”

“It also raises questions of how pollinating species like bees could be affected by power lines, which have stronger electric fields.”

Source: University of Southampton on sciencedaily.com

EnglischDeutsch
agitate  erregen, beunruhigen
alterverändern
are affectedsind betroffen
avoidvermeiden
avoidanceVermeidung
bear, borne, borne out             bestätigen, recht geben
behaviourVerhalten
brainGehirn
cause deseaseKrankheit verursachen
commonlyüblicherweise, normalerweise
confoundverwirren, verwischen, durch­einanderbringen
detectionEntdeckung, Erkennen
disturbstören
electric chargeelektrische Ladung
elevationAnheben, Anhebung, Steigung
exposureAusgesetzen, Einwirken, Exponieren
field forceFeldstärke
flyFliege
gather(sich) sammeln
impactbeeinflussen, Auswirkung haben auf
indicatehinweisen, hindeuten auf
inevitableunvermeidbar
lead, led, led bydurchführen, durch/von
mazeIrrgarten, Labyrinth
meshMasche, Geflecht, Schlinge; hier: Maschendraht
opposite chargegegensätzliche Ladung
pest controlSchädlingsbekämpfung
preventverhindern
publishveröffentlichen
rearaufziehen, großziehen
retainbehalten, speichern, bestehen lassen
sharemiteinander teilen
significantbedeutend, erheblich
subject toaussetzen
suggesthinweisen, nahelegen
underneathunter, unterhalb

Autor: P. Zillmer

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