Presented at 2016 WSN Mining Health and Safety Conference
Flies in a Mine - Using a model system to understand the physiology of mining
This research project uses the fruit fly model system to understand the metabolic changes and underlying physiology associated with working deep underground. In collaboration with Vale and the SNOLAB, metabolic responses are being quantified from flies that have been exposed to deep underground conditions (~2km underground). Initial results show changes in metabolism are substantial and widespread. The ultimate goal is to reduce the physiological stress of working deep underground. Because of their small size, genetic diversity, and shared biochemistry and genetics, flies are an ideal model system to use to better understand the changes that occur in humans. These research results will ultimately allow researchers to make suggestions regarding diet and hydration to help improve worker health and safety when working deep underground.