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An insect tracheal cell (green) delivers air to muscles (red)

Jayan Nair and Maria Leptin, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany

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An insect tracheal cell 

Insects like the fruit fly use an elaborate network of branching tubes called trachea (green) to transport oxygen throughout their bodies. Fruit flies have been used in biomedical research for more than 100 years and remain one of the most frequently studied model organisms. They have a large percentage of genes in common with us, including hundreds of genes that are associated with human diseases.

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This page last reviewed on August 30, 2017