Fly researchers are very familiar with use of the fly eye to study aspects of diseases such as cancer, Huntington's disease, and even intellectual disability. For this report, researchers used the fly eye in a study related to degeneration of the human retina.
Kmoch S, Majewski J, Ramamurthy V, Cao S, Fahiminiya S, Ren H, MacDonald IM, Lopez I, Sun V, Keser V, Khan A, Stránecký V, Hartmannová H, Přistoupilová A, Hodaňová K, Piherová L, Kuchař L, Baxová A, Chen R, Barsottini OG, Pyle A, Griffin H, Splitt M, Sallum J, Tolmie JL, Sampson JR, Chinnery P; Care4Rare Canada, Banin E, Sharon D, Dutta S, Grebler R, Helfrich-Foerster C, Pedroso JL, Kretzschmar D, Cayouette M, Koenekoop RK. Mutations in PNPLA6 are linked to photoreceptor degeneration and various forms of childhood blindness. Nat Commun. PMID: 25574898; PMCID: PMC4356490.
From the abstract: "Blindness due to retinal degeneration affects millions of people worldwide, but many disease-causing mutations remain unknown. PNPLA6 encodes the patatin-like phospholipase domain containing protein 6, also known as neuropathy target esterase (NTE), which is the target of toxic organophosphates that induce human paralysis due to severe axonopathy of large neurons. ... Here we identify PNPLA6 mutations in childhood blindness in seven families with retinal degeneration ... PNPLA6 localizes mostly at the inner segment plasma membrane in photoreceptors and mutations in Drosophila PNPLA6 lead to photoreceptor cell death. We also report that lysophosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidic acid levels are elevated in mutant Drosophila. These findings show a role for PNPLA6 in photoreceptor survival and identify phospholipid metabolism as a potential therapeutic target for some forms of blindness."