Cat sensitivity to the insecticide permethrin
Why are cats so sensitive to the insecticide permethrin, unlike other mammals and birds?
This project aims to compare specific features of feline voltage-gated sodium channels with those of other species to determine explain feline sensitivity to permethrin.
Voltage-gated sodium channels are a major target of permethrin in insects and other species. Unlike insects, most mammals are very resistant to the effects of permethrin, but cats are easily poisoned.
Key methodology: In silico analyses of protein structure and potential function; possibly cloning and sequencing mRNA from cat central nervous system.
Study companion animal health
Anne Peaston has many interests, some of which are reflected in her honours projects, such as cancer genetics and predisposition in dogs, and unique features of cat biology.
Her major research project examines gene expression in cells predestined to become cancers, and what junk DNA has to do with the process of cancer formation.