1.03.2008

Another way D. melanogaster=H. sapiens

Let me first say that I think it's brilliant how much mileage geneticists are getting out of fruit flies, in terms of research projects. We've learned so much about ourselves, just by studying the molecular biology of these tiny little creatures, who at face values are so different from ourselves

The latest news from the Drosophila camp is that flies get frisky when drunk. Specifically "hypersexuality caused by chronic alcohol exposure has the effect of making the males chase anything with wings — other males included." I have a mexican friend who will chase anything with two legs and a heartbeat. Legs optional (heartbeat might be optional too) ... but that's neither here nor there.

The study also noted that the alcohol had little effect on the females of the species (in terms of mating behavior, at least) because they do not actively court males. Previous studies involving ethanol and fruit flies have indicated that their molecular systems react to alcohol much like humans: they act the same when drunk (becoming disoriented and flying into things), and can build up a tolerance with repeated exposure

Interesting fly news courtesy of Nature News

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