Latest Drosophila melanogaster Stories

Transformational Fruit Fly Genome Catalog Completed
2012-02-09 05:08:03

Scientists searching for the genomics version of the holy grail — more insight into predicting how an animal's genes affect physical or behavioral traits — now have a reference manual that should speed gene discoveries in everything from pest control to personalized medicine. In a paper published Feb 8 in Nature, North Carolina State University genetics researchers team with scientists from across the globe to describe the new reference manual — the Drosophila...

Image 1 - Fruit Flies Look To The Sky To Stay On Course
2012-01-18 05:08:52

[ Watch the Video ] Insects, equipped with complex compound eyes, can maintain a constant heading in their travels, some of them for thousands of miles. New research demonstrates that fruit flies keep their bearings by using the polarization pattern of natural skylight, bolstering the belief that many, if not all, insects have that capability. "If you go out in a field, lie on your back and look up at the sky, that's pretty much what an insect sees," said Michael Dickinson, a University...

2011-12-15 13:14:16

• This transformation, which is common in embryonic development, is very similar to the process undergone by metastatic tumor cells. • The gene GATA 6 is sufficient and necessary for this change to happen. This gene is associated with many tumors of endodermal origin, such as those of the liver, pancreas and colon. Researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have identified the gene GATA 6 as responsible for epithelial cells -which group together...

Image 1 - Waiter! There's A Fly In My Beer!
2011-11-18 04:34:10

UC Riverside entomologists explain why flies are attracted to beer and products of yeast fermentation Ever wondered why flies are attracted to beer? Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside have, and offer an explanation. They report that flies sense glycerol, a sweet-tasting compound that yeasts make during fermentation. "Insects use their taste system to glean important information about the quality and nutritive value of food sources," said Anupama Dahanukar, an...

2011-11-09 10:07:09

A team of New York University biologists has uncovered a previously unknown role for a set of cells within the female reproductive tract of fruit flies that affects the functioning of sperm and hence fertility. Their discovery, which is published November 8 in the online, open-access journal PloS Biology, adds to our understanding of how insects reproduce and may provide a means to manipulate reproductive behavior in other insects. The researchers studied spermathecal secretory cells...

Image 1 - Fruit Fly Intestine May Hold Secret To The Fountain Of Youth
2011-11-03 04:46:41

Long-lived fruit flies offer Salk scientists clues to slowing human aging and fighting disease One of the few reliable ways to extend an organism's lifespan, be it a fruit fly or a mouse, is to restrict calorie intake. Now, a new study in fruit flies is helping to explain why such minimal diets are linked to longevity and offering clues to the effects of aging on stem cell behavior. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and their collaborators found that tweaking a...

2011-09-01 16:44:56

Although several genes have been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it is still unknown how they cause this progressive neurodegenerative disease.In a new study, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have demonstrated that two ALS-associated genes work in tandem to support the long-term survival of motor neurons. The findings were published in the September 1 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Any therapy based on this discovery is...

2011-06-30 17:51:57

The natural world contains great diversity in the shape and size of organisms.  But how does this variety evolve?  The group of David Stern at Princeton University is investigating changes in morphology in fruit flies and has managed to show how a gene enhancer (a piece of DNA that controls the timing and level of a gene's expression) can change its function through stepwise changes in DNA sequence to give rise to differences in animals' appearance.  Alistair McGregor of the...

2011-04-27 14:00:41

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster used to be found only in sub-Saharan Africa but about 10,000 years ago it began to colonize Asia and Europe.  This period saw the start of human agriculture and the domestication of cats and oxen but we have no evidence to suggest that early agricultural practices were associated with significant global warming, so the fly's northerly spread is thought to relate to genetic factors rather than to environmental changes.  An intriguing clue to the...

Word of the Day
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.