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Latest Drosophila melanogaster Stories

2009-10-22 15:31:16

Spend a little time people-watching at the beach and you're bound to notice differences in the amount, thickness and color of people's body hair. Then head to the zoo and compare people to chimps, our closest living relatives. The body hair difference is even more pronounced between the two species than within our own species. Do the same genes cause both types of variation? Biologists have puzzled over that question for some time, not just with respect to people, chimps and body hair, but...

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2009-10-15 07:51:06

When Professor Joel Levine's team genetically tweaked fruit flies so that they didn't produce certain pheromones, they triggered a sexual tsunami in their University of Toronto Mississauga laboratory. In fact, they produced bugs so irresistible that normal male fruit flies attempted to mate with pheromone-free males and even females from a different species-generally a no-no in the fruit fly dating scene. The study, published in the Oct. 15 issue of Nature, points to a link between sex,...

2009-09-30 10:26:14

The sperm of male fruit flies are coated with a chemical 'sex peptide' which inhibits the female's usual afternoon siesta and compels her into an intense period of foraging activity. The surprise discovery was made by Professor Elwyn Isaac from the University of Leeds' Faculty of Biological Sciences when investigating the marked differences in sleeping patterns between virgin and mated females. Both male and female fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) "“ commonly seen hovering around...

2009-09-29 12:36:54

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have proposed a novel model that differs from a widely held hypothesis about the mechanisms by which developing animals pattern their tissues and structures. Cells in a developing animal require information about their position with respect to other cells so that they can adopt specific patterns of gene expression and function correctly. The most accepted paradigm is that this positional information comes in the form of chemical...

2009-09-17 14:52:41

Canadian scientists say they've discovered the fruit fly is capable of intricate social learning, much like humans. The McMaster University study found inexperienced female fruit flies, known as Drosophila melanogaster, can learn from their more experienced counterparts, mated fruit flies. The researchers, led by Associate Professor Reuven Dukas and graduate student Sachin Sarin, said they found that when the novices landed on decaying fruit where the mated females had laid their eggs, the...

2009-09-16 10:37:18

A common household nuisance, the fruit fly, is capable of intricate social learning much like that used by humans, according to new research from McMaster University. The study, published online today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that inexperienced female fruit flies, known as Drosophila melanogaster, can learn from their more experienced counterparts, mated fruit flies. As part of an ongoing examination of the evolutionary roots of social learning in insects,...

2009-08-11 09:14:30

U.S. biologists say they've found certain types of carbon nanoparticles are environmentally toxic to adult fruit flies, but benign when added to larvae food. The Brown University researchers say their findings might further reveal the environmental and health dangers of carbon nanoparticles that are widely used in medicines, electronics, optics, materials science and architecture. Professor David Rand and colleagues found larval Drosophila melanogaster showed no physical or reproductive...

2009-08-03 09:11:57

Almost all organisms evolve from a single cell, a fertilized egg. In the first hours after fertilization, the fate of its future development is determined. It is dictated by the separation of cells that will become sperm and ovules - germ cells-, from the remaining cells, which will be responsible for forming the body "“organs and tissues -, and that comprise the somatic cell line. Scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), headed by Jordi Casanova,...

2009-07-31 12:10:50

Transposons are mobile genetic elements found in the hereditary material of humans and other organisms. They can replicate and the new copies can insert at novel sites in the genome. Because this threatens the whole organism, molecular mechanisms have evolved which can repress transposon activity. Professor Klaus Förstemann of the Gene Center of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich and a team of researchers working with the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster have now...

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2009-07-29 09:55:00

"Although e-noses already have many uses "“ such as detecting spoilage in the food industry and monitoring air quality "“ they are not as discriminating as biological noses," according to CSIRO scientist, Dr Stephen Trowell."Our efforts to improve e-noses recently received a boost following our development of a new system which enables us to compare technical sensors with biological sensors."We looked at how the most common type of e-nose sensors "“ metal oxide or...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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