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Latest Drosophila melanogaster Stories

2009-07-16 13:47:04

U.S. scientists using a new form of high-resolution laser mass spectrometry say they have discovered a new fruit fly pheromone. Scientists led by Professor Edward Kravitz at the Harvard Medical School said they were scanning the surface of fruit flies when they discovered the previously unidentified pheromone -- CH503 -- that contributes to the anti-aphrodisiac effects observed in female fruit flies after copulation. The researchers said the anti-aphrodisiac effect of copulation had been...

2009-06-29 08:48:38

U.S. scientists say they've created a new algorithm that reveals how genetic networks in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, evolve. Scientists have known the relationships between fruit fly genes change over time, but existing experimental approaches can't capture the details of those changes as they occur, the researchers said. The new algorithm, developed by Carnegie Mellon University scientists, incorporates machine learning techniques that enable researchers to figure out how the...

2009-06-11 07:58:41

A suite of genes that affect aggression in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been identified. By investigating male flies from a large panel of lines which each carry a mutation in a single gene but are otherwise genetically identical, researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology identified particularly angry and particularly placid insects, uncovering 59 mutations in 57 genes that affect aggressive behavior.Trudy Mackay, from North Carolina State University, led a team...

2009-05-27 13:32:25

U.S. scientists say they've created a library of clones covering most of the genome of Drosophila melanogaster, a genus of fruit fly, to aid genetic studies. Led by the Baylor College of Medicine, the researchers said they used techniques developed by Koen Venken, a scientist in Professor Hugh Bellen's laboratory. The techniques are nicknamed Pacman, but officially are known as the P/phiC31 artificial chromosome for manipulation. Pacman allows scientists to work with DNA in living flies. The...

2009-04-16 14:28:14

Berkeley -- Move over, Y chromosome "“ it's time X got some attention.In the first evolutionary study of the chromosome associated with being female, University of California, Berkeley, biologist Doris Bachtrog and her colleagues show that the history of the X chromosome is every bit as interesting as the much-studied, male-determining Y chromosome, and offers important clues to the origins and benefits of sexual reproduction."Contrary to the traditional view of being a passive player,...

2009-03-04 13:58:25

Biologists analyzing DNA in search of the molecular underpinnings of life have consistently favored species with small genomes, which are cheaper to sequence and lack the repetitive "junk" that clutters bigger genomes. But a new study by Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists suggests that when it comes to figuring out how genes are controlled, bigger genomes are much more useful. Animal genomes vary tremendously in size; worms have as few as 70 million "letters" of DNA, whereas...

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2009-02-23 09:39:30

For many animals, sleep is a risk: foraging for food, mingling with mates and guarding against predators just aren't possible while snoozing. How, then, has this seemingly life-threatening behavior remained constant among various species of animals? A new study by scientists at North Carolina State University shows that the fruit fly is genetically wired to sleep, although the sleep comes in widely variable amounts and patterns. Learning more about the genetics of sleep in model animals could...

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2009-01-12 08:59:56

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia scientists turn back clock on evolution in fruit fly to provide key insights into basic mechanisms of evolution In his book, Wonderful World, Stephen Jay Gould writes about an experiment of 'replaying life's tape', wherein one could go back in time, let the tape of life play again and see if 'the repetition looks at all like the original'. Evolutionary biology tells us that it wouldn't look the same "“ the outcome of evolution is contingent on everything...

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2008-11-27 09:50:41

In a novel study appearing this week in Neuron, Brandeis researchers identify for the first time a specific set of wake-promoting neurons in fruit flies that are analogous to cells in the much more complex sleep circuit in humans. The study demonstrates that in flies, as in mammals, the sleep circuit is intimately linked to the circadian clock and that the brain's strategies to govern sleep are evolutionarily ancient. In the study, researchers quieted ventral lateral neurons (LNvs) and...

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2008-10-02 17:05:00

Vinegar flies (Drosophila melanogaster) show a highly selective behavior towards odor stimuli. A series of behavioral studies showed that a single olfactory stimulus is often not sufficient for immediate attraction to potential food sources or oviposition sites. Interestingly, the behavior differed between investigated D. melanogaster varieties, so-called "wildtypes". Natural odors (bananas, mangos) were preferred by most flies, whereas artificial flavors induced a more differentiated...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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