A collaboration of scientists, artists, students, and anyone else interested in science, this project produces small zines and web comics on a variety of topics . Read online, download zines, and share your ideas here!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fruit Flies - the workhorses of science

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And what have we here?   The most noble of small insects, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

Sure, there are over 4, 500 species of "fruit fly," but this one in particular has arguably contributed to our understanding of genetics more than any other critter yet.  How you may ask?  Well, well, this new zine called simply Fruit Flies & Science by Emily Fundis is the best short introduction I've ever come across. you could even say it is creating a "buzz."  If give an overview of the What and Why of this common and tiny fly and its role in over 100 years of science.
Because Evolution by Common Descent unifies all of life (thanks for pointing this out, Charles Darwin), studying the genetics of an insect of even a plant or yeast can in fact reveal much about the biology of creatures like ourselves. You have to respect these model organisms of biological research.  

 Now, you may say the after watching the movie "The Fly" you understand the whole matter, but I urge you to look a little deeper past such science-fiction. Plus that is NOT a fruit fly, but rather the common house fly Musca domestica. Isabella Rossellini gives some fascinating insight into those flies here.

For an additional general overview of fruit flies in biology, check out  this nice visual explanation, or explore some of the more famous mutants flies that are used in genetics.  For the  real detailed nitty-gritty that professionals get into, check out Flybase.

To read the zine online in comic format, click the image here:


And click here is the downloadable, printable, and foldable PDF version...


Remember what they say:   "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana!"


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1 comment:

Ricardipus said...

That fruitfly 'zine is excellent. Well done.