Posted by: buzzybeegirl | October 28, 2008

Fruit flies have feelings dontcha know

So I know that is is suppose to be a blog about bees. And more importantly, a blog about my bee research. But, I do have to get this off my chest, so I thought why not let me readers know how I feel. This is regarding Gov. Sarah Palin’s Policy speech this past Friday. And you probably know what just erked me…the fruit fly research remark. Palins remark, “You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.” Really? Are you serious? Wow…that has been my response. Let see now, Thomas Hunt Morgan used fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to identify chromosomes as the vectors of inheritance. In 1933 he won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this work. Yup, completely useless. Of course there is that Drosophila-based research center at the University of North Carolina that focuses on autism. Yes people. That remark was made in the same speech outlining aid for special needs children, such as those with autism.

So, here are a few tid bits regarding why fruit flies are used as model organisms in science, particularly in genetics:

1. They are easily reared in the lab

2. They have short generation times, so you don’t have to wait years to study generations

3. They can be genetically manipulated, which makes it nice when trying to study specific diseases.

4. All animals, including fruit flies, share key molecules. So researchers can use these animals for understanding basic developmental functions such as nervous system development.

If Palin thinks that using fruit flies is useless to the public, researchers can go to Orphanges and begin using children for their research. Researchers can genetically manipulate them, breed them, study their physical appearance, breed the offspring, then grind some of them up to do some molecular biology experiments to study their genes. Would that be better?


  1. they’re going to need a bigger lab if they want to use orphans.
    for a candidate pushing energy independence, she better start realizing how important science and research is or we’re not going to get very far in that arena.
    that is….iffff she and mccain win….which they won’t….because she’s an idiot.

  2. Oh, you silly “scientists” with your “facts” and your “research” and your “theories” … just go read the Bible, it explains everything! 😛

  3. (That emoticon is supposed to be “tongue sticking out”, not “big smile”, by the way.)

  4. ha ha dennis!
    i’m sure the “filter” of the “mainstream ‘gotcha’ media” made her sound alot more anti-fruit fly than she probably is. after all, in my experience….mavericks have a lot of love for fruit fly research.

  5. So Dennis, should I start reading from the beginning or can I skip a few chapters?
    You know goobear, I just don’t think she really reads up on stuff before she speaks, which is sad for a public figure.

  6. What? You expected logic, reasoning and sense from a Republican? So sorry to burst your bubble, but what do you want from folks who think man saddled-up dinosaurs and rode them around Bedrock?

  7. Just pick the parts that will make the best sound bites! 😉

  8. like sarah, buzzy really likes these TOUGH QUESTIONS! and like sarah, buzzy has a 150,000 wardrobe which she plans to donate later.
    sure, its all jeans and polar fleece, but she needs this stuff to help her image as a ento-maverick. and she would never pal around with a known ornithologist or anything.

  9. I don’t care what you say Forkboy. Dino still exists in my world as the happy dogosaurus that he was. And of course I wouldn’t be pals with a known ornithologist…they would be angry if they found out that I use pelican’s for mixing cement.

  10. Anna,
    are you presenting Friday (what time)? I think I’ll be in another meeting then, but I want my student to go and listen to you.

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