The seemingly insignificant fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has played a leading role in our understanding of nearly every aspect of biology. This charming short film from the University of Manchester offers a quick course for those not directly familiar with T.H. Morgan’s fly room and the incredible discoveries that followed.
4 Thoughts on "Small Fly, Big Impact: A History of Drosophila Research (and Why It Matters)"
Maybe someone should send a link to Sarah Palin, who famously said
“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.”
Spendid video! Many before Morgan (e.g. Galton, Bateson, Weldon, Lutz) were well aware of the advantages of using insects for genetic studies. But there were formidable technical obstacles as set out by Jim Endersby in “A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology” (2007) and in our biography of Bateson (2008). The basic studies of the Morgan group rested upon even more basic studies that would be quite beyond Palin’s comprehension. Those who seek a “quick fix” usually end up by slowing down the discovery process.