Fruit Flies Used In Human Genetic Research?

It’s true. Surprisingly, decades of studies by National Institute’s of Health have revealed that the tiny insects, fruit flies, which, thankfully, bear little resemblance to people, share, alarmingly, much of our genetic heritage.  The list of human-related topics fruit fly researchers are currently working on is surprisingly broad in scope: cancer; birth defects; development of the respiratory and circulatory systems; cardiovascular development and disease; taste, sight, smell and hearing; learning and memory; brain disease; sleep; drug abuse; aging; and diabetes.

Fruit Flies are multiplying like crazy this year. Once I get rid of them in the house, they come home with me every single time I come home from the grocery store with a bundle of bananas, grapes or apples.

The grocery store is full of them, and I even see them in restaurants. I cringe when the waiter leaves the bottle of wine sitting open on the table. I just know those fruit flies, those tiny red-eyed animals — known to scientists as the species Drosophila melanogaster, are heading for my wine.

This fall, I’ve also noticed quite an increase in the number of google searchers looking for rememdies. The search string people type in makes me laugh:

How to catch fruit flies with honey?

I guess it goes from the adage that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar? Perhaps. Actually, honey can play a dominate role in catching the fruit fly. You can trap the fly into your empty wine or beer bottle, and dab some honey around the top rim of the bottle to “catch” the fruit flies as they try to crawl out. That’s a yummy proposition. I’m ruthless when it comes to fruit flies, because, after all, researchers now know that flies don’t even have hearts.

What do fruit flies do when I’m sleeping?

Really? This is what concerns you? Maybe, this person was merely driven to madness trying to get rid of hte fruit fly… because they are so tenacious, and figuring out what they do at night, could give the searcher some insight. Interestingly,  Joan Hendricks, a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has turned to Drosophila to study sleep. Information that has demonstrated a nearly identical set of working parts in higher organisms such as mice and people, by studying the circadian rhythm of flies. Hmmmmm.

Why are Fruit Flies attracted to Mirrors?

Good question. Because, they are always on my bathroom mirrors. Maybe they’re vain? But take advantage of this — put some poison, the Diatomaceous Earth on the mirrors, as you’ll know that’s where they’ll be walking. All you need is a thin film… a bit messy, but oh so effective.

Can an Exterminator Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

Interesting. I think you would have much better luck with a good plumber, to clean your drains, and heading to your hardware store for some  Diatomaceous Earth.

 The Scoop: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

  • The ultimate fruit fly trap is still, a dark beer or wine bottle, with a bit of fruit, or vinegar inside as bait. Forget about covering the top with saran wrap, and sticking pin holes in them. The fruit flies will crawl right out. Instead, cover the top of the bottle with a sprinkling of Diatomaceous Earth. You could do the saran wrap thing with pin holes, just be sure to give the saran wrap a sprinkling of the DE.
  • Clean your drains with baking soda and vinegar.
  • Wipe a thin film of Diatomaceous Earth on your mirrors.
  • Diatomaceous Earth is harmless to humans. Feel free to sprinkle some of the powder on the bannans you bring home from the store that are sitting in your fruit basket.
  • Repeat every time you go to the grocery store.

The rats and mice used in research may be waning, as scientific labs are increasing the number of fruit flies used in research. Perhaps, those of use plagued with fruit flies could open our kitchen up to scientific labs who could have a field day working with the flies we have. Are we expecting a “fruit fly” activist group to stand up to protect their interest?

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One comment to “Fruit Flies Used In Human Genetic Research?”
  1. I gotta tell ya, here in South Australia we are paranoid about fiut fly! We are a FF free state and woe betide any traveller who brings potentially contaminated food or fruit into the state!!!! At the border, on the highway, there are bins to dispose of fruit so people don’t bring it into the state. The same goes at airports. Basically, in SA we are more paranoid about fruit fly than explosives! hahahahahha

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