In a previous post we talked about fruit flies and their amazing sense of smell. This includes the ability to navigate to a food source, as well as search out a preferred mate. However, there are other areas in which their olfactory systems come into play. This includes courting behavior (did you know the male does all the work?) and obesity. Yes - obesity can be studied in fruit flies.Image courtesy of Hans Smid, www.bugsinthepicture.com
Those tiny flies that take over your garbage cans during the summer? They are called fruit flies (or, Drosophila, their scientific name) for a reason! They have a fantastic sense of smell, but they also have a lot more in common with us that you might think. With 75% genetic commonality with humans, particularly the genes that cause human disease, these tiny creatures are a popular animal model for researchers.
Image courtesy of Hans Smid, www.bugsinthepicture.com.
The number of children with developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has increased exponentially in the past 20 years: one out of six children in the US now suffers from a developmental disability. Of course some might say this sharp incline is due to better diagnostics and increased awareness; but whether or not this is the case, such a high prevalence is concerning. And since the environment is considered a strong contributor, chemicals such as BPA have been under investigation lately.
Do you attend conferences? Imagine networking with 30,000 fellow neuroscientists in beautiful San Diego, California. Now add the sun-soaked beaches (yes, even in November), a 0% chance of rain, many social events, and 15,000 scientific presentations: that’s why you should attend Neuroscience 2013! Not convinced yet? Here are 10 reasons why you should attend Neuroscience 2013!
(1) Beautiful San Diego
Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, The Observer XT, fish, drosophila, zebrafish, DanioVision, Track3D, Tracking insects, Animal 3D tracking, open field test, CatWalk XT, PhenoTyper, T-maze, bottom dwelling, top 10, neuroscience, SfN
Like rats and mice, fruit flies avoid open spaces and stay close to physical borders. In rats and mice this is caused by fear to be out in the open and preference for close contact with borders. However, fruit flies are different from rats and mice. They stay close to the borders because they explore them visually.