Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Scientists Can Control The Sexuality of Fruit Flies


I found this bug news on an unexpected source, Perez Hilton. His source was Nature Neuroscience so it should be reliable. Essentially the scientists who conducted the study found that male fruit flies with a certain gene mutation would court other male fruit flies.

“Based on our previous work, we reasoned that GB mutants might show homosexual behavior because their glutamatergic synapses were altered in some way,” Featherstone said. “Homosexual courtship might be sort of an ‘overreaction’ to sexual stimuli.”

To test this, the researchers genetically altered synapse strength, independent of GB. They also gave flies drugs to alter synapse strength. As predicted, they were able to turn fly homosexuality on and off, within hours."


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