|On Wednesday, September 3, the second day of school, we travelled to the Barolo Lab at the University of Michigan for our first look at genetics and natural selection.|
|The Barolo Lab looks at genetics in fruit flies, aka drosophila melanogaster. |
Their ten-day life span is convenient: it means that you can track the development of introduced genes from birth to death.
|Fruit flies are also handy because most of their genetic information is the same as humans'. |
For example, 75% of the genes that cause disease are common between them and us.
|Dr. Lisa Johnson, our teacher and guide, |
shows off one of the means of tracking individual genes in fruit flies: radiation.
|Here, many variations of flies are labelled and stored. To look at them, you knock them out with carbon dioxide. We did not see a single fruit fly buzzing around the lab.|
|You manipulate the flies with a paintbrush.|