– Fruit Flies in the Laboratory –
Department: Biomedical Sciences Research (Graduate Student)
Research Field: Biomedical Sciences
How image was captured: Cellphone camera through microscope
Research Impact & Significance: You may have often seen some fruit flies (also known as the vinegar fly) buzzing around over-ripened bananas, but you may not know they are great contributors to our current knowledge of genetics and animal development. Ever since the fruit fly caught the attention of the Nobel Prize winner Thomas Morgan, for over 100 years, scientists (including our lab) have been studying this tiny bug to address important biological questions. Fruit flies are inexpensive and easy work with, they have very short life cycle so that you may expand them quickly as you need, and most importantly, they share many common biological phenomena with us humans. Nowadays, we use the fruit fly as a model to decipher mechanisms behind a lot of human diseases, such as the Parkinson\’s disease, Huntington\’s disease and more, for potential treatments. In this image, a fruit fly, which is immersed in the liquid and surrounded by bubbles, is ready for dissection for experiments. Note that a typical fruit fly has a pair of huge red eyes, and usually, it has a body length a little bit over 1/10 inches. This photo was captured with an iphone through the eye piece of a simple microscope.