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Drosophila

Fly heads

Here’s the cover picture from the February 2009 issue of Genetics, which just arrived in my office. I think this counts as art!  The caption is Adult heads of Drosophila melanogaster mass-fractionated for RNA extraction. Or, to paraphrase Edmund Spenser, “Dead… Continue reading →

Border Guards vs Drosophila, part 3

The latest in the ongoing saga of our fly shipment from the USA is that our packet of flies finally made it to the lab.  They’ve been in transit for exactly three weeks*, and of course kept in in known… Continue reading →

Border Guards vs Drosophila, part 1

I have been conducting research using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster since I started my PhD in 1982.  In that time I have imported countless consignments of fly strains through the post and by courier (such as Federal Express).  On… Continue reading →

Border Guards vs Drosophila, part 2

It’s all got rather Kafka-esque as I try to resolve the ongoing Drosophila importation crisis!  It transpires that the people who have decided that importation of Drosophila should be covered by legislation aimed quite properly at preventing the import of… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Reproductive isolation in Drosophila hybrids

Of the many questions in evolutionary biology, the genetic basis of reproductive isolation between species and subspecies is a pretty hot topic. Drosophila pseudoobscura is a new world Drosophila species that has been used in evolutionary biology studies for many… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Polytene Chromosomes and Transvection

For much of my professional career as a Drosophila geneticist I’ve worked with polytene chromosomes, and it’s always interesting to see papers with interesting tidbits of information about their structure and function. Polytene chromosomes are those rather strange structures formed… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Selfish Genetic Elements and Polyandry

This interesting paper investigates whether there is a relationship between polyandry and selfish genetic elements, in the fruit fly Drosophila pseudoobscura.  Polyandry – where females have multiple mating partners – is widespread in animals, but despite its frequency, little is… Continue reading →

My Research: DmWRNexo is a 3'-5' exonuclease

The latest publication from our project investigating a Drosophila homologue of WRN exonuclease is now online.   Ivan Boubriak, Penelope A. Mason, David J. Clancy, Joel Dockray, Robert D. C. Saunders, Lynne S. Cox (2008). DmWRNexo is a 3′–5′ exonuclease: phenotypic… Continue reading →

Help me-e-e! Help me-e-e!

A scary reminder of the 1958 movie The Fly, here’s writer-illustrator Zina Saunders‘ (no relation) picture of the ghastly Palin. Check out her website for a some acute political art, and click on this thumbnail for the bigger image. I… Continue reading →

In the Journals – Wolbachia infection and protection agaist viral infection in insects

 Wolbachia pipientis is a rather peculiar bacterium.  It’s an intracellular organism, and is found in a wide variety of tax, including nematodes, crustacea, and arachnids.  About 20% of insect species are thought to have Wolbachia.  Wolbachia has evolved a number… Continue reading →

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