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fruit flies

At Mind Matters News: Single neurons perform complex math — even in fruit flies

The fly’s specialized neurons either multiply or divide incoming signals in order to pinpoint the location of a sound or the direction of movement. How likely is this to happen without any intelligence behind nature at all? Read More ›

Not-yet-specialized cells seem to know where to go

Researchers: Tohoku University scientists have, for the first time, provided experimental evidence that cell stickiness helps them stay sorted within correct compartments during development. How tightly cells clump together, known as cell adhesion, appears to be enabled by a protein better known for its role in the immune system. Read More ›

Researchers: Parents’ memory of avoiding danger can be inherited

The memory only lasted about five generations but the fact that it happens at all is significant. ... It might help in understanding why many families seem to replay “addiction tapes” into the third and fourth generation. Read More ›

Fruit fly study casts doubt on the “carbs are bad” neutral evolution theory

From ScienceDaily: Fruit fly research challenges neutral theory of molecular evolution and suggests one day we may be prescribed diets according to our genes. Fruit fly larvae with a noted mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation showed a pronounced increase in development when eating high carbohydrate diet of banana, but stagnated on a high protein diet of passionfruit. Conversely, fruit fly larvae without the mtDNA mutation thrived on the high protein diet, but dropped in frequency when put on carbohydrates. UNSW School of Biotechnology & Biomolecular Sciences Professor Bill Ballard, who led the study, says the research is a rare demonstration of positive selection at work in evolution. “What is unique about this study is we’ve identified one mutation in the mitochondrial Read More ›