Drosophila melanogaster – Wasting Your Tax Dollars?

Here we have a fly. Its name is Drosophila melanogaster. It’s only a little fly; the female is about 2.5mm long, the male even smaller.

Drosophila melanogaster has one great asset for us human beings: around 75% of known human disease genes have a recognizable match in Drosophila’s genetic code, and scientists managed to sequence the fly’s genome almost a decade ago, making it possibly the most perfect living creature for research into the causes and treatments of numerous human diseases.

Among them are: Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s, spinocerebellar ataxia, autism, diabetes, cancer, auto-immune diseases, and even the process of aging.

Probably more medical research is carried out on Drosophila melanogaster, than on any other laboratory creature, even mice.

At the foot of this article is a link to an (incomplete) listing of the universities and research stations around the world using Drosophila melanogaster. It’s a very, very long list.[1]

Few of us would recognize this creature by its Latin appellation. Most, however, would know it by its more recognizable title – the common fruit fly:

That was the Republican vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, telling a group of parents with special needs children, (IDEA[2]) how their tax dollars are being wasted on research utilizing Drosophila melanogaster.

She kids us not?

It’s likely, if you vote for John McCain, this woman could become the leader of the free world.

I kid you not.

Is there any more frightening prospect?

[1] “Drosophila Research Labs on the Web”

[2] “Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004

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5 Replies to “Drosophila melanogaster – Wasting Your Tax Dollars?”

  1. No but a close 2nd for me would be the number of insane people and/or complete idiots allowed to appear as “analysts” on supposedly reputable news outlets.

  2. Do you ever get the feeling, RJA, that everything is funnelled down to a sound byte. Nothing is ever debated to its conclusion/resolution in any of these so-called in-depth interviews and the laughable ‘debates’.
    No one calls her on this ignorance or on her self-proclaimed status as ‘feminist’ or pro-lifer (and I hate that term). I prefer anti-choicer.

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