Wasting $ on fruit flies?

Fruit flies never get the credit they deserve! Gov. Palin just dissed them in a recent speech advocating for special needs children. While discussing where $ would come from to fund more programs for these children she said,

"Sometimes these dollars, they go to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good, things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not."

Funny thing is that fruit flies tell us quite a bit about human development and disease. They are a model organism often used in genetic research.

So next time you see a fruit fly, thank them. And the next time you see a politician educate them about how scientific research is done!

For a great summary on this topic, check out the NewsBlog at The Scientist.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Yeah, I saw an ad for a local politician that brought up the same point (I think it was John Kline, actually. Yeah...here).

It's a strange tactic, to act so dismissively about science. Fiscal responsibility is important too, but presenting valid research in way meant to make people just think "Fruit Flies? In Paris? I don't want any part of that!" seems really irresponsible.

posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 9:42am
Sorany ka's picture
Sorany ka says:

Whithout fruit flies it'll mess up the cycle. People don't know how much fruit flies are essential to human beings.

posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 9:50am
bryan kennedy's picture

So if I am keeping count...McCain/Palin: anti planetarium, anti-fruit flies.

posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 10:32am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

More "anti-waste" than anything. Though the planetarium line was rather misleading.

posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 12:48pm
jimh's picture
jimh says:

I don't see her comments being more about anti-waste. I see a lack of understanding about scientific research. She brings to mind Senator Proxmire (former WI senator) and his "Golden Fleece" awards that regularly ridiculed research grants by just making quick, inaccurate descriptions that made them sound like a frivolous waste of taxpayer money. Never went into detail, only made misleading and clever sound bites to get media attention. "Fruit flies. I kid you not."

posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 2:05pm
ckalter's picture
ckalter says:

I think the comment is way-off. People study fruit-flies to understand genetics and apply it more broadly to people and inheritied traits. Maybe it is more anti-evolution than anti-spendiing for anti-science...

posted on Thu, 10/30/2008 - 11:17am
raquel10's picture
raquel10 says:

thats a really interestin insect!

posted on Mon, 11/03/2008 - 6:16pm

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