Fly thoughts

On Tuesdays, I have back-to-back labs from noon until six…in genetics. I’ve been juggling flies since early December, prepping stocks for our crosses, so when I saw this cartoon I was surprised. Does Darby Conley have a background in fly genetics? It’s perfect!



  1. #1 M ike Fox
    January 29, 2008

    I predict many copywrite violations by science teachers

  2. #2 Mike Fox
    January 29, 2008

    I predict many copyright violations from science teachers.

  3. #3 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    January 29, 2008

    M ike, someone calling himself Mike seems to have violated your copyright on your comment. 🙂

  4. #4 Nemo
    January 29, 2008

    They’re not really fragile for their size… they’re no fleas, though. Ever tried to crush a flea? Impossible.

  5. #5 Ray
    January 29, 2008

    They are tough little buggers, but there’s a technique to crushing fleas. Once you know how, they “pop” like rice krispies when crushed. Don’t ask how I know, I’d rather not remember too much.


  6. #6 KiwiInOz
    January 29, 2008

    Nemo – god gave us nails to crack fleas. They make a nice pop.

  7. #7 Kseniya
    January 29, 2008

    Once, I tried to kill a tick by stepping on it. That was frustrating.

  8. #8 RamblinDude
    January 29, 2008

    Ah, you mean before it was blood engorged. Otherwise, talk about a popping sound…

    (No, don’t try to visualize it.)

  9. #9 Wisaakah
    January 29, 2008

    Ah, fly genetics! Nothing like a little FlyNap to clear the sinuses/start a killer headache.

  10. #10 BillCinSD
    January 29, 2008

    Mike needs to examine the phrase “fair use” and see how it applies to this situation. Unless he was just joking then I need better humor detecting wetware

  11. #11 Jsn
    January 29, 2008

    /Juggling flies… prepping stocks for our crosses./

    How Pontius Pilot of you!

  12. #12 FutureMD
    January 29, 2008

    Judging by the post time somebody has been skipping out of lab a little early.

  13. #13 Lycosid
    January 29, 2008

    I predict many copywrite violations by science teachers.

    Sorry, just practicing for the day I work for the Discovery Institute.

  14. #14 PZ Myers
    January 29, 2008

    No, someone has a post scheduler. (A flaky, unreliable post scheduler of late, but this time it worked.)

  15. #15 Anne-Marie
    January 29, 2008

    In my undergrad genetics class we used FlyLab software instead of handling actual flies. What are your opinions about using simulated generations instead of the real thing? I know that your work is more on development than genetics, but I was just interested to hear your opinion as a science professor in general.

  16. #16 Falyne
    January 30, 2008


    Somebody mentioned fair use, which is alllll the excuse I need to whore out a video my wonderful roommate helped edit (and I just re-watched the other day, so it’s at the front of my brain). It’s called “A Fair(y) Use Tale”, and it’s a description of the basic principles of copyright and Fair Use made entirely from Disney character dialogue.

    Oh, and it’s also the only thing from my school I’ve ever seen on the /. front page…


  17. #17 Falyne
    January 30, 2008

    …..righty-o. Knew I forgot something as soon as I hit the button.

  18. #18 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2008

    FlyLab software is a supplement, not a substitute. There is no replacing doing the real thing with real organisms.

    Flies really aren’t that hard to raise. Carolina sells everything you need; raising them is a little bit tedious, but the rewards are substantial.

  19. #19 Bride of Shrek
    January 30, 2008

    Not hard to raise at all. You should see my wheelie bin on the night before the weekly pickup. Damn sure one of them had the head of Vincent Price on it too.

  20. #20 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2008

    I think you mean the head of David Hedison.

  21. #21 Bride of Shrek
    January 30, 2008

    Oops, thats right- Vincent Price was the brother. At least it wasn’t Jeff Goldblum.

  22. #22 DobyGS
    January 30, 2008

    I love the smell of FlyNap in the morning,…It smells like…Biology!

  23. #23 Rich
    January 30, 2008

    “/Juggling flies… prepping stocks for our crosses./

    How Pontius Pilot of you!”

    Heh. I had the same kind of mental image… A fly Golgotha, probably made of styrofoam. Tiny toothpick crosses. Maybe the flies buzzing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

  24. #24 Jsn
    January 30, 2008

    It’s the genetic manipulation to get the crown of thorns down to scale that’s the bitch.

  25. #25 Julie Stahlhut
    January 30, 2008

    Well, there’s FlyNap (reversible) and FlyDirtNap (quite the opposite.) The latter describes much more accurately than the former what I do with the poor little things.

    Anyway, Mr. Katt should plan ahead and always put flies into Epi tubes before squishing them. You never know when you’ll need the DNA.

  26. #26 pluky
    January 30, 2008

    The one thing I remember best from fly lab is that having a beer beforehand is a really bad idea — sort of cubes the effect of Fly Nap (diethyl ether to earth people).

  27. #27 Peter Ashby
    January 30, 2008

    My favorite thing on going into the lab of a morning was to stand beside the shaking incubator packed with 2l flasks and go ‘Oh how I love the smell of coli in the morning’.

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