These Fighting Fruit Flies Are Superheroes of Brain Science

What can fighting fruit flies tell us about our own brains? Junior geneticists explore the common genes of fruit flies and humans and learn how scientists are using the tiny insects to help study depression, anger, and Alzheimer's disease. The video includes a look at how they manipulate flies by using different intensities of red light.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the video to provide historical context, as researchers have studied fruit flies for over 100 years
  • After the video, have the class examine the genetics of white-eyed and red-eyed fruit flies
Classroom Considerations

  • Take a moment to discuss the experiment shown in the video so pupils understand how light affects the fruit flies
Pros

  • Watching fruit flies fight is unexpected and engaging
  • The video pays special attention to the anatomy of the flies, making it a useful tool for zoology and invertebrate anatomy
Cons

  • None
Common Core