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Fighting like a girl or boy determined by gene in fruit flies

udy complex behaviors, including sleep and responses to painful stimuli, Tompkins said. "Drosophila have marvelous advantages in terms of genetic tricks," she said, "and flies in many respects behave and respond similarly to humans."

The findings provide a welcome guidepost to help enable future research to track down the underlying neural circuitry, said Bruce Baker, a biology professor at Stanford who first linked the fruitless gene to male-specific courtship behavior. "That's a pretty big thing," Baker said. "We can think about understanding in molecular detail how we go from the initial genes and the proteins they encode to the nervous system that causes our body to respond in certain ways." More generally, he said, such studies form a potential bridge between systems neuroscience studies of behavior and modern molecular neuroscience research into individual neurons and synapses.
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Source:Harvard Medical School


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