Drosophilia Essay

1156 Words 5 Pages
This summer I had an internship working in Paul Garrity’s behavioral biology lab at Brandeis University and conducted experiments on genetically modified common fruit fly, Drosophilia. There I learned about the important research that is being done on these fruit flies throughout the country and the burgeoning science of genetic modification that has begun dominating laboratories across the country. This research focused in on the sensory receptors that the flies use to detect changes in humidity and temperature. Using genetic modification we could manipulate which genes expressed themselves and through extensive trials could uncover which genes are integral to the sensory systems we were interested in. The work that I actually did in the …show more content…
The basics of genetic modification come from the idea that the way organisms, all living things from microbes to lions to trees, are built using certain blueprints that have a common language across all species. These blueprints are an organism’s set of Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid, DNA, and it is this code that controls the production of proteins within a cell and thus controls that cell’s function and design. Random changes in an organisms DNA through reproduction or mutations are responsible in part for a species’ evolution but DNA can also be manipulated artificially. Humans have been selectively breeding crops and animals over hundreds of generations for millennium but it has only been in the past few decades that the technology has existed to actually tinker with the DNA of a creature. Using enzymatic proteins to splice in new DNA cells can be manipulated to have sections of foreign DNA implanted, which function seamlessly as if the material was part of the original …show more content…
But recently the cost, time, and difficulty of gene modification has been cut down to a 1% of what it was with the development of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats or CRISPR and the discovery of the protein CAS9. CAS9 is a protein that acts as a precise DNA surgeon capable of cutting out very specific segments of DNA from an animal’s chromosomes and can also be used to add in new segments of DNA. The groundbreaking discovery was that CAS9 could be programmed for any specific code of

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