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Fruit flies: More than just an offensive way to describe a gay man on a plane?

by Jeremy Hooper

Kitchen Fruit Fly FrontwebBack in 2005, we told you how a team of scientists had found that shifting the genes of fruit flies can lead to a shift in the insect's sexual orientation. However, there were apparently more trails to blaze in the arena of fruit fly sexuality science, and a new team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago has now found that it's possible to manipulate the drosophila's attractions with both gene alteration and drug introduction:

Homosexuality Turned On and Off in Fruit Flies [LiveScience]

It remains to be seen if these alternations and findings will ultimately have an effect on the gay community in terms of what we know about human sexuality. Though we do hear the therapy bills in the fruit fly community are at an all time high.

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Your thoughts

While all the articles I have read about this have the idea of homosexuality being turned off in their titles, the content seems to state that the switch can go either way, turning "straight" flies at least "bi," as well as turning "gay" flies "straight." Given studies that show the majority of people (I believe the figure is about 75%) get their "news" from headlines, is it fair of all these media to target homosexuality instead of saying something like "sexual orientation switch" or "gay to straight and straight to bi," to note the fact that "straight" flies can be changed too? Doesn't this reinforce the "problem" of homosexuality instead of remaining neutral?

Posted by: gleeindc | Dec 15, 2007 7:34:51 AM

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