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Did you know that the flies that buzz around your fruit bowl in the summer time have made huge contributions to science? A lot of what we’ve learned about genetics and chromosomes was first discovered using fruit flies! But before you launch into a genetics experiment, you might want to try this simpler experiment investigating fruit fly behavior.Ethology is the study of animal behavior. One type of behavior easily observed in fruit flies is called taxis (not to be confused with the vehicle; plural taxes), which is the response of a living thing to an external stimulus. The response can take the form of movement towards or away from the stimulus.A common type of taxis is called phototaxis, which is movement of organisms in response to light. Moths show a positive phototaxis when they flutter around lights at night. Cockroaches, on the other hand, show a negative phototaxis—they scurry into dark corners when a flashlight is shined on them. Geotaxis is the movement of living things in response to the Earth’s gravity, and chemotaxis is the movement of organisms in response to chemicals. In this experiment, you investigate phototaxis, geotaxis, and chemotaxis in fruit flies. Observing chemotaxis in this experiment should be particularly fun, because you can test whatever foods you’d like. do fruit flies show?

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Fecha publicación: 12.5.2016

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