The Drosophila melanogaster Mini Hobo is a custom bag designed for a scientist that researches the genome of Drosophila melanogaster (the common fruit fly). In creating this bag I learned the importance the fruit fly has had in genetic research and got to really examine this beautiful creature. I talked to my dad while creating this bag and he suggested having the DNA strands as part of the illustration, I told him that was a pretty bad idea but after some reflection decided to steal it, so thanks Dad!
Drosophila melanogaster was among the first organisms used for genetic research, and today it is one of the most widely used and genetically best-known of all organisms.
Fruit flies make an ideal lab subject because researchers can easily study genetic evolution over generations. What scientists have learned about fruit flies in 30 years would have taken 200 years in mice. So for more than a century, fruit flies have been the rockstars of the genetic research world.
Thomas Hunt Morgan was one of the first to study fruit flies. He confirmed that genes are located on chromosomes “like beads on a string,” and that some genes are even linked, or inherited together. This work won Morgan the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933.
Scientists successfully sequenced the entire fruit fly genome in 2000. According to the Human Genome Project, “During the last century, fruit flies have yielded a wealth of information about how genes work. They have been used to discover the rules of inheritance and to study how a single cell, the fertilized egg, becomes a whole animal.”
75 percent of the genes that cause diseases in humans are also found in the fruit flies because they have many of the same genes as humans, researchers can use fruit flies to simulate diseases that plague humans. For example, flies eating a lot of sugar also exhibit symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Researchers can also genetically modify fruit flies to study a variety of other conditions.
This bag is a mini celebration to Drosophila melanogaster. So next time you see a fruit fly remember that through it we have been given a greater understanding of creation and show it some love.