Small and with a life cycle of just two weeks, fruit flies are seen by many as pests and a problem all year round.
However, for nearly a century, the humble insect, officially known as Drosophila melanogaster, which measures no more than 3mm, has performed a vital role in genetics and developmental biology.
Fruit flies are genetically diverse and easy to use in research, helping scientists in a variety of studies, from how the brain functions to how cancer develops.
Dr Mark Matfield of the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) explained: "Cancer is a disease of the most fundamental processes of living organisms, which is why it is found in all animals. The basic causes and mechanisms remain the same, from fruit flies to humans. Over the last twenty years, research into these tiny, simple, insects has resulted in major advances in cancer research. That is why, at AICR, we are keen to support high-quality research in this area."Read more... Add a comment