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A frenzy of fruit fly methods featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Thurs., Mar. 1, 2007) -- For the past century, fruit flies—or Drosophila—have provided innumerable insights into the genetics and biology of development, learning and memory, behavior, vision, and other processes. But for researchers who conduct these studies, the logistics of housing and feeding the hundreds or thousands of flies needed for experiments can be daunting. To address this concern, the current issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols—released online today (www.cshprotocols.org)—includes a series of articles for maintaining and manipulating flies in the laboratory.

One of the articles, freely accessible at http://www.cshprotocols.org/cgi/content/full/2007/6/pdb.ip35, provides tried-and-true advice on how to maintain fly stocks, set up appropriate matings, and control contamination and diseases. Because flies are considered a premier model organism for genetics studies, the featured article also presents techniques for inducing mutations into the DNA of flies. The article will be useful for biologists starting to work with flies in the laboratory, as well as for existing fly laboratories looking to reorganize.

Other articles published today include methods for harvesting and analyzing fly embryos, as well as protocols for characterizing proteins from a variety of sources. These publications join in a growing library of high-quality methods from Cold Spring Harbor Protocols. For a complete list of freely accessible protocols, please see http://www.cshprotocols.org/subscriptions/sample.dtl.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. March 2007.

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