such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
June 24, 2009 — A suite of genes that affect aggression in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster
has been identified. By investigating male flies from a large panel of
lines which each carry a mutation in a single gene but are otherwise
genetically identical, researchers identified particularly angry and
particularly placid insects, uncovering 59 mutations in 57 genes that
affect aggressive behavior.
Trudy Mackay, from North Carolina State University, led a team of
researchers who carried out the experiments. She said, "Many of the
genes we identified affect the development and function of the nervous
system, and are thus plausibly relevant to the execution of complex
behaviors. We studied nine mutations in extra detail and found that
each had multiple effects on the size and shape of an insect's brain".
In order to measure aggression in the flies, Mackay and her
colleagues starved them for a short period, and then allowed them to
compete for and defend a limited food resource. They found that 32 of
the mutations studied resulted in increased aggression while 27 caused
flies to become more placid. None of the candidate genes identified in
this study have been previously implicated in determining aggressive
The researchers say these results may also be relevant to behavior
in other animal species, "Given the conservation of aggressive behavior
among different animal species, these are novel candidate genes for
future study in other animals, including humans".
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