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For the love of fruit flies

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In this year’s fruit fly course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, some of the students performed an interesting behavioral study. They tested how alcohol affected courtship between males and females. Males often use their wings to create vibrations or “music” in hopes of seducing potential partners. Certain genetic mutations cause some flies to sing this courtship song better or worse than others. Scientists wondered whether alcohol might have a similar effect. In this video, watch a male try to serenade a female with the help of a little liquid courage.

For nearly 40 years, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has been the place to learn the latest and hottest trends in Drosophila (fruit fly) neuroscience.

“The course is designed to introduce students at any stage of their career to using fruit flies to study neuroscience,” says Tania Reis, one of the course instructors. “The idea is that the students will bring these skills and knowledge back to their labs and their institution’s community. A big goal is to make everything more accessible.”

Read the related story: CSHL is abuzz with fruit fly neuroscience course