Friday, December 16, 2005

Genetics as fertile ground for humor.

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster was the original model organism, and it continues to be used abundantly in genetic research. A lot of this research involves mutating or "knocking out" genes, and then naming these genes based on the deformities or abnormalities displayed by the unfortunate mutants.

Geneticists have gotten very clever with these names. One of my favorites is the gene indy, which is actually an acronym derived from the famous line in Monty Python and Holy Grail: "I'm not dead yet!" The average life span of indy mutants is doubled. Hah. Hah.

So, I made a funny. (Some of these links might make it funnier.)

mutants1.jpg

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