Penn State

Stephen Schaeffer - professor of biology, Eberly College of Science

Book Title: Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life

Author: Robert E. Kohler

Book Description:

I chose Lords of the Fly because the book describes the history of how the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster and its close relatives, became an important model system for the study of genetics as well as of the biologists who played a vital role in defining the modern science of genetics. The fly geneticists at Columbia University, Thomas H. Morgan and his students Alfred H. Sturtevant, H. J. Muller, and Calvin B. Bridges, established this model system through their astute observations of fly appearance coupled with the clever design of controlled genetic crosses. In addition, they established a set of research best practices that led to rapid advances in fly genetics including the exchange of fly strains, research ideas, and methodologies. This set of values is still part of the culture in the community of fly researchers. My hope is that members of the Penn State community will derive the same enthusiasm for the research ideals presented in Lords of the Fly that I obtained from reading this book.


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