Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Fruit Fly Brains

Ana Marija Jakšić Shapes Fruit Fly Brains

     Ana Marija Jakšić investigated the evolutionary differences in drosophila, when exposed to high or low temperatures. The most heavily impacted portion of the drosophila were their brains and the neural genes, expressed in one temperature versus another. The strongest and most consistent response was that of the dopamine-producing neurons, which dampens the expression of several neural signaling based genes. This caused the drosophila to develop higher levels of spontaneous locomotor activity (measured by how fast they scaled the walls of a vial, when startled). Jakšić began to investigate whether different genotypes are better able to “ameliorate” the locomotor changes, by artificially altering the levels of the drosophila’s dopamine. She hopes to apply this data to human conditions where dopamine imbalances cause uncontrollable movements, like Parkinson's disease. This particular article delves into the research done by Jakšić, in a general summary, while also linking her papers. This research could help develop better treatments for Parkinson’s and other similar diseases.

Link to the article:


  1. After working with the Drosophila numerous times during laboratory experiments this was interesting to read. It was interesting hearing about the altering Dopamine levels as well.

  2. I agree with Brandon, it was really interesting to learn about how Drosophila flies' brains were directly affected by certain temperature exposures and lead to changes in locomotor activity. I'm curious to see how this study can be used in improving PD treatments.

  3. This is so interesting! I never really considered how important fruit flies are to studying conditions in humans, and how they might be able to advance research and medical treatments. By studying other organisms, we are able to learn a lot about how neurotransmitters may affect brain development and degeneration.

  4. The was really interesting to read because we worked with fruit flies in lab! The flies were sensitive to cold temperatures but its interesting to see how it affects their brain.