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FatimaAsSideqah
04-19-2008, 09:51 PM
As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu

Scientists have been able to take control of flies' brains to make females behave just like males.

Researchers genetically modified the insects so that a group of brain cells that control sexual behaviour could be "switched on" by a pulse of light.

The team was able to get female fruit flies to produce a courtship song - behaviour usually only seen in males.

The study, published in the journal Cell, suggests that the wiring in male and female flies' brains is similar.

Gero Miesenboeck, from Oxford University, UK, who carried out the research with J. Dylan Clyne from Yale University, US, said: "It is often the case that males have to work very hard to convince females to mate with them.

"In many animal species, males have to put on elaborate courtship displays to impress females - even the tiny fruit fly."

Male fruit flies will vibrate one of their wings to produce a barely audible song, explained Professor Miesenboeck.

"And if the female likes that sound, she'll surrender to his advances."

Previous research has revealed that a group of 2,000 brain cells are necessary for this courtship behaviour in the insects; however, both male and female fruit flies appear to possess most of these neurons.

Professor Miesenboeck said: "It looks like males and females have very similar neuronal equipment, yet they behave so differently - only the male sings, and only the female responds to the song by allowing a male to copulate with her.

"The big question is: why - what is the difference?"

To investigate, the team placed some flies in a "mini sound studio".


The insects had been genetically modified so that a pulse of light would activate this group of courtship neurons.

First of all, the researchers looked at male flies and found that the light would indeed spark a song.

"The second, more exciting question we wanted to ask, was what would happen if we turned the neurons on in females.

"Females don't normally show this kind of behaviour, but we wanted to find out if they had a hidden capacity to do it,"
explained Professor Miesenboeck.

As the light pulsed through the chamber, video footage shows the female fruit fly lifting and vibrating one of her wings to produce a song.

The next stage was to find out how effective the artificially induced songs were as mating calls.

For this, the "Cyrano de Bergerac" test was applied.

A male and female fly were placed in the sound studio. The male fly had had his wings altered so that he could not produce any sound.

The mute couple were then played the recorded courtship songs produced by the mind-controlled male and female flies.

"The artificially activated male songs proved seductive," Professor Miesenboeck told the BBC News.

However, the music produced by the female did little to get the mute flies in the mood for mating.

Professor Miesenboeck explained: "When we analysed the songs, we found there were subtle differences between the male song and the artificially induced female song - the pitch was a bit off, the rhythm was off, the song, overall, was less well controlled."

Nevertheless, the researchers say the study reveals that male and female brains are extremely similar in flies - even the circuits thought to be dedicated to sexual behaviours such as courtship.

The next question to answer, said Professor Miesenboeck, was if both males and females had the capacity to create courtship songs, why was it that only the males did so under normal circumstances?

He said he thought there might be a handful of "master switches" or "command centres" in the flies' brains that were set to male or female mode.

"Our next goal is to find these switches," he added.

3 of videos included as well at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7350403.stm
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Fishman
04-19-2008, 09:54 PM
:sl:
Those stupid scientists. I wish we could just invent a few more things to sort out our current problems, like a fusion reactor or a super high yield crop and leave it at that. Technology got us into this mess, I hate it. Science has gone too far.
:w:
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FatimaAsSideqah
04-19-2008, 10:00 PM
Thats just make me laugh. How dare are they take to control Allah's creatures?!

Just leave them poor flies alone!
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Fishman
04-19-2008, 10:09 PM
Originally Posted by RighteousLady
Thats just make me laugh. How dare are they take to control Allah's creatures?!

Just leave them poor flies alone!
:sl:
I'm not really worried about the flies. I'm more worried about how this will affect our dying global society. Science makes technology. After thinking about the rich-poor gap, the nulear bomb, global warming, 'internetisaton' and gluttony, genetic modification, supercomputers and all the other things, I have conlcuded that further technological progress will destroy society, religion, the world order, diversity and eventually our environment itself.
:w:
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FatimaAsSideqah
04-19-2008, 10:11 PM
Originally Posted by Fishman
:sl:
I'm not really worried about the flies. I'm more worried about how this will affect our dying global society. Science makes technology. After thinking about the rich-poor gap, the nulear bomb, global warming, 'internetisaton' and gluttony, genetic modification, supercomputers and all the other things, I have conlcuded that further technological progress will destroy society, religion, the world order, diversity and eventually our environment itself.
:w:
Brother, I have agreed with what you have said.
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Fishman
04-19-2008, 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by RighteousLady
Brother, I have agreed with what you have said.
:sl:
Good. I need to keep talking though. My conquest of the most recent posts section needs to be maintained until I go to bed. Long live the Empire!
:w:
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ranma1/2
04-20-2008, 03:36 AM
Originally Posted by Fishman
:sl:
Those stupid scientists. I wish we could just invent a few more things to sort out our current problems, like a fusion reactor or a super high yield crop and leave it at that. Technology got us into this mess, I hate it. Science has gone too far.
:w:
i find this ironic. darn science for not making enough good stuff.
i hate science cause they make stuff but not what i want.

i wonder why do you hate this? is it the learning, the discovery?
the possible hinting that our genetics do affect our behavior?
(perhaps gay people have less choice than you believe?)

Personally id be for less funding of military in the US and more funding for science. I think the world would be better if they all got rid of their military and went to flowers and happy songs. But hey thats not going to happen.

Ill let you move to some farmer society if you want and you can stop using that evil scientificly brought about PC of yours.

Stop using that electricty, heated water, vitamins, health care ect...

after all this science is evil......
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ranma1/2
04-20-2008, 03:39 AM
and what mess are your refering to?
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Science101
04-20-2008, 06:50 AM
It is true that science can be dangerous. Good for us to make nukes one day not needed.

Have to also remember that science made our civilized lives possible. Without it, we would just eat bugs and things alive while fighting at water holes for a drink, like the other animals do. Learning how to control fire and domesticate plants and animals led to civilization as we now know it. Without this, very few of us could live off what the land can could support, without science applied to the problem.

I now have a blog with a faith-friendly "Design Theory" you might like. It is now challenging the evolution based way of describing origins science.

http://scientific-design-theory.blogspot.com/
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Fishman
04-20-2008, 10:39 AM
Originally Posted by ranma1/2
i find this ironic. darn science for not making enough good stuff.
i hate science cause they make stuff but not what i want.

i wonder why do you hate this? is it the learning, the discovery?
the possible hinting that our genetics do affect our behavior?
(perhaps gay people have less choice than you believe?)

Personally id be for less funding of military in the US and more funding for science. I think the world would be better if they all got rid of their military and went to flowers and happy songs. But hey thats not going to happen.

Ill let you move to some farmer society if you want and you can stop using that evil scientificly brought about PC of yours.

Stop using that electricty, heated water, vitamins, health care ect...

after all this science is evil......
:sl:
I don't like technology because it has brought us all the terrible problems of society today. Eg global warming, the nuclear bomb, the food crisis, bioweapons, pollution etc. And it is happening faster and faster, which makes me worry about things like a technological singularity. I agree, it is mainly an idea promoted by anarchists, cranks and new agers. But I don't like the thought of it, and the increasing rate of technological development is for me just scary. I feel better about it now, as I wasn't feeling particularly well when I made these posts, but it is still pretty frightening.

As for going back to a farming society, I don't think its possible. Our lives depend on these modern anemities now. If we just got rid of them and left them like some anarchists and luddites would have us do, then society would not be able to cope. But, would we miss them if we never developed them? There's a thought for you. Our modern technology hasn't made us happier, its just increased the amount of material wealth we need to be happy!
Back in my parent's age when they were kids, they would play on the street with eachother, go outside to the park and have fun. they don't need video games or the internet or TV or electronic toys to enjoy themselves like my generation did. Today, we depend on these things, and I think we have lost part of our humanity in the process. Older people complain about today's youth needing so many things, and rightly so, but its not like they can change anything. I bet the next generation will be even more hooked in to the technological net than we are.

What am I suggesting as a solution then? I am saying that we need to stop (or at least slow down) inventing groundbreaking new technology, barring a few things that we need to solve the problems created by previous technology, like a CO2 scrubber or a fusion reactor. This is an unrealistic solution, I agree. It will never happen as it goes against human curiousity and more importantly free market forces. Things will probably just carry on being business as usual until we hit some kind of global warming disaster or someting. But I like the thought of it though. Why should we not just say 'stop' and halt this silly idea that progess is necessary for us to prosper?

It is true that science can be dangerous. Good for us to make nukes one day not needed.

Have to also remember that science made our civilized lives possible. Without it, we would just eat bugs and things alive while fighting at water holes for a drink, like the other animals do. Learning how to control fire and domesticate plants and animals led to civilization as we now know it. Without this, very few of us could live off what the land can could support, without science applied to the problem.

I now have a blog with a faith-friendly "Design Theory" you might like. It is now challenging the evolution based way of describing origins science.
To this, I say, were our ancestors any less happy eating bugs and living near watering holes than we are today? you don't miss someting if you don't know it exists!
And is it really a good idea to have the kind of population we have today? There is going to come a point when we won't be able to feed the millions of people in China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
To an extent, technology is all right. The rate of technological development through most of history was rather low, and the new technologies were rather safe. Its only when we start getting to things like gunpowder, steel ships and steampower that it becomes too risky.
:w:
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Science101
04-20-2008, 11:02 AM
Originally Posted by Fishman
To this, I say, were our ancestors any less happy eating bugs and living near watering holes than we are today? you don't miss someting if you don't know it exists!
You are right, we don't miss what we never had. But then again when all that is the watering hole is warm mud, you sure miss the cool clear stream that you do remember. And the great lunch that didn't have maggots crawling on it but when that's it and you're staving then you'll eat almost anything, even that.

Originally Posted by Fishman
And is it really a good idea to have the kind of population we have today?
If the land and environment can support the population then you'll be OK.

Originally Posted by Fishman
There is going to come a point when we won't be able to feed the millions of people in China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Are starvations. Why a country has to be careful not to cause an overpopulation disaster.

Originally Posted by Fishman
To an extent, technology is all right. The rate of technological development through most of history was rather low, and the new technologies were rather safe. Its only when we start getting to things like gunpowder, steel ships and steampower that it becomes too risky.
:w:
Some of our grandparents fought horrific wars. Their view of other cultures led some to see some as less than human then was concentration camps and other genocide. Japanese thought US citizens would eat them and all kinds of crazy stuff. The internet made it possible to know each other better than they ever could. Being connected helps ends war.

Keep communications strong...
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Fishman
04-20-2008, 11:21 AM
:sl:
You are right, we don't miss what we never had. But then again when all that is the watering hole is warm mud, you sure miss the cool clear stream that you do remember. And the great lunch that didn't have maggots crawling on it but when that's it and you're staving then you'll eat almost anything, even that.
I don't know what that has to do with technology.


If the land and environment can support the population then you'll be OK.
The Earth can't support the kind of numbers we have today. A few hundred million was safe. Six billion is just crazy.

Are starvations. Why a country has to be careful not to cause an overpopulation disaster.
There are starvations like this because death rates have decreased without birth rates decreasing as well. Why have death rates decreased? Because of the better technology availiable after the industrial revolution.

Some of our grandparents fought horrific wars. Their view of other cultures led some to see some as less than human then was concentration camps and other genocide. Japanese thought US citizens would eat them and all kinds of crazy stuff. The internet made it possible to know each other better than they ever could. Being connected helps ends war.

Keep communications strong...
If we hadn't gone and invented bombs, automatic weapons, poison gas and aircraft then wars would just be a bunch of guys in a field charging at eachother. World War II was only so destructive because people combined new technology with old habits. The only other wars to compare to it in terms of death and destruction were the Mongol Wars, which are a notable exception as their huge death tolls were due to lack of regard for human life rather than more efficient ways to kill people.
:w:
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Muezzin
04-20-2008, 11:40 AM
Methinks these particular scientists are somewhat sexually frustrated.
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ranma1/2
04-20-2008, 12:00 PM
I personaly am against slowing down discovery and invention. I do think we need to be responcible though. I also think we need to reduce our population. (use of birth control, planned parenhood, sex education, encouraging small families and discourging larege families, ect....)

food crisis brought on by science? to my knowlege science has helped reduce food problems.

I think one thing that needs to be done is responcible use of resources and science.

And perhaps there is some truth in the idea of IGNORANCE IS BLISS. However i am quitehappy hving warm running water, sewers systems, modern healthcare, entertainment ect..
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Mercedes
04-20-2008, 12:26 PM
:sl:

what a waste of precious time and money when there are so many more important problems in the world. La hawla wa la quwata illah billah.
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ranma1/2
04-20-2008, 04:07 PM
kind of a non argument. How about you refuse in kind of goverment scholarships for your kids? You know any that might teach them science and such.. Or perhaps dont waste yourmoney on techonology, sell you tv, pc, stove ect.... and instead give it to the poor.
Science of course cant help us learn better ways to grow food or more efficently use power or get power cleaener and cheaper. science cant do that.
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Muezzin
04-20-2008, 05:20 PM
Originally Posted by ranma1/2
kind of a non argument. How about you refuse in kind of goverment scholarships for your kids? You know any that might teach them science and such.. Or perhaps dont waste yourmoney on techonology, sell you tv, pc, stove ect.... and instead give it to the poor.
Science of course cant help us learn better ways to grow food or more efficently use power or get power cleaener and cheaper. science cant do that.
You're using some strawmen there. All people are saying is that perhaps these particular scientists could spend their time, effort and money on more useful things?

I've not seen anyone saying something along the lines of 'all science is destructive and counter-productive'. I have seen people saying something along the lines of 'science has brought us good and bad things', which is quite different.

It is pretty funny we're having this debate over mating flies of all things.
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ranma1/2
04-21-2008, 12:23 AM
well back to the flies, do you think this shows that genetics play a role in our sexuality?
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