Cover: First in Fly: <i>Drosophila</i> Research and Biological Discovery, from Harvard University PressCover: First in Fly in HARDCOVER

First in Fly

Drosophila Research and Biological Discovery

Product Details


$39.00 • £33.95 • €35.95

ISBN 9780674971011

Publication Date: 03/09/2018


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

21 line illustrations, 1 table


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A popular appreciation of fruit flies has seemed long overdue to me. No single animal has contributed as much to the field of genetics as the ordinary and ubiquitous Drosophila melanogaster… To read First in Fly is to appreciate the full scope of fruit-fly research and to understand the intimate connections in the DNA of every human cell and Drosophila cell.—Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic

Mohr reveals a raft of breakthroughs discovered ‘first in fly,’ such as the molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythm. Serious science, elegantly described.—Barbara Kiser, Nature

Mohr’s First in Fly: Drosophila Research and Biological Discovery takes you into the labs to examine one small organism that makes so much biomedical and genetic research possible… Its deep dive into the incredible and outsized role these tiny flies play in scientific research will not disappoint.—Mary Beth Griggs, Popular Science

Introduces a variety of fundamental biological concepts discovered over the last century, thanks to fruit flies… This fascinating book will especially appeal to students of the life sciences and the history of science, and to all curious people.Forbes

A passionate, information-packed ode to Drosophila melanogaster and the ‘fly people’ who study it… We learn how discoveries first made in Drosophila contributed to breakthroughs in developmental genetics and signal transduction, and even help to advance space travel and cancer research today… Perhaps most importantly, this book talks openly and honestly about the processes of scientific research and discovery.—Alice Laciny, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

The book is an inspiring read that improves from chapter to chapter. It is loaded with relevant, thought-provoking and well-researched information, clearly illustrating the important role of past and present fly research and providing a vision for the future. For its original approach, it deserves a place on the bookshelves not only of fly researchers but of all who care about responsible biomedical research.—Andreas Prokop, Times Higher Education

Stephanie Mohr brilliantly illuminates the discovery and relevance of the fruit fly. She transforms vague public awareness of Drosophila into a breathtaking landscape of research, building a case for pure science as the source of most scientific surprises, revolutions, and ultimately, practical applications. Really, everything has been touched by flies; from the international laws impacted by mustard gas and radiation mutations to the testing of new drugs to the appreciation of how single egg cells turn into wonderfully complex bodies. This book illustrates why we should all be very grateful to these flies and the ‘fly people’ who study them.—George Church, Harvard University

First in Fly provides a superb foundation on which to explore new avenues in biology. Mohr presents a riveting account of discoveries made possible by research on the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, over the past 110 years. No model organism has contributed more to our understanding of genetics and developmental biology. This book is highly recommended for scientists both young and established, and for all who wish to learn more about the origins of many commonly accepted facts in biology.—Hugo Bellen, Baylor College of Medicine

From the nature of genes to the secrets of behavior to cancer therapy, Mohr captures how fundamental research on the unassuming and ubiquitous fruit fly has driven revolutions in biology and medicine. The material is rich; the subject is timely; and the premise is powerful. An important read.—David Bilder, University of California, Berkeley

First in Fly is a reader-friendly yet scholarly account of fruit fly biology and genetics. As Mohr clearly presents, the fly provides the best system for understanding the basic mechanisms of development and disease, and how those mechanisms apply to all other animals, including humans.—Peter Lawrence, University of Cambridge

First in Fly distills a century of biology research on Drosophila into a set of exciting, mind-bending stories. Mohr captures the thrill of scientific discovery and the creative spirit of this research community, while clearly explaining the scientific findings and relating them to human biology and health. Her book tells a vital story about the remarkable extent of evolutionary conservation, and is both important in scope and a pleasure to read.—Andrea Page-McCaw, Vanderbilt University

An accessible resource for experts and non-experts alike, First in Fly beautifully articulates how the fruit fly has made enormous contributions to our understanding of genetics and biology. Stephanie Mohr demystifies the fruit fly through humor and facts, while also shedding light on how the study of one small and unquestionably valuable insect has contributed to the understanding of cognitive and biological processes.—Giovanni Bosco, Dartmouth College

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