“Fruit fly’s evolution tied to global warming”
From the Buffalo News
Sunday, September 10, 2006
This article discusses some changes that have occurred in a specific species of fruit fly. The name of this species is Drosophilia subobscura. The article says that the fruit flies came from Europe to America about 25 years ago. Biologists discovered that the DNA of the fruit fly differs based on the climate in which it lives. As the climate continues to become warmer, it appears that the DNA is changing in populations of fruit flies farther North than ever before. So in the last 25 years fruit flies have evolved very quickly in order to adapt to the changing global environment.
This article reminds me of the semester I spent breeding fruit flies in college. I learned a lot about how traits are passed on from one generation to another from my study of fruit flies. In addition, I have always been interested in global warming and other problems that humans are causing to the Earth. It really bothers me that we are so careless with our planet and yet I find that I too am careless. I could do many things to help improve the environment.
What I found interesting:
This article was very interesting to me because I did not think that global warming was having such a big effect on living things. I am surprised to learn that global warming is causing mutations in DNA. I thought that evolution was a slow process of change and I didn’t think it could occur in such a short period of time. I wonder how the biologists connect the changes in DNA directly to global warming – couldn’t something else have caused these changes?
Questions I have:
After reading this article, I want to know how the fruit flies came all the way to America from Europe. Also, if the DNA of fruit flies is being affected by global warming, what is happening to human DNA?
Species - the basic category of biological classification composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species.
Climate - generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years.