EDUCATION: Virtual Fruit Fly Lab

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Science  05 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5774, pp. 665
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5774.665a

Introductory genetics can be more interesting than laboriously working through crosses and filling in Punnett squares. At this online Drosophila lab, high school and beginning college students get the chance to run virtual experiments and test hypotheses about the inheritance of fly traits. The latest offering from the Virtual Courseware project at California State University, Los Angeles (NetWatch, 1 April 2005, p. 29), the site lets users pair up e-flies that vary in characteristics such as wing shape, eye color, and type of bristles on the thorax. After incubating and sorting the offspring, students statistically analyze the results of the crosses.

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