Biologists devise invasion plan for mutations

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Author(s):  Bohannon, John

Publication: Biotechnology

Publication Date: 3/19/15

Abstract: On 28 December 2014, Valentino Gantz and Ethan Bier checked on the fruit flies that had just hatched in their lab at the University of California (UC), San Diego. By the classic rules of Mendelian genetics, only one out of four of the newborn flies should have shown the effects of the mutation their mothers carried, an X-linked reces- sive trait that causes a loss of pigmenta- tion similar to albinism. Instead, nothing but pale yellow flies kept emerging. “We were stunned,” says Bier, who is Gantz’s Ph.D. adviser. “It was like the sun rose in the west rather than the east.” They ham- mered out a paper and submitted it to Science 3 days later.