One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small fruit fly, used extensively in genetic research because of its large chromosomes, numerous varieties, and rapid rate of reproduction.
Genus Drosophila, family Drosophilidae: in particular D. melanogaster
- ‘As early as the 1970s, population geneticists began to notice a peculiar characteristic among drosophila, the fast-breeding fruit fly on which most of our reproductive knowledge is based.’
- ‘While the smaller bacterial genomes can be tackled by direct sequencing, larger ones like that of drosophila or humans require the use of genetic markers.’
- ‘What evidence led Morgan to hypothesize that the gene for eye color in Drosophilia is carried on the "X" chromosome?’
- ‘One of the most notorious examples, a module for control of eye formation that is common to drosophila, mice, and humans may stand as an emblem for laymen such as me, but it is a very small part of the story and may turn out to be atypical.’
Modern Latin, from Greek drosos ‘dew, moisture’ + philos ‘loving’.
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