Why the Fly?

Two weeks ago we organized a public outreach event in the Science Cafe of the University of Helsinki. Presenting were Essi Havula from Ville Hietakangas Lab, Martin Kracklauer from Osamu Shimmi Lab, and myself from Howy Jacobs Lab.

Each of us gave a 15-minute talk on why the hell scientists use fruit fly in their research and what results they got. Essi’s talk was in Finnish, followed by Martin’s and mine in English. Mine was about how neuroscientists made use of the fly.

A video of the talks is available online on the university website.

The talks were followed by an actual fly show! We had a microscope and wild-type flies with ourselves, and interested people from the audience did get a chance to see the flies.

We thank Toni Rönni from Think Corner for the opportunity and support.

Here are some instants from the event, courtesy of Selahattin Cin and Norman Zielke:

My essay on the Finnish cooperative movement

I have a new essay -in Turkish- on Finnish cooperatives, published on Herkese Bilim Teknoloji, the website of an upcoming popular science magazine. I summarize how the Finnish cooperative movement arose and developed, with examples such as the S-Group, Osuuspankki and Valio.

Having mentioned Valio, I also summarized the fodder research by Artturi I. Virtanen, who received a Nobel prize for that.



My Aivopesula talk on fly neurobiology

The scientist on the poster is Seymour Benzer, the father of Drosophila neurogenetics.
The scientist on the poster is Seymour Benzer, the father of Drosophila neurogenetics.

When I was a student in Kuopio, I was a member of the Aivopesula committee, made of volunteers arranging monthly neuroscience meetings. The main idea was not to just listen to a talk, but also to meet and discuss with other interested people in the university, academic hospital and so on. So first coffee and cookies were served, followed by a not-so-long talk. The function of the meeting would be completed during the buffet with free snacks and beer.

It was great pleasure to do the shopping, prepare the snacks, chop the salads and prepare the buffet once a month with friends. And next week, I will have the privilege of giving the talk.

As far as I know, there is no Drosophila researcher in Kuopio, and I will try to convince the audience that Drosophila melanogaster is useful for neuroscience research, with some historical examples and some from our recent paper (Yalgin et al., 2015).

I will also touch upon our current work with alternative oxidase (AOX) in Howylab, Tampere.