Ribeiro Lab | Champalimaud Research


Ribeiro Lab | Champalimaud Research

Vasconcelos Lab | Champalimaud Research

Ribeiro Lab | Champalimaud Research

Chiappe Lab | Champalimaud Research

Chiappe Lab | Champalimaud Research

Moita Lab | Champalimaud Research

Rhiner Lab | Champalimaud Research

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

William Blake

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most powerful and versatile genetic animal models currently available. In neuroscience the fly allows, for instance, to combine a wide array of tools and methods, which include, genetic circuit manipulations, electrophysiology recordings, activity imaging, high-throughput quantitative methods for studying behaviour or tissue specific large scale RNAi screens.

Fruit flies have common features with humans to a remarkable degree. Acknowledging that feat, 6 Nobel prizes in physiology or medicine’ have been awarded to a total of 10 scientists for their groundbreaking biological work based on fruit fly research: In 1933 Thomas Hunt Morgan used drosophila to uncover the role played by chromosomes in heredity. In 1946 Hermann Joseph Muller used X-ray irradiation to increase mutation rates in fruit flies. In 1995 Edward B Lewis, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, and Eric F Wieschaus used drosophila to understand genetic control of embryonic development. Later, in 2004 Richard Axel concentrated on odour receptors and the organisation of the olfactory system,  Jules A Hoffmann, in 2011, was given the award for his research on the activation of innate immunity and in 2017 Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young won the prize for uncovering the molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythms. [source]

I started knowing much more about Drosophila just after I started designing them. Those cute little creatures are relatively easy to draw. They are good for nice simple schematics, where the focus can be on the small details of specific methods, manipulations or mechanisms, rather than on making them just pleasant to the eye. The result is that many of my favourite scientific diagrams drawn so far come from this model, in a serious case of combining accurate scientific data with salient schematics.