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ID 1433

What are Model Systems? (1)

Doctor Josh Dubnau explains that model systems are particular species of animals that substitute for humans or other animals. For genetic and historic reasons, the fruit fly is a commonly used model.
A model system is scientists' jargon for a particular species of animal that has been developed over many years to be experimentally powerful to answer particular questions. So for example the fruit fly, Drosophila, is an organism that was chosen partly for historical reasons as a genetic organism, but for those historical and a few serendipitous reasons, the fruit fly has become a model organism for genetic studies. And what that means is that we have so many years now (more than a century) of investigation of the fruit fly, that the toolbox that exists to manipulate the genes in the fruit fly is superior to that in most other organisms. So we often go to the fruit fly when we want to use a genetic approach to ask about any biological process, such as memory or developmental biology.
model, system, organism, fruit, fly, drosophila, developmental, biology, genetic, animals, josh, dubnau, cshl
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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