The op-ed by David Bilder (UC Berkeley) on the occasion of the Nobel Prize to fly neuroscientists Hall, Rosbash, and Young was published in the New York Times and is a fun read, providing useful talking points for your non-science friends and family.
I also recommend reading the original Konopka and Benzer paper; it’s the beautiful study that began all of the Drosophila work on clock mutants and makes for a great genetics journal club paper.
The outreach piece titled “How to kill flies” by Thomas Merritt (Laurentian University), which went viral, got over 270K clicks. First published in The Conversation, it was subsequently picked up by the National Post, the Washington Post (who changed the title), the Weather Network and a series of online news services (e.g., Science Alert and Flipboard) that got it on Facebook. The piece also received some readership “bumps” from retweets from Canadian Science Minister Kirsty Duncan, the GSA, and the Nobel Prize going to fly researchers.
See the CNN story on how the Undiagnosed Diseases Network first identified mutations in a calcium channel as causal for a rare neurological disorder in children. Analysis of the mutant variants in Drosophila indicated that the most severe defect was likely from a gain-of-function mutation, resulting in a complete switch in the treatment for the affected child.
Sam Illingworth and Andreas Prokop have edited a special issue on science communication in Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, which focuses on the following themes: long-term vision, collaboration, and formation of scientific communication networks. See the piece Andreas has written on Advocacy for Developmental Biology, which was posted by the British Society for Developmental Biology.
David Bilder and Ken Irvine have published a 2017 GENETICS paper on the strengths of Drosophila and available research tools, which is based on an HHMI-supported meeting of Drosophila experts held at Janelia Farms in February 2016. This publication should serve as a useful reference for grants and/or publications that require justification for the use of Drosophila.
Drosophila Cells in Culture, Second Editionby Guy Echalier, Norbert Perrimon, and Stephanie Mohris a comprehensive coverage of existing Drosophila cell lines that also includes methods for creating cell lines, methods for genome editing, and how to use cell lines for genome-wide RNAi screens. This book should be helpful to investigators at multiple career stages studying developmental biology, genetics, neuroscience, or biochemistry. The author of the first edition and first author of this second edition of this book – Guy Echalier – died in 2017 (he was in his 90s) after enthusiastically contributing to the second edition (despite several visits to the hospital).
Deep Homology – Uncanny Similarities of Humans and Flies Uncovered by Evo-Devo by Lewis Held (Texas Tech University), published in 2017, compares the genetics and development of humans and flies in a variety of different organs to review evidence of “deep homology,” a term used for instances where growth and differentiation are controlled by homologous and deeply conserved genetic mechanisms across a wide range of species
First in Fly: Drosophila Research and Biological Discoveryby Stephanie Mohr (Harvard) will be in bookstores February 2018. A review by George Church (Harvard) states that Mohr “transforms vague public awareness of Drosophila into a breathtaking landscape of research, building a case for pure science as the source of most scientific surprises, revolutions, and ultimately, practical applications.” I was given the “uncorrected page proofs,” which I found to be a delightful read. Stephanie did an outstanding job of making the science both exciting and highly accessible.