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Minnesota Fruit Researchers Hope to Promote Kiwiberry

U.S. News

Kiwiberries are among several delicious projects underway at the university's fruit research program, a collection of about a dozen researchers who breed, produce and improve fruit in Minnesota. From creating new varieties of apples -- like the recently released First Kiss -- bumping up berry production and breeding grapes suitable for the Minnesota climate, fruit researchers at the university carry on a flavorful tradition that's been cultivated over generations.


Why male fruit flies have such enormous sperm

Los Angeles Times

Don't underestimate the manliness of the humble fruit fly: He may be small, but his sperm is not. In fact, the sperm of the fruit fly Drosophila bifurca can stretch up to nearly 6 centimeters in length. If this massive sperm length seems unusual, that's because it is. The D. bifurca's spaghetti-like zygote takes a lot of energy to produce, and therefore he can only produce a few of them. That means he can't implement the more common male reproductive strategy of quantity over quality.


Zombie fungus infects fruit flies and turns them into slaves

New Scientist

There's no need to travel to exotic rainforests to find mind-warping parasites. They are probably lurking in your own backyard.



Researchers figure out trick to a fruit fly's acrobatic flight

Engadget

If you've ever tried to swat a fruit fly out of the air, you know how crafty the little buggers can be at avoiding your swings. Turns out that not only are they incredibly agile, they're super efficient as well, using only 12 muscles (each controlled by a single neuron) to propel itself through the air. And, thanks to the efforts of a team at CalTech, we know why these flies are so nimble. Mammalian wings are really just modified arms with skin stretched across. They all still contain shoulder, elbow, wrist and finger joints as well as the associated muscle and neural processing power that such structures require.