As a researcher who works on fruit flies, I often get asked how to get them out of someone's kitchen. This happens to fly researchers often enough that we sit around fly conferences (these actually exist) and complain about getting asked this question. Meanwhile, we watch the same fruit flies buzz around our beers instead of discussing pithy and insightful questions about the research that we're pursuing. But I get it: Fruit flies are annoying. So, fine, here's how we get rid of them in my lab: We build a trap.
Out of all the days humans have spent fighting wars, Dec. 24, 1914, stands out as particularly subversive. At scattered points along the Western Front in Belgium and France, fighting paused, and German and British forces soldiers began singing Christmas carols. Then, in defiance of the well-heeled generals at the rear, the mostly working-class combatants on both sides laid down their rifles and tentatively emerged from their trenches. Tales of soccer matches are probably exaggerated, but the soldiers did exchange cigarettes and other trinkets and posed for photos together. The so-called Christmas Truce is notable for juxtaposing our species' extremes of kindness and aggression, and it illustrates an age-old question about human nature.
To investigate the mechanism of centriole elimination, we first looked into the timing and order of disappearance of multiple centrosome components. Each centrosome is composed of two centrioles and a surrounding pericentriolar matrix (PCM) that is important for microtubule nucleation. Drosophila oocytes inherit all centrosomes from their neighboring nurse cells, which form a large microtubule-organizing center. We analyzed multiple markers along oogenesis process and found that centrosome elimination occurs in astepwise manner: First, centrosomes lost PCM components, whereas centriole components only disappeared in the last stages of oogenesis before meiotic division. Because Polo kinase is the major PCM recruitment factor, we then investigated the regulation of this protein in theoocyte microtubule-organizing center.