By Jonathan CoultonPosted 03.26.2007 at 2:02 pm7 Comments
I personally have never been in a fight, so I can't say for sure what my fighting style would look like. But I can speculate. It would probably involve me taking a single girly swing at my opponent, jamming up a knuckle, and then starting to cry. The good news is that it might not be my fault I'm such a sissy. According to Harvard neuroscientist Edward Kravitz, there may be a genetic explanation. Or at least there would be if I were a fruit fly. Male and female fruit flies use very different fighting techniques, and Kravitz has discovered that by manipulating a single gene, he can transfer these gender-specific moves into the opposite sex.
I never know whether or not these scientists and I are going to agree on what's funny about their research. I certainly wouldn't blame them if they didn't find it funny at all—I mean, it is their job and everything. But let's face it, a fruit-fly Thunderdome is pretty hilarious, especially when you think about those poor little male fruit flies head-butting each other like a bunch of girls. Luckily, Edward Kravitz was very tolerant of my slightly goofy interview
approach. I could tell even before we got to the story about
accidental head-crushing. —Jonathan
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.