I'd like to announce a WWW new service we have just made available through
Cal State LA. It's called "Virtual FlyLab." It allows users learn the
principles of genetic inheritance by mating fruit flies carrying visible
mutations and observing the type of offspring that are produced. It can be
used to demonstrate simple principles like dominant vs. recessive traits
to more complex concepts like the genetic mapping of chromosomes.
Part of what makes this program unique is that parent and offspring images
are generated "on the fly" (pardon the pun) in response to user input.
This is necessary because in Virtual FlyLab there are 187,488 different
combinations of visible mutations and over 40 billion combinations
genetically unique flies. Furthermore, a randomization algorithm generates
"experimental error," so each cross is unique. There are even pages for
conducting statistical tests of hypotheses using the simulated data.
You can reach Virtual FlyLab from the home page of our "Electronic Desktop
Project." Look for the Virtual FlyLab link on page returned from the
Support for the development of Virtual FlyLab comes from the National
Science Foundation, the Chancellor's Office of the California State
University System, and the President's Office of California State
University at Los Angeles.
If you have any questions, feel free to email or call.
Associate Professor Biology
Cal State LA
Los Angeles, CA 90032
bob at biol1next.calstatela.edu (NeXT Mail ok)
Tel (213) 343-2056