Virtual FlyLab through WWW at Cal State LA

Bob Desharnais bob at biol1next.calstatela.edu
Fri Jul 14 19:04:13 EST 1995

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  
following URL:


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.

Bob Desharnais
Associate Professor Biology
Cal State LA
Los Angeles, CA 90032
bob at biol1next.calstatela.edu (NeXT Mail ok)
Tel (213) 343-2056

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