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Our Cousins, The Fruit Flies

A few weeks ago I wrote about showing up at the Pearly Gates and God asking you what you did with your talents and you drawing a blank. Then I got an email from a 48-year old lady, “a mother of four and a wife to one man” she wrote (just incase there was a chance she could be a wife to two men) who said she once loved writing but she sort of walked away from it. Now she wants to revive it and could I read this piece on fruit flies?

Wait, fruit flies?!

What does she do from 8-5? She’s a compliance professional, specializing in Export Control Compliance, U.S. Laws and Regulations that regulates and restricts access of certain US technologies by foreigners. “In short,” she wrote, “I keep people out of jail.”

She works for Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Once upon a time she worked in Kenya for International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). I can’t even start following her career path.

There are people who are passionate about cars, then there are people who are passionate about fruit flies. To each his own. I’m running this piece because of a few reasons:

  1. It’s about bloody fruit flies for chrissake, even fruit flies have the right to be heard.
  2.  She’s 48-years old (the oldest person we have hosted here as a guest writer) and is brave enough to pursue her passion and agree to be hosted here.
  3. She’s a wife to one man. Surely, that should be congratulated.
  4. She’s an invested writer with a racy cheek buried in the initial artistic self-doubt. (She also sent me articles about her boss’s cat called Ghost and about how she feels very old because now her eyesight is failing and she has to read messages by holding her phone a meter away).  

Gang, meet Rose Ndegwa. Rose, talk directly into that blue microphone.

And on a side note: Happy birthday to Cliff The Tall, an ardent reader and commenter here. Enjoy the third floor, boss. Just get a new profile picture while at it.

(Yvonne, the editor here asked me, “Kwani how tall is this Cliff?” Cliff, answer the lady.)

   ***

It is said that some of the best creative ideas happen in the shower. It has something to do with the rain-like rhythm of water and the shower jet streams hitting against the skin, igniting the neurons in the right brain. That is why people who croak suddenly find their voice in the shower. I like the shower, but by far my favourite room is the toilet. I realize that might sound a little gross to some, but it is my ultimate Zen room. I have no idea if biological functions that take place in the toilet cause the brain to produce dopamine in the same way that a shower does. The term ‘poo-phoria’ has been used to describe the feeling of relaxation that accompanies bio-breaks, but that is not what it is for me. I simply love the privacy that the 4 x4 ft cubical provides. My wackiest ideas happen in the toilet. I have read countless books- cover to cover- in the toilet, not in one sitting, of course. I have taken power naps in the toilet. I have prayed in the toilet and have retreated there to de-stress.

I am not a big fan of the toilets that are open at the bottom so that you can see the occupant’s feet from outside or an adjacent cubicle. I do not know what purpose is served by that gap at the bottom, other than being able to easily retrieve a person who, for whatever reason, passes out in the toilet. I just do not like next-door occupant looking at my toes or my shoes.  

“What in the world did you have for dinner, Ms. Pink Wedges?”

My Zen toilet at Chiromo was on this long hallway on third floor of the Botany building. It was a lonely toilet, hardly ever visited by anyone else. The perfect hideaway.  I revised for several exams and CATS in that toilet. And it was in that toilet that I decided I did not want to pursue science, because I did not have the tenacity or patience required to be a scientist. It all started with an experiment on fruit flies.          

As a first-year zoology student at Chiromo, I was studying the basics of Mendelian laws of genetics, by experimenting with the fruit fly, a.k.a. Drosophila melanogaster (Ndomba or Gathugumîri in Kikuyu, and for all you Magufuli people,  Nzi ya Tunda … I think!). The fruit fly is that little fly hovering over fruit in your kitchen. It is a perfect model for study of many biological processes including genetics because of its varying genetic traits that are expressed as easily distinguishable physical features or phenotypes. It is also easy to tell male from female.  The gist of the experiment was you had fruit fly eggs in a bottle which contained a culture medium. Once the eggs hatched and adults emerged, you had to separate the boys from the girls, select specific phenotypes, and allow them to mate and lay eggs. The experiment is repeated a number of times, each time selecting certain predetermined characteristics easy-peasy.

The experiment was going well. I fantasized about becoming a geneticist someday, spending the rest of my entire life looking at flies under a microscope, admiring the colour of their eyes, the length of their wings, number of segments on the tummies, selecting and mating them, just like Gregor Mendel and his peas (remember him, the guy who spent his life looking at pod shapes and color of peas?). But, as Murphy’s law would have it, the last day of the pupa stage for my flies fell on a Friday, which meant that there was a good chance that adult flies would emerge on Friday night. Female fruit flies become receptive to courting males eight hours after emergence. It is not underage sex; they are actually mature for a creature whose lifespan is 40-120 days.

There was a must-go-to Friday party. Should I take the culture bottle to the party and take internment breaks from the party to see if the flies had emerged? If they did, I could possibly, separate the boys and set them free to join the party. Fruit flies love empty soda and beer bottles, so I was certain that they would feel at home. Or should I skip the party altogether? That is what a student aspiring to be a career scientist ought to do, right? But this was first-year, and generally speaking, parties ranked higher in importance than class projects.  May be there is such a thing as post-term Drosophila babies, like women who carry pregnancies well into the 44th week? I crossed fingers and prayed that the flies would hold on and wait until I got back. They probably did- I will never know – because I did not get back to my room until Saturday afternoon and by then, it was too late even for post-term babies. The adult flies were well on their way to becoming grandparents. There was no way to salvage the experiment.   

Turns out that I should have had more respect for this fly. Drosophila is one of most extensively used and studied model organism. Model organisms are important because by understanding how certain biological processes progress in the model organism, we can gain insight into how similar processes progress in human beings. There are other model organisms, such as the rat, but for certain processes, the fruit fly is preferred. It is easy to culture and cheap to maintain, multiplies in large numbers, and has a short lifespan. From an ethical viewpoint too, no one would find it objectionable that gazillions of flies are raised for research purposes and washed down the drain when the research done (But seriously, where are the animal rights people? Doesn’t the life of this fly matter?)

If you are wondering what you have in common with the fruit fly, apart from love of fruit, how about this: the gene sequences in the fruit fly so closely resembles human genes, that human genes can be matched to equivalent genes in the fly. In fact, 75% of human disease-causing genes are believed to have a functional equivalent gene in the fly. So in addition to genetics, the fruit fly is making contributions into the understanding progression, of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are being studied using the fruit fly.

By the way, that kikuyu name for the fruit fly gathugumîri, literally translates to “that ka-thing that pees on something”, usually the eye. If you ever have a fruit fly in your eye, you will remember. It will live up to its name and it burns like crazy. I wonder though, what causes it to take a leak in the eye. I mean, does it intentionally look for an eye the way we look for a toilet when we really have to go? Or is it revenge taken on behalf of gazillions of fruit flies that we have sacrificed in research?  Perhaps fruit flies are just downright lazy, like people who get into a swimming pool, only to realize they needed to use the bathroom, but being too lazy, they go, right there in the swimming pool.  If you are thinking what kind of crazy people do that, think again. Look at the people around you next time you happen by a swimming pool. You would not lose if you had to bet that one of them has peed in the pool. While on the subject, it is good to wear flip-flops or slippers in those shower rooms in the gym. Some people pee as they sing in the shower.  

May be the fruit fly is just opportunistic, venturing into whatever open door it encounters. Like the bugs that fly right into your throat during a morning run, forcing you to make quick life or death decision. Should you end its misery by washing it down with a sip of water, or should you try to save it by sputtering and spitting it out? Useless question because the result is always the same – death by drowning.

PS:   I aced that genetics class. I got a creative and fabricated the data. I know, I know…I am not proud of it.

PPS:  Drosophilas in the kitchen is not an entirely negative thing. It is evidence that Mwende is trustworthy and has not been eating those mangoes you bought for the kids.

img credit – deviantart.com

167 Responses
  • Neville Laboso
    04.04.2017

    FIRST ONE…. now let me go read




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  • leah
    04.04.2017

    Thank God its Tuesday




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  • Ely
    04.04.2017

    Where the comments at?




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  • Shiku
    04.04.2017

    Nice read hehehe. A scientists life




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  • Wachu
    04.04.2017

    wow…




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  • Bilha Gitonga
    04.04.2017

    Took me down memory lane seeing that I was a chemistry major in chiromo.Now an accountant lol




    1
  • Angela Darcy
    04.04.2017

    YUK Biko.. That was not very Ace but a good read as always




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  • EDWIN CHIRCHIR
    04.04.2017

    Hurraaaaaaaaay! (insert short dance) thank you JACKSON (insert evil laughter) https://ekichir.blogspot.co.ke




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  • Austin
    04.04.2017

    Not our usual cup of tea but I’ll drink it. Wonderful piece Esther




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    • Simba
      04.04.2017

      Esther?!




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      • Esther
        06.04.2017

        HEHEHE,, seems Esthers have etched into peoples minds eeh 🙂




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  • Wesh - Peter Wesh
    04.04.2017

    Well, that was more biology than I learnt over four years in high school. I know Ndombas, not gene-wise, just purely from the annoyance of peeing in eyes of humans like me. The new knowledge i have had include new words Drosophila melanogaster and Phenotypes. Sigh, what am I even saying. Well, maybe just thanks for the article Rose Ndegwa. Also, happy birthday Cliff the Tall.




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    • Happy Birthday Cliff the tall! Life has almost begun. The third floor is interesting.




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    • Rael
      04.04.2017

      Cliff can we get your new profile picture….Happy birthday Cliff.




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  • Dennis Mwai
    04.04.2017

    Another Tuesday, another awesome read.




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  • Rufus
    04.04.2017

    drosophila..it’s been a long time




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  • abdullah omar
    04.04.2017

    i love the showers




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  • tom osanjo
    04.04.2017

    Will start looking at those flies with new pair of eyes- so long as they don’t take a leak therein. Nice read Madam




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  • Mukami
    04.04.2017

    Hi Biko. I wish you would still write even when we have a guest writer. We or rather I come here all the time to be fed by you.




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  • Reina
    04.04.2017

    Great read as usual…I didn’t know gathugumiri is fruit fly.




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  • kui1
    04.04.2017

    My fav room too….(but now my baby boy keeps joining me:(…
    And dear mother of 4,did you say 44 weeks pregnancy??? Woi!,No way…I’m 36! Wondering when it will end:).
    Welcome guest writer n all the best.




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    • Shillah Raymond
      04.04.2017

      Hehehehe dont worry, yours might actually come in two weeks time. Thats genetics for you!




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  • kamau kiboro
    04.04.2017

    Nicely done article, i enjoyed it. Happy birthday Cliff the Tall.




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  • Malaika
    04.04.2017

    Did I just read on fruit flies like my life depends on it… hahaha..




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    • Jetoloxd
      04.04.2017

      Hahahaha, come to think of it, crazy!




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    • Lydia
      04.04.2017

      Hahahaha i did too! Crazy what Biko throws at us




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  • Kish
    04.04.2017

    Happy birthday Cliff the tall.
    .
    Meanwhile, Yvonne you missed a spot…right there after Rose talks about Alzheimer’s.




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  • Dee
    04.04.2017

    I dont know why i read this article to end.Moving on swiftly,can you two decide on who wrote “A few weeks ago I wrote about showing up at the Pearly Gates and God asking you what you did with your talents and you drawing a blank”.




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    • Sereti
      05.04.2017

      I would like to think that Biko did an article here on some of us sleeping on our talents(I am yet to discover mine but I am sure eating and sleeping sneak in here) and Rose was intrigued, reason why she wrote this. She doesn’t want to go to heaven and draw blanks. She will say…but I wrote an article on Biko’s blog”




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      • Chichi
        08.04.2017

        hahahahahaha nice one hahahahaha




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      • Anne Komen
        16.04.2017

        lol this is funny hahaha




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  • Lolo
    04.04.2017

    That was different but still good. Happy Birthday Cliff the Tall; please address the nation on this important matter and inform us on exactly how tall you are.




    1
  • Steve
    04.04.2017

    How you manage to do this every Tuesday without failure is a mistery yet to be resolved.That was a nice article.Thanks Biko




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  • Alvin
    04.04.2017

    Her best place happens to be the toilet. Okay, good read and do some more writing Rose!




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  • Riri
    04.04.2017

    If anything to go by, I should have been a scientist; my love for the loo with pages turning one after the other. The biological terms though, I mispelt them all. Great read!




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  • Jetoloxd
    04.04.2017

    Uum.ok. phew. So ,fruit flies huh?




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  • Kadonye
    04.04.2017

    I love it! She is witty and the story was delightfully different from what I would’ve expected. PS: Biko, don’t play favourites here…from now on, you wish ALL of us happy birthday. Mine’s in August. Happy birthday Cliff:)




    1
    • Dk
      04.04.2017

      Yes please. Tell him. Mine is in October he hee.




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      • Sylvia
        04.04.2017

        Mine too…October babies




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    • Esther
      06.04.2017

      haha biko is somewhere wondering what he got his big forehead into 😀




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      • Anne Komen
        16.04.2017

        hahaha lol you huys are putting Biko on a hot seat man!




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  • hyxoul
    04.04.2017

    for the first time i manage to read the article not only the day it was posted but some minutes after it has been posted.

    i dont love biology cause it is hard but again i have to love it cause bae is a doctor. nice read always.




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  • Moha
    04.04.2017

    Drosophila melanogaster has to either be underlined separately or italicized if we are to strictly follow rules of biology. Lol. Good piece Rose Ndegwa; thank you for reminding me some awesome words such as phenotype. I have one question though: Talking of animal rights, is there evidence linking suffering, isolation, or distress among fruit flies in laboratories during experimental procedures.Happy birthday Cliff




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    • Rose
      06.04.2017

      There very well might be. Who knows, may be it’s the reason they pee on us. They have a very complex brain structure – for a 3mm creature.




      2
  • Biegon
    04.04.2017

    Yvonne missed a spot. Great genetics recall. Great read kama kawaida. So birthdays are celebrated around here huh , mine is coming up next year Jan 30th. Mark your calendars.




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  • Kevine
    04.04.2017

    Nice read Esther. I don’t know if anyone else noticed it, I felt there was a detour in the storyline. These two paragraphs that come after the Alzheimer’s bit feel more like they should have been in the introduction part. Just my thought.
    Halafu, I thought ni Biko aliandika about showing up at the pearly gates but I can see it in Esther’s excerpt (hapo kwa paragraph ya Alzheimer’s)




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    • Kevine
      04.04.2017

      I dont know why Esther is in my head, the name is Rose Ndegwa. Sorry for that




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      • Esther
        06.04.2017

        hehehe




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    • Kimani
      04.04.2017

      Rose Ndegwa*




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    • General Zod
      06.04.2017

      You are confused man. Everything jelled here.




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  • Oh wow..quite an informative piece. Thank you Rose!
    Now I know something about fruit flies. The complexity and detail in every individual life form no matter how small or big their size points to the magnificence of our Creator, the Brainiac in Chief, designer of it all.
    Zen moments in a public loo sounds like an impossible feat. I always wondered about friends who have a rack of magazines in there. Doesn’t that encourage piles?




    1
  • Kimani
    04.04.2017

    Science simplified. Good read Rose. Biko, thanks for giving Rose a platform. Blessings




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  • Biegon
    04.04.2017

    Happy birthday Cliff the tall. How tall are you turning?




    1
  • Ezra
    04.04.2017

    This is quite impressive!! Reignites my love for molecular biology and genetics, she has a way of making biology look cool!!!




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  • Wakweika
    04.04.2017

    Wow, no longer a stranger in the fruit fly world! This pieces was well written. It kept me glued to my phone screen till the end. Keep writing Rose!




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  • David
    04.04.2017

    Nice, especially when she says that her Zen is a toilet..Hahaha.




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  • Emmanuel Dennis
    04.04.2017

    Interesting very interesting. I read every word of it. But I still cant fathom the patience that Scientists have. Those people are special. They make good reading of their findings.




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  • @clif_the_tall
    04.04.2017

    Hehehe. Thank you Biko and the gang for your birthday wishes.I truly appreciate. Profile pic will be changed for sure. Yvonne, am 6’4 inches only. There is room for more though. I know my potential in matters growing tall. Moving on, the piece by Rose was so spot on. The humor is good in so many levels. I now know a thing or two about The fruit flies. I think the swahili name would have been Matunda za kupaa. Yes?




    2
    • Lydia
      04.04.2017

      Happy Birthday Cliff the tall




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    • Mushie
      04.04.2017

      Happy birthday to you…Ati matunda za kupaa hahaha.




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    • Deedee
      04.04.2017

      It’s not a fruit that flies




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      • @clif_the_tall
        04.04.2017

        Opppsss. You missed it Deedee.




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        • Blank
          05.04.2017

          Hahaha




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    • Tish
      04.04.2017

      happy birthday cliff the tall




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    • TheBlackKennedy
      04.04.2017

      Happy Birthday Mrefu.

      Cheers…




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    • ghost reader
      04.04.2017

      eventually you showed up with some new photo, how tall are you exactly buddy. oops where are my manners. welcome to he third floor bro




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    • joy
      05.04.2017

      Happy belated born day cliff the tall




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    • A-star
      05.04.2017

      Have a blessed year ahead Cliff.




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    • Milka
      05.04.2017

      Happy birthday!




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    • @alekylefty
      06.04.2017

      Happy belted bday @clif_the_tall… one question though.. on a “good” year how may times does your height get you laid?? hehehe




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    • Mish...
      06.04.2017

      Am right behind you! Third floor tunakuja…
      Happy Birthday Tall Guy




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    • Anne Komen
      16.04.2017

      happy belated birthday Cliff the tall. You too tall I might reach your waist only hahaha. And I second your hilarious swahili translation. Let’s call them matunda za kupaa lol




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  • asterix
    04.04.2017

    The article just flows. Good read, Ms. Ndegwa.




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  • Jefferson
    04.04.2017

    Great read Rose.
    You will make a great writer.
    Your seamless pace, i was reading about fruit flies as if i will be tested on it.




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  • ces
    04.04.2017

    Very Very different. But perfectly written.




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  • pato
    04.04.2017

    I am not a big fan of the toilets that are open at the bottom so that you can see the occupant’s feet from outside or an adjacent cubicle. I do not know what purpose is served by that gap at the bottom, other than being able to easily retrieve a person who, for whatever reason, passes out in the toilet. I just do not like next-door occupant looking at my toes or my shoes.




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  • Queen of Serotonin
    04.04.2017

    Oh my freakn gosh I love i love I love genetics dear! Thoroughly enjoyed the read… I recall our highschool teacher saying something about fruitflies being the best in these typa studies because their phenotypic qualities are distinct, many, and they produce subsequent generations in a short period of time. Still trynna figure out if I should go the psychology way or the genetics way. Someone’s gotta find the genes that code for schizophrenia right? 🙂




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    • General Zod
      06.04.2017

      Go for genetics lass, schizophrenics can’t make good psychologists.




      1
  • Ombok
    04.04.2017

    Nice Read..Rose keep writing




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  • HildahDidah
    04.04.2017

    interesting, i have been trapping fruit flies in clear cups and plastic bags all week at my place. the rate at which those little things multiply is crazy.
    and not long ago, i was asking a friend why they target to pee inside the eye. i was reading that part so keenly to get to where the geneticist would explain the science behind it but sadly none.
    i love this piece Rose. drop by more often?




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  • Shillah Raymond
    04.04.2017

    Nice story. It feels like a double chem class in the afternoon after eating ugali for lunch.




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  • Wambui JL
    04.04.2017

    I who hated science have found this quite fascinating. I am confused as well. Good read though.




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  • wamrose
    04.04.2017

    Happy birthday cliff. Can i take out tonight? *wink*




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  • Alfred Kalwe
    04.04.2017

    Nice piece. And Rose, I read that the fruit fly,s sperm is twenty times the length of its body. Is it true really? Just asking.




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    • Cnjeri
      04.04.2017

      Ha ha, where did you read that?




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    • vicky
      05.04.2017

      kwani this sperm of yours tags along its tail to be this long.




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  • winny
    04.04.2017

    great as always




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  • Mike
    04.04.2017

    This Rose lady is hillarious!ati “What in the world did you have for dinner Miss Pink Wedges?Should I audition for the second husband part?I really would love to pick your brain!




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  • tonny muchui
    04.04.2017

    this was a refreshing read. i need to read more of her




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  • Sue
    04.04.2017

    You know that moment you see a tough word like Drosophila melanogaster and decide you wont read it? yeah, I skipped it every time, I haven’t even come around to read it yet. I was waiting to read why the fruit flies attack the dead fruit (as in the photo) but it never came around too!




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  • Githogori
    04.04.2017

    Ok can we head to the laboratory now?




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  • Wangari Ndung'u
    04.04.2017

    Good one. Keep writing Rose!




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  • Shem
    04.04.2017

    This is my first time to comment. Nice read!
    Always a nice read!




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  • Brian Tarpei
    04.04.2017

    Awesome Biko ,happy birthday Cliff




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  • CK
    04.04.2017

    You learn something new everyday. Enjoyed reading, lots of humor in there.




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  • Vincent
    04.04.2017

    Wow Rose, you hid this talents well when at ILRI! Who would have
    thought you could do this! You could have written all our funding proposals!
    Nice read and congrats!




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    • Rose
      08.04.2017

      Thanks! I don’t think the proposals would have been funded Vincent!




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  • Arimartha
    04.04.2017

    “I fantasized about becoming a geneticist someday, spending the rest of
    my entire life looking at flies under a microscope, admiring the colour of their eyes,
    the length of their wings, number of segments on the tummies, selecting and mating them…”
    This is the stuff of fantasy (for scientists!)




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  • Carol Ohonde
    04.04.2017

    Nice sense of humour your guest writer has! Now I want to know about her Boss’ cat……




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  • GK
    04.04.2017

    Poo-phoria
    I like Rose.




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  • Suleiman
    04.04.2017

    Rose, that’s commendable, the writing not revising in the toilet. And to keep the two of you out of jail, who owns this statement;”A few weeks ago I wrote about showing up at the Pearly Gates and God asking you what you did with your talents and you drawing a blank”
    Happy birthday Cliff.




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  • Kris
    04.04.2017

    .. enjoyable!, as always




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  • Nelly
    04.04.2017

    Nice!




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  • Musa
    04.04.2017

    Great writer! Show’s one shouldn’t give up on their dreams after progressing into parenthood and all.
    Her symbolism between human life and the fruit life is top notch as well hahaha. I have seen a similar article that
    describes all four Kenyan presidencies using nduthis. Yes. Nduthis.
    https://www.africantrainofthought.com/single-post/2017/03/31/To-Ndu-this-or-not-to-Ndu-this




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    • Musa
      04.04.2017

      Poo-phoria is a marvellous description of the Zen feeling after taking a long excretory break




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  • JB
    04.04.2017

    Great read. Who would have thought fruit flies would be interesting. This part was hilarious. “What in the world did you have for dinner, Ms. Pink Wedges?”
    Happy birthday Cliff the tall 🙂




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  • tweety
    04.04.2017

    @Cliff the tall, happy birthday. Good Read Rose, loved the humor and article is well written.




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  • Njeri Ndungu
    04.04.2017

    Awesome read Rose. Biko, we would love to read about her Boss’s cat




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  • Betty
    04.04.2017

    Thanks Rose,it was short and interesting.
    My favorite spot is the toilet too ( well my toilet)




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  • marits
    04.04.2017

    O_o fruit flies were animals after all, i thought it would be cousins flying fruits to/at each other. Good read tho’




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  • njeri Mwangi
    04.04.2017

    nice read I enjoyed




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  • Jojo
    04.04.2017

    I like Rose
    Very cool 48y.o.




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  • Wachera Wanyeki
    04.04.2017

    Reading creates this mental image, I always had one of the guy speaking until I googled your pic and now I am disoriented I have to come back and read this when I adjust to the new mental image.




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  • Juliah
    04.04.2017

    Nice read kudos Rose, @cliff the tall welcome to third floor though with your height you could already see what was happening in third floor, while you were still in second floor.




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  • Sir
    04.04.2017

    Its a nice reminder of genetics back in high sch.lovable read.




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  • Kiki
    04.04.2017

    I know the toilet you are talking about as a chiromo alumni.I loved that loo too.so much I once made out with my campo boyfie in that loo during an invertebrate biology lab lesson.LOL.. Nice read you should write more.maybe in those scientific journals as a comic relief once one is done reading the “boring” articles.




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    • mama c
      05.04.2017

      Now, this is what i call extreme adventure- or is it a scientists idea of the mile high club? 🙂




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  • Denis Munuve
    04.04.2017

    Rose Ndegwa you mean even in Kansas maids ni Kaos? Cliché…




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  • Mugabi P
    04.04.2017

    Kudos Rose Ndegwa ! That’s downright cool and freakishly exciting for an entomology class.But the part where you relate it with our own kind is spot on.
    Happy birthday Cliff.Watch your height.




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  • Hillary
    04.04.2017

    congratulations!
    unrelated, why is Biko conspicuously missing from this year’s BAKE awards? Decided to leave it for the kids?




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  • Mish
    04.04.2017

    Great read there Rose Ndegwa. Happy birthday Cliff




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  • Sangiz
    04.04.2017

    what else does Cliff share with the fruit flies?..missing a party?No!




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  • kennedy
    04.04.2017

    Me and cats no so don’t even touch he boss’s cat,biology was a lesson i heard was in my school taught in the afternoon after githeri had taken control of my eyes and brain,zzzzzzz
    i would rather form a commission of inquiry to inquire as to why the other commission did not give us a heads up on Cliffs “tall” birthday.
    I hope they won report back and say “That smoke…………work of Biko trying to confuse us with the guest writer or was it burning mattress?”




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  • Florine
    04.04.2017

    Nzi ya tunda.
    And those toilets
    Nice read




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  • Wuod-ma
    05.04.2017

    WOW, that was different. In a good way. Nice piece Rose Ndegwa.. making science and complex genetics readable. Gregor Mendel if my memory serves me right was a monk.




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  • Emily
    05.04.2017

    Insightful piece. Felt like bio 101.




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  • Purity Murugi
    05.04.2017

    I love that 4 by 4 room. It allows me to get away from the noise and madness in life. I agree power naps in there have really helped especially when you have a busy season at the office. Great writing here. She should have been a writer from the word go. If she can write this way about a fruit fly then she she should go on and serve us more of her genius.




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  • Mark
    05.04.2017

    Swahili nomenclature 101: Nah, Nzi ya Tunda just won’t do for the fruit fly! The rule of thumb is to get the verb derivative of the noun (not sure there is such a thing) and use it to name the species that is the fruit fly. In our case, this would be derived as follows: Fly equates to ‘kuburuka’ in Swahili (the verb); hence the verb derivative would be ‘kiburushi’ (i.e. something that flies). Then, depending on the types of fruits grown in one’s locale, or observations as to the types of fruits or liquids a particular group of fruit flies is attracted to, we would then end up with ‘Kiburushi nazi’ (fruit fly drawn to coconuts), ‘Kiburushi embe’ (the mango fruit fly), ‘Kiburushi sherbeti’ (a drunkard fruit fly with a liking for wine), ‘Kiburushi mwitu’ (an uncultured fruit fly whose taste is scattered across a salad of fruits) and so on. Otherwise, a nice read, says http://www.zurikiki.com .




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    • Kevin
      05.04.2017

      Eh, sawa. Hapa Kiswahili kidogooo ni tafash




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  • Kevin
    05.04.2017

    😂😂😂
    Hapo kwa swimming pool hata msikatae




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  • Nzilani
    05.04.2017

    “It is said that some of the best creative ideas happen in the shower. It has something to do with the rain-like rhythm of water and the shower jet streams hitting against the skin, igniting the neurons in the right brain”. Totally true for me. Now I know why. Nice read Rose.




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  • QS Vosty
    05.04.2017

    Who is a ms. pink wedges? i asked my girlfriend
    Uh a ms wearing pink wedges?
    what are wedges?
    some type of shoes, grandpa.
    oh it all makes sense now.




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    • General Zod
      06.04.2017

      Dumb,how do you even have a girlfriend?




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  • Preston
    05.04.2017

    wow..great piece….especially after studying their behavioural responses to stimuli…loving every part of this piece




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  • liz
    05.04.2017

    haha…nice…great ideas in the shower though
    favourite room being the..




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  • Leeken
    05.04.2017

    Cool blog. Check out.
    leeblogscom.wordpress.com
    Thank me later




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  • Ciru
    05.04.2017

    Who would have thought a piece on bugs would be this entertaining. Post the cat story- It can’t be that bad _ cats have nine lives must be worth reading




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  • Betty
    05.04.2017

    Biko….Anyway good job Rose Ndegwa.
    One day I will write about my love for dark toilets…no turning lights on and the thrill of knowing the exact number of steps to the toilet in the dead of the night.
    Afro cinema coming shortly.




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  • Patrick Ojil
    05.04.2017

    Awesome piece Rose , You’ve made an exact science sound really cool in a social
    science forum , keep it up !




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  • Maxwell Munene
    05.04.2017

    Good read




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  • Ann
    05.04.2017

    Bleeding rabbits in the lab made me trade research for a sales job after for years and a good grade. Memories awakened




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  • James, Jane
    05.04.2017

    @cliff_the_tall karibu third floor the door is this way. Mind your head 🙂




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  • MATTHEW
    05.04.2017

    Nice read Rose. This is a very interesting platform Biko. Maybe one day I will submit my piece. I hope it passes the screening.




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  • Kim
    06.04.2017

    Nice article. It like ladies think in the toilet reminds me of the short story by Bessie Head called the toilet . About that gathugumiri imagine riding a motor cycle and then you encounter the kafly stright into the eye.




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  • Wanga
    06.04.2017

    Nice write up Rose. Genetics 101 awakened. Please write more on scientific topics like that and we shall love..And the 4by4 cubicle….can be a place for bursts ofclear thinking….i love those moments!




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  • Wanga
    06.04.2017

    Biko,please make the comment box more writer friendly…where one can see what they wrote preciously!




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  • G
    06.04.2017

    Drosophila melanogaster I remember that…. a gene and a species name….
    Biologically they had to be underlined…More writings Ndesh




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  • nyomi
    06.04.2017

    My first time to comment. I loved the piece. And happy belated birthday cliff. Cheers




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  • Muindi Kimanzi
    06.04.2017

    It took me two, wait…three days to read this. I like how disgustfully brilliant the writing is. Biko, as you would say, this one has legs. Keep at it Rose.




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  • Gerald
    07.04.2017

    Always find myself reading these posts never disappointing.




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  • Josiah
    07.04.2017

    Haha now this is a good piece on taking leaks. Its good to learn from a scientist that
    Animal-people love to do it too. I Am left with one question though, if a small drosophilla is a ‘gathugumiri?’
    What do we make of 80kg grown men peeing in swimming pools? (Read;githugumiri) As i am about to answer the 1st question, more and more keep coming up
    About these people who pee in the bathroom And swimming pools
    Do they watch out for anyone who might be looking?
    Do they examine any colour changes in the water?
    Do they quickly swim away from the scene?
    Do they pity anyone swimming into the redzone while its still fresh?
    Does it feel warm?

    And to you ester,did the gazillion fruitflies haunt and coerced you
    to write about them?

    https://doinsights.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/think/




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  • Anny
    08.04.2017

    My only question is why did you not get back to your room until Saturday afternoon haha. Good piece! Takes me back




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  • Rob@
    08.04.2017

    speaking of talents and purpose. I’ve just watched a movie where a student told a monk his purpose in life is finding his purpose




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  • Osano Cavine
    09.04.2017

    Nice one Rose… but wait a minute; this peeing while singing in the bathroom, I bet you have experience with that. Me too.
    http://www.osanospeaks.com/




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  • Sue
    09.04.2017

    I didn’t imagine an article on fruit flies could be so interesting. Awesome read. Biko you should consider featuring Rose more… I wonder which animal she’ll write about next time.




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  • Lens Queen
    09.04.2017

    This piece actually got me laughing! Good read Rose




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  • Amani. S
    10.04.2017

    “It is said that some of the best creative ideas happen
    in the shower….. I like the shower, but by far my
    favourite room is the toilet. I realize that might
    sound a little gross to some…”
    Dear Guest writer, i do have similar habits or something
    like that. I tend to make decisive and informed decisions
    in the toilet and i have been wondering, am i normal?
    I honestly do not know but it works for me.
    Thanks for piece.




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  • Kyengo "CK
    10.04.2017

    I thoroughly enjoyed this piece even though I have zero clue on Biology!




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  • Ivy
    11.04.2017

    I looove the read… Surely Biko’s guest post never ever disappoint so far.. Sing get why there were some people hating though.. I’m taking science at Chiromo, used that very Zoology lab severally, did that gene sequence thing with the drosophila. So do I relate? 100/




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  • Jenny
    11.04.2017

    The title had put me off but upon reading, its quite an interesting piece and I relate, the toilet is the best place, to meditate and create.




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  • sally ranji
    11.04.2017

    Reading it now and totally loving it.Humor is on another level.Awesome piece.




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  • Abbas!!
    25.04.2017

    Drosophila Melanogaster….




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  • Faith
    26.04.2017

    Late read but Rose Ndegwa definitely ignites the passion for science…
    Fruitflies genome and the human genome…didn’t know that




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  • Salim
    30.04.2017

    Fulfilling showers are climaxed by that pee in the bathroom… Blame it on the effect of flowing water on the body




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    • Rose
      01.05.2017

      LOL!




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  • alexjaaba
    04.05.2017

    science book…




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