Summer Reading Sale

Recently Viewed clear list

Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers

I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside - Bldg. 2 Biology- Genetics

This title in other editions

Fly the Unsung Hero of Twentieth Century


Fly the Unsung Hero of Twentieth Century Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

There's a buzz in the air, the sound of a billion wings vibrating to the tune of scientific success. In biology labs across the world, fruit flies are turning up answers to some of the basic questions of life. It's business as usual for the fly, which for generations has been defining biology's major landmarks. From genetics to development, behavior to aging, and evolution to the origin of species, the fruit fly has been a key player in some of the twentieth century's greatest biological discoveries.

Techniques to pinpoint genes that play a role in human disease depend on genetic mapmaking principles first established with the fly. It was experiments on fruit flies that opened our eyes to the dangers of radiation to human health. In fact, everything from gene therapy to cloning to the Human Genome Project is built on the foundation of fruit fly research. Despite its many achievements, the fruit fly remains an unsung hero in the history of science. At last, here is a book that gives the fly its long overdue credit.

In a highly original, witty, and irreverent style, Martin Brookes takes us through successive stages in the life cycle of the fly, each illustrating an important concept in biology. Some, such as the fundamentals of heredity, are well established; others, such as sexual warfare, learning, and memory, are still in their infancy. But whether flies are getting high on crack cocaine, enjoying the pleasures and pains of a boozy night out, being trained by punishment and reward, or struggling with insomnia, this book provides a glimpse of how one short life has informed almost every aspect of human existence. The result is a broad introduction to biology with insights into the practical realities of science.

Often dismissed as irrelevant outside academic circles, the fruit fly, through this distinctive biography, will come to be recognized for what it really is: an icon of twentieth-century science and a window on our own biological world.

About the Author

Martin Brookes has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology and spent eight years in biological research. He hates flies.

Product Details

The Unsung Hero of Twentieth-Century Science
Brookes, Martin
New York
Drosophila melanogaster.
Life Sciences - Genetics & Genomics
Life Sciences - Evolution
General science
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.09x5.72x.94 in. .81 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Philadelphia Chickens with CD (Audio)
    Used Hardcover $2.50
  2. Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution... Used Trade Paper $7.50
  3. How the Leopard Changed Its Spots:... New Trade Paper $37.25
  4. Discovery: Windows on the Life Sciences New Trade Paper $106.25
  5. Reshaping Life 3RD Edition Key... New Trade Paper $54.95
  6. The Cooperative Gene: How Mendel's... Used Hardcover $5.95

Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Biology » Genetics

Fly the Unsung Hero of Twentieth Century Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS - English 9780066212517 Reviews:
  • back to top
Follow us on...

Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at