Tools of the Trade

Hello there,

In this blog post I am going to show you some of the different tools I use to perform the different procedures in my lab.

First off, here is a picture of a fruit fly.  This one happens to be a virgin female.

Virgin Fruit Fly

Next, here are some of my vials and bottles of fruit flies.  Different color tape signifies different types of flies, and the writing on the tape tells me which specific flies are insides.  You might as well call our lab a fruit fly and tape/sticker lab because we use tape and stickers constantly.  Many of the genes that we study do not change the appearance of the fruit fly, so I have no idea if my flies might have specific gene just by looking at them.  We usually acquire new types of flies by ordering them from the Bloomington Stock Center.  We then receive them in the mail in small vials like the ones shown with tape on the outside signifying which type of flies they are or what their genotype is.



We also keep flies in bottles.  When we collect virgin female flies we usually collect them from these bottles because they can hold much more flies for a mating, meaning that more flies will hatch over time for collections.

CO2 canister

In order to analyze my flies and collect virgins I have to put them to sleep using Carbon Dioxide.   Above are CO2 canisters that store the CO2 we use.  Our virgin collection station consists of a small CO2 pad and a gun that can shoot CO2 into the different vials and bottles of flies that we have.  Once I put the flies to sleep in their container I dump them onto the pad which releases a stream of low pressure CO2 continuously so the flies remain asleep while we work with them.  As long as I don’t leave them too long under CO2 they won’t die.  They’ll probably die after lying on the pad for 10 minutes.

Finally, the coolest looking device in the lab, the sonicator.


It emits high frequency sound waves to blast the outer layer or cuticle off a larva so we can more easily stain different proteins in the larva for visualization under the confocal microscope.

We certainly have other equipment in the lab, like the confocal microscope, but I’ll leave off this blog post with the items that I’ve shown you.


So long!