On October 24th, Sarah Palin gave a speech at a Special Needs conference. In her speech, she mocked "fruit fly research." She was apparently referring to a recent study of Drosophila fruit flies revealing that a protein called neurexin is essential for proper neurological function -- a discovery with clear implications for autism research.
Imagine -- mocking scientific research at a conference on problems understanding of which that very research has has proven to be essential!
It’s unclear if Palin is unaware of the central role that fruit fly research plays in modern genetics, or if she was pandering to her fans at Fox News. Suffice to say that “fruit fly research” has enabled us to discover much of what we know about ... congenital disorders.
Every high school biology student knows that identifying genetic patterns in fruit flies has led to genetic discoveries in humans.
Again, it’s not clear if Palin is unaware of the significance of those discoveries ... Palin has a Down’s Syndrome son, and our knowledge of how that syndrome works (as well as its eventual treatment and prevention), comes from fruit fly research. The next round of significant Down’s Syndrome discoveries will not be called significant, until they are first tested on fruit flies.
There is nothing contestable about the above facts. Like Mendel’s discovery of gene pairing rules, they’re just basic science. But regardless of Palin’s motivation for spreading her ignorance, you should watch the clip noted below, especially the moment where Palin utters the term “fruit fly research.” Her contempt and disdain for even these fundamentals of science – is unmistakable. (And juvenile. Her inner Jr. High princess coming out again)
... As if fundamental science can be shouted down by the indignation of a thousand screaming Joes.
Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCXqKEs68Xk and
John McCain's war policies will cost America nearly $1 trillion and with far fewer results than genetic research, including that on, yes, fruit flies.
God bless America and may the power of democracy protect us. We need to fix our economy. We need to fix our roads. We need bridges. We need jobs. We need schools where kids are taught the principles of science if we are to compete with China and India and Russia to raise our standard of living. We deserve to be a country where poor kids like Obama can become president, and not just rich kids like Bush and McCain.
(Most of the above was sent to us as an email. It appears to be valid, but most is not original with EyeonOregon).