Virtual FlyLab at Cal State LA

Bob Desharnais bob at
Fri Jul 14 19:00:25 EST 1995

Genetics Instructors:

I'd like to make you aware of a new WWW service we have just made  
available on the Internet. 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  

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 (NeXT Mail ok)
Tel (213) 343-2056

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