U–M researcher Monica Dus studies how flies react to sugary diets. She has found that flies offered sweeter food will eat more. They also eat more if they’re in a group, and if they see other flies eating a particular food, they will eat more of the same thing.Flies get tipsy from the alcohol in rotting fruit, which also prompts them to eat more. And like humans, flies that overeat and become obese, die from the equivalent of heart attacks, kidney disease, and cancer. All of these insights can contribute to strategies designed to improve the health and eating habits of people.
This virtual exhibit gives continued life to a research exhibit shown at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History in the first years that it was open in the Biological Sciences Building.