Researchers have identified a small group of neurons in Drosophila that are key to determining how female flies choose where to lay their eggs, a study in Science reports. The neurons are part of a neural circuit that could serve as a model to probe the molecular basis of decision-making, the study's authors say. Chung-hui Yang, a postdoc in linkurl:Yuh-Nung Jan's;http://www.hhmi.org/research/investigators/janyn.html lab at the University of California, San Francisco, was intrigued by the fact that female flies were so picky about where to lay their eggs. "From carefully watching, [Yang] realized that they go through this stereotyped behavior, which has never been reported," Jan said. Each time, the fly bends her abdomen until it is almost perpendicular to the surface she is standing on, and then moves her body back and forth to expel the eggs; immediately afterwards, she grooms herself and momentarily stays still, as if resting. The researchers...
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