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Science on Tap - Fruit Flies and Alcohol

Kiggins Theatre
1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA 98660, US (map)

Doors open at 6pm. Beer, wine, pizza slices, popcorn and snacks available.



Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Time: Doors at 6 p.m. event at 7 p.m. Location: Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, Wash.

Cost: $8 online advance tickets , $10* suggested cover at the door. This is an all-ages event.

Food & Drink: Beer, wine, pizza slices, popcorn and snacks available.

Event Description:

Those pesky fruit flies that seem to come out of nowhere have actually evolved a pretty sophisticated way to stay healthy. Fruit flies are often host to parasitic wasps who lay their eggs inside the flies and which, after they hatch, consume the flies from the inside out. (Yes, like the movie Alien.) Since fruit flies are often around rotting, fermenting fruits, the flies that are infected with the parasitic wasps will actively seek out otherwise harmful levels of alcohol that has the effect of killing off the wasps in their system. They can also identify the wasps by sight, and when they see them, they will lay their eggs on more alcoholic food sources in (presumably) an effort to protect their offspring from being infected in the future. Todd Schlenke, PhD, professor of biology at Reed College, will talk about his studies that seem to show fruit flies self medicating and discuss how alcohol might be used as medication in humans as well.

Science on Tap is a science lecture series where you can sit back, enjoy a pint, and laugh while you learn. Listen to experts talk about the science in your neighborhood and around the world. You don’t have to be a science geek to have fun—all you need is a thirst for knowledge!

Science on Tap at the Kiggins is produced in partnership with Washington State University Vancouver.

*A note on the suggested cover at the door: Science on Tap is supported, in part, by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering educational opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $10 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.