Fruit Flies' Eyes Shrink a Little to See, University of Cambridge Study

Published: Oct 12, 2012

I spy, with my mechanical eye. It seems a simple mechanical change plays a role in sensory perception in fruit flies, and possibly in many other animals, including humans. The eyes of the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) contain clusters of light-sensitive cells organised into rods. When light strikes one of these cells, it triggers a series of chemical reactions. These cause a protein called a transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel to open. When it's open, the TRP allows charged particles to flow into the cell, causing the cell to send a signal to the fly's brain.

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