Drosophila melanogaster : Queen of Genetics

Sociogenomics, a subdiscipline of genomics, is an integrative approach to behavioral biology that compares genomic data to behavioral phenotype. Of particular interest are differential gene expression of mRNA (transcriptomics) and protein transcription (proteomics) that correspond to changes in behavior. Data of this sort is especially useful when comparing the genomic qualities of organisms with varying degrees of social organization.[1]

While sociogenomics integrates more fields of study and is more encompassing than classical genetics, the methodology is still considered forward genetics. The goal is to determine genes or sets of genes and their artifacts that contribute to the expression of a phenotype.

Polio: A major Cause of Death

Vaccination can protect people from polio. Polio is a disease caused by a virus. It is spread mainly by person-to-person contact. It can also be spread by consuming food or drinks that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

Most people infected with polio have no symptoms, and many recover without complications. But sometimes people who get polio develop paralysis (cannot move their arms or legs). Polio can result in permanent disability. Polio can also cause death, usually by paralyzing the muscles used for breathing.

Polio used to be very common in the United States. It paralyzed and killed thousands of people every year before polio vaccine was introduced in 1955. There is no cure for polio infection, but it can be prevented by vaccination.

Polio has been eliminated from the United States. But it still occurs in other parts of the world. It would only take one person infected with polio coming from another country to bring the disease back here if we were not protected by vaccination. If the effort to eliminate the disease from the world is successful, some day we won’t need polio vaccine. Until then, we need to keep getting our children vaccinated.