SEARCH FOR A GAY GENE

A DNA TRANSPLANT MADE THESE MALE FRUIT FLIES TURN AWAY FROM FEMALES. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF HOMOSEXUALITY?

Fruit flies are among the most sexually proficient creatures on earth. Their ability to produce a new generation in two weeks has made them the darlings of genetics researchers for nearly a century. Put a male fruit fly into a bottle with a female, and he doesn't waste any time before getting down to business.

So it's a bit bewildering to watch the behavior of certain fruit flies at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. There, in the laboratories of biologists Ward Odenwald and Shang-Ding Zhang, strange things are happening inside the gallon-size culture jars. In some experiments, the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!