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The Genetics Society asked the public to vote on their favorite model organism at the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival.


Who will be...




Special thanks to Mary Durham, the GSA Outreach Intern and a trainee rep to the GSA Education Committee.  She spearheaded the organization and expansion of the booth for this year's festival and did an amazing job!



And the 2014 Top Model Organism is.......







With 68 votes, here's what you were saying about Drosophila melanogaster:

"I liked the light-up eyes!"             


"It was cool to see them up close under the microscope."


"The ones without eyes freaked me out."


Click here to see the mutant flies that were on display






A close runner up - the house mouse, Mus musculus, with 63 votes:

"Mice are cute."


"Mice tell us the most about human genetics."



Click here to see the mutant mice that were on display


Here are the tallies for the other model organisms on display:


The nematode, C. elegans, with 57 votes:

"Worms are used in many fields of study."


"Worms are cool!"



Click here to see the mutant worms that were on display













Green algae, Volvox carteri, with 21 votes:

"I like that it's all full of little green circles."  



Click here to see the mutant Volvox that were on display


























Red bread mold, Neurospora crassa, with 11 votes:

"I like all the different colors and that they are all puffy."  

"Neurospora remains one of the most important models for study of circadian rhythms, epistasis, genome defense, and recombination.  Also, Neurospora has interesting mating 'behavior' and uses chemical pheromones to signal readiness to anastamose. Also, any strain, whether mating type A or a, can act as male OR female.  Mice can't do THAT!"  

~ Kevin McCluskey, Fungal Genetics Stock Center




Click here to see the mutant Neurospora that were on display

















And last, but never least, the thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, with 8 votes:

"I like plants!"


"I like that the flowers grow in different ways."  



Click here to see the mutant Arabidopsis that were on display

What about some other model organisms that weren't on display?  Here are the write-in votes:

Zebrafish (3 votes) Lactobacillus acidophilus
Water bears/tardigrades (2 votes) Toad bugs


Glow worm Ant
Spider Lion
Squid Dragonflies
Single-celled organisms Wolverine

Build Your Own Fly!






Women in Genetics


Evolution Thought Trail

Just how similar are model organisms to humans?


Evolution is improving your food!














A huge thank you to our volunteers and our donors, we couldn't have done it without you!





















2014 Donors


Alicia Howard, UMBC Department of Biological Sciences

Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center

David Eisenmann, UMBC Department of Biological Sciences

Fungal Genetic Stock Center

Jennifer Loros, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University

Mark Millard, US Department of Agriculture

Project BioEYES, Carnegie Institution for Science

Stephen Miller, UMBC Department of Biological Sciences

Theresa Fulton, Institute for Genomic Diversity, Cornell University

Zhongchi Lui, University of Maryland