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Article of the Week
This Just In: Fruit Flies Can Have Virgin Births
Almost a year ago we launched this newsletter with a story about crab sperm, so we thought we’d celebrate by bringing you a story about…fruit fly sex. Happy birthday to us?
This week scientists announced that they’ve found a way to genetically modify a certain species of fruit flies to give birth asexually and bypass the entire dating and mating process. Cause they don’t need no man.
The asexual fruit flies always give birth to more females and pass down their virgin-birthing abilities to their daughters. You know, like any good feminist mother would.
But why the h*ck are we telling you about fruit fly sex? Because these warrior mothers might be a vital key to their species’ survival, which could also impact our food security.
Thanks to modern farming practices like homogenous crop planting and using harsh pesticides, not to mention air pollution, male fruit flies are on the decline. Turns out that all those pest control products we’re using to eliminate crop-attacking bugs could actually increase the population by turning the females into solo baby makers.
Other insect and lizard species have evolved to reproduce asexually when there are not enough males around, and now we can be sure that fruit flies will do the same thing.
This means that fruit flies could become an even bigger problem for farmers, which brings up a whole conversation about modern farming practices and the need to find better ways to produce food, but that’s above our pay grade.
For now, we’ll leave you with this: as long as there is a male fruit fly around, feminism leaves the female’s body, and she will mate with the dude before going at it on her own.