Sarah Palin thinks fruit fly genetics research is useless, doesn’t know it has been going on for over 100 years

September 4, 2014



“Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.”

– Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential candidate, during a 2008 speech

Sarah Palin doesn’t understand genetics research. Fruit flies have been used in scientific research for over 100 years now. 

A variety of human diseases, possibly up to 75%, have genetic equivalents in fruit flies.

To quote a University of North Carolina study:

“[S]cientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for..nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.

The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism.”

Palin criticism suggested that autism research was being ignored in favor of fruit flies, but if she had taken a few minutes to use Google to research the topic, she might have realized how vital certain types of scientific research are. 

Palin is a political celebrity, and should not be looked to for advice on scientific policy.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About jslachman381

I'm a Yale graduate who majored in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.

View all posts by jslachman381


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

3 Comments on “Sarah Palin thinks fruit fly genetics research is useless, doesn’t know it has been going on for over 100 years”

  1. magnocrat Says:

    She is quite right to queston the money spent on scientific research. Much goes on weaponry developement.
    If there need be cut backs then huge costly particle colliders that end up finding The Higgs might be considered. Or trips to Mars. At the present moment 23,000 die of starvation each day.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: