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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index L > Category: Larva

Larva Quotes (4 quotes)

In systemic searches for embryonic lethal mutants of Drosophila melanogaster we have identified 15 loci which when mutated alter the segmental patterns of the larva. These loci probably represent the majority of such genes in Drosophila. The phenotypes of the mutant embryos indicate that the process of segmentation involves at least three levels of spatial organization: the entire egg as developmental unit, a repeat unit with the length of two segments, and the individual segment.
[Co-author with American physiologist Eric Wieshaus (1947-)]
'Mutations Affecting Segment Number and Polarity in Drosophila', Nature, 1980, 287, 795.
Science quotes on:  |  Development (122)  |  Drosphilia (3)  |  Egg (27)  |  Embryo (15)  |  Fruit Fly (4)  |  Gene (49)  |  Indication (15)  |  Mutation (12)  |  Search (40)  |  Segmentation (2)  |  Unit (15)

One day when the whole family had gone to a circus to see some extraordinary performing apes, I remained alone with my microscope, observing the life in the mobile cells of a transparent star-fish larva, when a new thought suddenly flashed across my brain. It struck me that similar cells might serve in the defence of the organism against intruders. Feeling that there was in this something of surpassing interest, I felt so excited that I began striding up and down the room and even went to the seashore in order to collect my thoughts.
I said to myself that, if my supposition was true, a splinter introduced into the body of a star-fish larva, devoid of blood-vessels or of a nervous system, should soon be surrounded by mobile cells as is to be observed in a man who runs a splinter into his finger. This was no sooner said than done.
There was a small garden to our dwelling, in which we had a few days previously organised a 'Christmas tree' for the children on a little tangerine tree; I fetched from it a few rose thorns and introduced them at once under the skin of some beautiful star-fish larvae as transparent as water.
I was too excited to sleep that night in the expectation of the result of my experiment, and very early the next morning I ascertained that it had fully succeeded.
That experiment formed the basis of the phagocyte theory, to the development of which I devoted the next twenty-five years of my life.
In Olga Metchnikoff, Life of Elie Metchnikoff 1845-1916 (1921), 116-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Cell (90)  |  Circus (3)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Life (460)  |  Microscope (47)  |  Nerve (53)  |  Phagocyte (2)  |  Theory (353)

The extracellular genesis of cells in animals seemed to me, ever since the publication of the cell theory [of Schwann], just as unlikely as the spontaneous generation of organisms. These doubts produced my observations on the multiplication of blood cells by division in bird and mammalian embryos and on the division of muscle bundles in frog larvae. Since then I have continued these observations in frog larvae, where it is possible to follow the history of tissues back to segmentation.
'Ueber extracellulare Eutstehung thierischer Zelleu und όόber Vermehrung derselben durch Theilung', Archiv fόr Anatomie, Physiologie und Wissenschaftliche Medicin (1852), 1, 49-50. Quoted in Erwin H. Ackerknecht, Rudolf Virchow: Doctor Statesman Anthropologist (1953), 83-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Animals (2)  |  Bird (57)  |  Blood (63)  |  Bundle (4)  |  Cell (90)  |  Continuation (13)  |  Division (19)  |  Doubt (67)  |  Embryo (15)  |  Frog (24)  |  Generation (56)  |  Genesis (10)  |  History (156)  |  Mammal (17)  |  Multiplication (11)  |  Muscle (24)  |  Observation (264)  |  Organism (70)  |  Publication (75)  |  Theodor Schwann (7)  |  Segmentation (2)  |  Spontaneity (4)  |  Theory (353)  |  Tissue (15)

There is a reference in Aristotle to a gnat produced by larvae engendered in the slime of vinegar. This must have been Drosophila.
A History of Genetics (1965). Epigraph cited in M. M. Green, James F. Crow (ed.) and William F. Dove (ed.), 'It Really Is Not a Fruit Fly', Genetics (Sep 2002), 162, 1. The article points out that Drosophila melanogaster now called the “fruit fly,” was historically known in general genetics texts as the “pomace fly” (e.g. Castle, 1911) or the “vinegar fly” (e.g. Morgan, Bridges and Sturtevant, 1925). The article footnotes the origin as a sentence in Aristotle’s History of Animals, book 5, section 19: “The conops comes from a grub engendered in the slime of vinegar.” Whereas that insect would seen to be the “vinegar fly,” from descriptions elsewhere in Aristotle's writing, he also used the word “conops” for an insect like a mosquito.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (101)  |  Drosophila (2)  |  Fruit Fly (4)  |  Genetics (79)  |  Gnat (4)  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Reference (6)  |  Slime (4)  |  Vinegar (3)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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