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Scientists use lasers to make fruit flies do a song and dance


What with their simple genetics and ultra-brief lifespan, poor fruit flies are the go-to insect for mad scientists. Researchers have discovered a new way to make their lives miserable with a mind-altering project called FlyMAD (not kidding). There's even an overly-elaborate plan: motion tracking cameras guide a specially-tuned laser to zap the insects like a tiny missile system. That activates light and heat neurons in their brains, triggering singing and dancing that seduces no actual female Drosophila. The scientists, however, were well pleased, and think they can further manipulate their subjects by perfecting the technique -- which we're sure has infinite real-world application.

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