To Know a Fly by Vincent G. DethierTHIS WAS SO GOOD. ITS HILARIOUS AND SCIENTIFIC, WHICH IS AWESOME.
This book was surprisingly hilarious. Dethier had these witty, comical comments and they made me laugh. The novel starts out talking about how why we should test on flies and how it’s an obvious choice because they’re always here-like taxes. There’s also the fact that it would save so much space, money, and time. While he gives us facts and statistics, he also put in little anecdotes about his past experiences.
“Have you even tried to buy fly paper these days?”
“I’ll bet you a bottle of beer of you fail.”
Then the next few chapters start to elaborate on tests they did on the flies. They wanted to find out if a fly could possess a sense of taste. Is it similar to ours? How well can they detect taste? So they basically stuck flies on the ends of pencils with wax, and put them in pots with different amounts of sugar dissolved in water. When a fly got close they extended their proboscis’ to drink, and they only extended when they could tell that there was sugar in the water. Dethier did the test with actual people and they couldnt detect any sugar in the pot flies could. With meant that they could detect taste much better than we can. After that there are a whole lot more experiments, including conducting surgeries to create two flies stuck together, so they share the same blood stream. And also cutting the flies’ necks open. Yay!
My favourite part was when “Mr.X” figures out the most brilliant yet simple way to measure how much water the flies were drinking. It was basically a jar with a two piece lid. He made two tubes and sculpted them into a ‘J’ formation and filled them with water, marking to point where the water filled up to. The next day, he took a syringe and filled up to the line he drew, and from that, he calculated how much water was consumed. Later, he one-upped that by covering the feeding tubes with conducting paint. Wires then went from the inside of the jar, came out through a small hole in the lid and went inside an amplifier that was attached to a recording instrument which drew wavy lines. Whenever a fly would drink, the machine will start drawing straight lines. Now they could tell when they were eating. Genius.
I thought this book was great, it was thought provoking and was interesting from the beginning. The little drawings were hilarious and the narrator was funny. The book didn’t ever start to get boring; it was awesome the whole way through. Also the concepts and all the experiments were explained in a way which made sense and the anecdotes provided some more depth in a really fun way. I immensely enjoyed this novel. :D
To Know a Fly - Four Levels | Adventure In English
Dethier, is about a scientist who fell in love with the fly. Professor Dethier isn't like most scientists who are idolized for their accomplishments and rejected for the lack of ability to communicate with society. He was known for being an outstanding researcher, and he also had the wonderful gift of communication. The fact that he was fascinated by the knowledge that could be obtained from such a simple species, such as the fly, also made him popular with the public. The main focus of the book involves Professor Dethier designing and performing various experiments.