Thierry Emonet (Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology) “How insects find their targets in a chaotic world”

November 3, 2020

From Yale News (November 3, 2020), “How insects find their targets in a chaotic world”

Insects use a well-honed sense of smell to transmit diseases, destroy crops, and pollinate flowers – behaviors that are both beneficial and detrimental for humankind. These tasks are complicated because natural odor environments fluctuate rapidly in the wild. How do insects find their targets in a world of ever-changing signals? The lab of Yale’s Thierry Emonet found an ingenious way to track — and even predict — how insects navigate in a chaotic world, By exposing flies in darkened area to smoke from a burning stick, the lab of Thierry Emonet mimicked natural world of complex, fluctuating odor signals, allowing them to record not only the flies seemingly random movements, but also the odor signal a fly perceives during navigation.

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