Those pesky kitchen pests have helped us out more than you may think!

You’ve swatted them from your food and may have killed a handful inside of traps, but did you know that fruit flies have several genetic similarities to us humans? We’ve got a lot to thank them for, and today, we learn some of the interesting things they’ve helped us discover!

Image: fruit flies on an orange

Source: skeeze // Pixabay

Because of these genetic similarities, scientists have been able to study these tiny beings and learn more about how the systems of the body work!

Here’s a video all about if from KQED San Francisco’s Deep Look

We’ve paired this video with thought-provoking discussion questions perfect for the classroom in this touchstone on our education platform, EWCed!

It’s pretty amazing how we’re all connected, isn’t it? We can learn so much about ourselves and our world by simply studying the other species that inhabit it.

So, what other creatures have we learned from? For starters, we’re discovering how to more efficiently design our world from the master designer itself: nature. Take a look at how biomimicry is changing how we develop solutions in this article!

7 minutes

Need to Solve a Problem? Turn to Nature!

The natural world is a remarkable problem solver. So, why aren't we turning to nature to find more answers to our complex problems? Here's how biomimicry is helping us build a better future!

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And did you know that fire ants are teaching us interesting things about the nature of physics, technology, and the future of robotics? It’s all from the interesting buddy system they’ve adapted. Check it out!

5 minutes

Fire Ants: The Material of the Future?

Did you know that a colony of fire ants can act as a liquid and a solid? We know, it sounds crazy, these little guys have a lot they can teach us!

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Now let’s talk about the naked mole rat (because who doesn’t want to talk about naked mole rats?) They’re helping us learn more about the human body concerning strokes, our lifespans, cancer treatments and so much more. We, and The Brain Scoop, tell you all about it in this article:

11 minutes

Earth’s Most Fascinating Creature: The Naked Mole-Rat?

Naked mole-rats are far more than what meets the eye. These strange, ancient, cancer resistant, insect-like mammals have a lot for us to learn from!

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There’s so much more to be discovered, so keep yourself open to all of this possibility! We don’t know where it will take us, but surely it can only get better.


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Animals on EWC

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  1. “These Fighting Fruit Flies Are Superheroes of Brain Science | Deep Look.” YouTube. Deep Look, 28 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Jan. 2018. <>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.