Via Thnk Progress, another glimpse at the willful ignorance of Sarah Palin, who ridiculed federal spending on research involving Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly). Quoting remarks by Palin:
Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and ometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.
PZ Myers at Pharyngula is quick to point out the idiocy of Palin’s latest pronouncement.
This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.
A quick search of PubMed shows the wealth of research being conducted in Drosophila to improve our understanding of neuroendocrine dysfunction, developmental and genetic abnoralities, cognitive disorders and the biological basis of behavior. Maybe Palin thinks we should rely on intercessory prayer as a replacement for biomedical research, freeing up valuable funds to improve the wardrobe choices of all Americans.