Want to understand better how human traits are passed on? Just study the fruit fly.

1Getting fruit flies drunk might sound silly, yet it’s an important part of Dr. Trudy Mackay’s research.

Enter Mackay’s lab at NC State University, and you will find multiple columns stretching from floor to ceiling with alcohol vapor running through them. If you look real close, you’ll see the fruit flies of those “inebriometers” partying hard — getting hyperactive, falling available to us, then eventually just passing out drunk.

The thing is, that’s how an individual would interact with alcohol. So does this make fruit flies more human? Obviously not. But it does illustrate one of the numerous traits and characteristics that people have in common using the humble (and occasionally tipsy) fruit fly.