Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fruit Flies

When I was a sophomore in High School one of my classes was Biology. The teacher was a great guy and it was a fun class.

One morning he started talking about his "pet project", which was developing a substance that could be disolved in water and sprayed on fruit flies, to render them sterile.

He had a little brown vial of stuff that looked like clear jelly. I sat in the front row.

When he went to the back of the room to do something, I sauntered up to his desk, opened the vial and took a good whiff. It had a very strong, rubbing-alcohol type smell, and I started feeling warm. From the back of the room my teacher shouted, "Steve, put that down, it's very toxic."

I replaced the cap, set it down and went back to my desk. Just as I sat down a charge of "electricity" went up my spinal cord to the back of my head, and I passed out for a couple of seconds.

My teacher asked if I was "OK". For many years I wondered if I was sterile, and happily that was not the case!