Studying Tiny Fruit Flies, and Reaping Big Rewards
By JENNIFER MEDINA
Published: April 29, 2006
ALBANY, April 28 — A California neuroscientist and biologist whose research of fruit flies found genetic links to human behavior was awarded the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the country's largest award in the field.....
He said he became intrigued with the topic when his second daughter was born and he noticed remarkable differences from his first daughter. "I wondered, 'Are my wife and I doing things that differently?' " Dr. Benzer said. When asked about the specific differences in the two girls, Dr. Benzer demurred. "I'd rather avoid that question — I fear the repercussions," he said with a smile. "They are not bad differences, just different."...
Similarly, Dr. Benzer said, he is coded to sleep at different times than his wife, who wakes up at 6 a.m. and typically falls asleep by 10 p.m. Dr. Benzer, on the other hand, stays awake until 4 a.m. and sleeps until noon. He routinely works in his research laboratory into the early-morning hours, he said.
"We make it a point to have dinner together," he said.