NEUROSCIENCE

Analyzing Drosophila activity

Cichewicz, K. & Hirsh, J. Commun. Biol. 1, 25 (2018).

Circadian rhythms, sleep and activity of fruit flies can be recorded in the Drosophila Activity Monitor (DAM) system. In this device, individual flies walk around in glass tubes with food at one end, and breaks in an infrared beam that crosses the glass tube are recorded as fly activity. Several options for data analysis are available, but they rely on software that requires commercial licenses or that might not be straightforward to install or use. Cichewicz and Hirsh developed a web-based solution called ShinyR-DAM, which is easy to use and can handle standard experimental designs as well as multiple genotypes and conditions. ShinyR-DAM accepts output files from the DAM system and generates plots of individual and population activity, as well as summary graphs. A useful feature is the automated exclusion of data from dead flies. The analysis can be customized for sleep, circadian rhythm or general activity studies in Drosophila.

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Correspondence to Nina Vogt.

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Vogt, N. Analyzing Drosophila activity. Nat Methods 15, 407 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-018-0021-3

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