General Lab Instructions

Always lock the door of your room, even if you leave for just a short while – there are thieves around.

Do not leave valuables in unlocked rooms (i.e., fly-lab).

Journal Club is always Tuesdays at 12:00-13:00 in the seminar room. Attendance is compulsory for every Master-Student and up. Attendance is recommended for everybody else. Labmeetings are always Mondays, starting 15:00, attendance is also compulsory for every Master-Student and up.

Online Resources

This lab relies heavily on online resources. It is therefore important to obtain an account from the computing center ASAP. Once you have that account, you should also get a Google account (if you don’t already have one), because we rely heavily on Google services, at least for now. You can have all email from your Google account go to your university account, which makes things easier. The lab’s events are handled using Google Calendars. As soon as you have your Google account, please see Björn to get invited to the relevant Google calendars.

We also have a shared drive which you can mount on your computer via the computing center. Contact Björn for details. If you want to share files with other lab members, please use the ‘share’ folder. If you want to back-up files, please create a folder with your last name. This will also be the place where you should place all your data, posters, presentations, figures, papers or other important files Björn may need access to. Login to our Slack channel for easy communication with other lab members.

Your browser’s start page should be set to Every member of the Brembs lab will have an account at and will be able to blog about their projects from there or use their online profile to tell people about their project.

As our lab is increasingly making all data and code openly accessible, check out and become a member of our GitHub team and keep up to date on best practices in data on the web.

Björn Brembs’ site is at and his blog at and Twitter @brembs.

Fly-lab/S1 rules

Only people who have been officially instructed (once a year) and have signed the instruction form have the permission to work in the S1 labs!

General lab behavior rules:

  • No eating and drinking inside the fly-lab
  • Keep bags, coats etc. outside
  • Windows and doors should be closed during work (unless there are nets in front)
  • No other insects allowed (kill every critter you see)
  • Keep lab clean and orderly:
    • clean up workbench and disinfect with EtOH after working
    • don’t leave dead flies, -wings and other body-parts lying around
    • place the tools (brushes, pencils, scissors, fly-container etc.) back in the marked containers after use
    • keep fly stocks in incubators, not on workbench
    • fly-vials, boxes and trays must be labeled properly. Tray- and box-labels should indicate the name of the person, experimenting with the flies,

fly-vials should be mentioned with the stock and date

  • set up flytraps (if too many flies fly around)
  • Never leave fly vials with food open without preventing flies from entering

Using special lab-equipment / -installations:

  • Fly-wheels, Courtship-wheels, Benzer counter-current apparatus:

Clean instruments thoroughly with ethanol after each use

  • CO2-Stations:

Close all the valves before you leave to avoid gas leakage!

  • Cooling-Station:

Do not move the cooling pad, pay attention to the temperature sensor, switch off the A/C unit after use

  • Fly-food:

Ordered food-vials are kept in the cold room

General fly-pushing rules:

For behavioral experiments, we need to keep the flies happy and comfortable. This means we need to pamper them. Here are some simple rules of thumb to keep your flies (and thus yourself) happy:

  • Everyone takes care of their own flies! (possible exceptions: Björn, undergrads, special circumstances)
  • Label the vials first, then push the flies in
  • Keep all flies for which experiments are planned on 25°C for at least one full generation, if at all possible.
  • Give the flies live yeast paste, avoid the dry yeast and never forget the yeast
  • Give the flies filter paper to perch and pupate on (and don’t forget to remove the filter from used vials!)
  • Push the 25°C flies on a daily basis according to the instructions in this video. Do not deviate from this rule unless you know what you are doing. If in doubt, ask Björn. Remember: fly density is a crucial parameter for experimental success!
  • Rules of thumb for proper fly density:
    • the filter is upright over the entire development period (8-10 days)
    • the top layer of the food becomes liquid at around day 2-3 after egg-laying
    • on the second day after pupation (~day 5-6) there are no more (or very few) larvae in the medium
    • Medium is solid again when the first flies hatch from the pupal case
    • 4-5 days after the first fly has hatched, virtually all flies have hatched.
  • Do not anesthetize flies more than absolutely necessary. Think of ways of how to reduce the flies’ exposure to CO2 or cold anesthesia.
  • If your experiment does not demand a particular age for your flies, work with 3-6 day-old flies.
  • All flies not immediately waiting for experimentation are kept on 18°C – always inform/discuss with Frau Kühn!
  • You only order as many vials as you need – do not discard old, unused vials, just order fewer in the next round and use them all up.
  • Remove filter paper from used vials to prevent the dishwasher from clogging up!

Happy researching!

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