BDL: Mapping out the Genetic Blueprint of the Fruit Fly Visual System

Vector Illustration, Laser Cutting

Four layers of acrylic sheets highlighted by LED lights on an acrylic base represents the complex layering of fruit fly brain functioning at the following different levels: Behavioural, Anatomical, Cellular and Synaptic. Each level maps out the functioning at that particular level through intricate laser printed graphics. Accompanied by a folded blueprint style infographic. All designs were made to cater to both the scientific community (through the use of diagrams) and also to those who know less about the topic but would like to know more (through use of simple but effective infographics + pamphlet).



Drosophila melanogaster, or more commonly known as the fruit fly, proves to be extremely beneficial in the advancement of our understanding of the human brain. With the development of genetic techniques in fruit flies, we can obtain significant insight into how certain genes may be contributing to the development and function of the human brain. This project serves to portray how studying one of these genes located in the fruit fly visual system, called Borderless, may lead to important discoveries into the development of certain human brain malfunctions, such as epilepsy.


Scientific information: Work of McGill neuroscience student Hunter Shaw (PhD).

Relevant links:

McGill News article