As the halfway mark for the program is creeping up on us, we have all begun to brainstorm and plan out our long awaited independent projects! Over the past few weeks, we’ve built up our skills in order to prepare for our independent projects, by continuing to observe and collect developmental data from the flies in our screen projects. Although I’m still a little slow at counting pupae and pupal cases, identifying empty cases has become much easier and I no longer feel as guilty disposing of the adult flies every week. We have also gotten exposure to graphical abstracts and critiques on our presentation skills to prepare us for the final presentation on our independent projects.
In my independent project, I will be using the social space assay and righting assay to observe the fly’s behavior when intoxicated and exposed to the stressor of overcrowding. The social space assay will be used as a baseline to see that overcrowding causes stress on the flies. The righting assay looks at how long it takes for the flies to correct their behavior. By comparing the time it takes for the flies exposed to the stressor of overcrowding versus those that were placed in a normal vial, I hope to find a connection between the two. I hypothesize that the flies exposed to the stressor will take longer to right themselves compared to the flies that were placed in normal vials.
Although I couldn’t go through with my original plan, I’m excited for my independent project as it has become more personal since it relates back to Philly. I hope to pursue a career in the future where I can make Philadelphia a better city, even if it’s just through something small. I feel like my project is a small step towards this future career that I hope to achieve!