Hello!! The past few weeks have been exciting. I got to run my first assay with fruit flies. I used the Centrophobism assay to find how my drug (St. John’s Wort) and stressor (constant darkness) affect mood. When I first saw the name of my assay, it looked complicated, but when the word is broken down, it’s simple. Centrophobism literally means fear of the center, so the assay measures the levels of the flies anxiety. Running the assay was thrilling. I started with icing the flies to knock them out and placing one fly into a petri dish with agar; I did this for three flies for each experimental group I had. After my assay was set up, I could start getting some valuable data.
I ran into a few problems when taking my data. One problem was that I had one fly get stuck in the agar and it couldn’t move. Also, I had a fly escape through a crack between the plate and the lid. This was upsetting, but it was an opportunity to learn from failures and now I won’t make those mistakes for my independent project.
Last Saturday, the class gave presentations on their screens and assays they ran. I was blown away with how prepared my classmates were and how fascinating some of their results were. I was a little nervous to give my presentation, but I gained a lot of confidence as I moved through it. I am still surprised by how much I’ve learned in in only a few weeks.