My project explored the impact of sugar and ginger on anxiety. I chose sugar for a number of reasons—sugar is a huge problem in the American diet (the average American eats 2-3 times more sugar than they should) and my grandpa is diabetic. There is some research showing that sugar causes anxiety, a condition that my grandpa does have, so I wanted to test this claim. I also wanted to see if I could find a herbal supplement that would counter the effects that sugar has. And that’s where ginger came in. Some animal studies have indicated that ginger may reduce anxiety. Given that it's an important ingredient in Indian cuisine, I decided to test it out.
I conducted the centrophobism assay for my experiment—I trapped my flies in small chambers and saw if they clung to the edge or went to the center. Flies that went to the center were less anxious, and those who stayed at the edge were anxious. Generally speaking, conducting the assay was simple. The hardest part was preparing for it, which involved transferring my flies to holding vials and knocking them out on a petri dish on ice. A fun thing I learned: make sure the petri dish is cold enough or the flies will wake up and escape as soon as they can. As the weeks went on, I got better at my assay, and now at the end, I have interesting data that I gained from analyzing my results.
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