So far, the first few weeks of TRIP have been going really great! It is a completely different kind of environment than what I’m used to, but it’s a fantastic challenge that has pushed me to be more creative and thoughtful. The process of learning about the fruit fly life cycle to communicating information through graphical abstracts to hashing out our own experimental designs has been an incredible experience. I am super excited to continue with the independent projects and present my results!
For my project, I wanted to focus on ways we can simulate cancer for the flies. So, after doing some background research, I found information on how our diet affects our chances of getting certain types of cancer in our lifetime. Based on this, I decided to focus on salt (which Americans consume at almost double the recommended daily dosage) and Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant with several known benefits throughout our body.
My plan is to give my flies large doses of both drugs and then expose them to UV radiation. After some flies are exposed to the radiation, I am going to perform the negative geotaxis assay to assess activity and a microbiome assay to assess overall health. I am then going to compare the results for all the fly groups. I am really excited to see what happens to my flies and the overall effect that these copious amounts of drug have on their systems!