Hello Everyone! It has been a few weeks since I’ve last updated you all on my experience in TRIP so far. My gosh! The weeks have just been flying by. I have had so much fun getting to know everyone and making new friends. The people in my session truly add to the likability of the overall experience. We have learned so many useful lab, communication, and collaborative skills so far in so little time. I am honestly shocked! I am just now finishing up on my introductory experiment which focused on how female fertility is impacted by Black Cohosh and a High Sugar Diet. The experiment was really helpful in allowing me to gain familiarity in the lab setting that we work in. I was introduced to how to quantify and analyze data, new assays, as well as how to communicate my findings effectively. While conducting research on an experiment assigned by the instructors was definitely both exciting and challenging, it made me very happy to begin doing research on a topic of my own choosing.
We have learned so many useful lab, communication, and collaborative skills so far in so little time.
Today in the lab, we actually began working on our projects. I am using 5 different vials with varying conditions. One vial includes no soda, two contain the equivalent of ~ 2 cans of coke/coke zero a day, and the final two has ~12 cans of coke/ coke zero per day.
Truthfully, I am hoping that Coke Zero has no significant impact on memory. But if it does, perhaps I will stick to the occasional regular Coke. I may even just cut out Coke and sugary drinks all together and enjoy some good, reliable, and refreshing water!
The first couple weeks of TRIP have been an experience like no other. It’s been fun getting to know everyone and learning more about them. I thought that conducting our introductory experiments was quite interesting because it allowed us to get familiar with things like making fly food, learning about different ways that we could stress our flies, and exploring the development of the flies. Fly development has been cool to experience because you’re watching a whole cycle of life unfold.
I decided to see if caffeine and/or melatonin would increase the energy levels of fruit flies after they have been deprived of sleep. I chose this for my project because I commonly face the circumstances of being sleep deprived and trying to wake myself up with coffee, or being unable to sleep and having to take melatonin. I know that I am not the only one who goes through things like this, and I wanted to see if these two drugs would increase the energy of the flies. I believe it is a common and relatable topic, but it has not been tested on fruit flies yet, so I would like to see what could come of this project. I will be feeding my fruit flies caffeine and melatonin separately first, then combining the two drugs. Then I will repeat this process but expose these flies to constant light. I’m excited to see how everything turns out!
Welcome back! Much has happened in the past few weeks and time is flying by. Of course, one of the most important lessons learned: make ‘fly’ or ‘trip’ puns whenever possible. In all seriousness, TRIP has been an experience unlike any other. One minute I’m bonding with friends over books, music, and food, and the next I’m screaming because I accidentally released my fruit flies from its vial. Pro-tip: make sure you hold the plug when injecting your flies with CO2!
In my introductory experiment, I tested the impact of ginkgo biloba and head trauma on fruit fly mood with the social space assay. After taking pictures of the flies in small chambers, I used the computer program ImageJ to quantify the distance between flies and determine their mood. While brainstorming for my independent project, I considered studying anxiety with a similar assay, but ultimately landed on a different focus after further discussion with my peers and instructors. Specifically, I am interested in studying how hormonal birth control affects metabolism and weight gain and whether green tea can counteract these effects. Hormonal birth control pills have a multitude of side effects, yet many do not have significant statistical evidence linking these effects to the birth control medication.
I look forward to finding a more clear relationship between hormonal birth control and metabolism through the glucose metabolism assay. Spoiler alert: I will be decapitating my fruit flies!
Hi guys! The last four days at TRIP have flown by so quickly. In the past two weeks, I worked on my introductory experiment, where I tested the effects of black cohosh and disrupted circadian rhythms on female fly fertility. My female fertility assay showed that constant dark did not affect fertility, but that black cohosh was able to increase the number of embryos per female. I am so glad that fruit flies aren’t very hard to work with. TRIP has developed in me a fascination for the complexity of these organisms despite their small size. It amazes me to see how flies respond to certain drugs or stressors in the same way that humans do. By practicing with the lab equipment, I have also become a lot more confident in the lab.
am so happy that I got assigned to Session B. I love everyone’s unique personalities, and even though we have only seen each other for five days, I feel that we have already established a strong friendship with one another. The environment I am in when I enter the TRIP lab inspires me so much, as everyone is extremely kind and smart, and they share the same passion and dedication that I admire, where we often stay up past midnight to get our assignments turned in on time (and not get shamed in class). I came to TRIP in hopes of growing from this experience, and just from listening to everyone present their project proposals on day three and receiving feedback on mine, I have already learned so much that I will keep in mind when preparing for the final symposium
I chose to test bananas, apples, and grapes, which are high in fiber, sorbitol, and polyphenol, respectively, and a combination of these fruits to see which fruit component plays the most important role in microbiome diversity.
Figuring out exactly what my final project question would be took me quite a while. I remember reading about some of the projects on microbiomes in previous years and knowing at the start of the program that I wanted to test for microbiome diversity. However, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to test until I came across an article on how poor diet and diet-related diseases are a major health concern in the U.S. Since I am a very picky eater when it comes to fruits, I decided to test how eating a variety of fruits as opposed to one type of fruit will affect the gut microbiota. I chose to test bananas, apples, and grapes, which are high in fiber, sorbitol, and polyphenol, respectively, and a combination of these fruits to see which fruit component plays the most important role in microbiome diversity.
TRIP has given me such an invaluable experience to explore my interests in science while also making new friends. I can’t wait to start the microbiome assay, and I’ll keep you updated with my results!
These first few weeks at TRIP have been quite interesting. I've learned how to make and dilute solutions, with the help of the amazing Dr. Leystra of course. Coming from lower-income schools, I didn't know a lot of the math I should, and our instructors have been very patient in helping me out. In these first three weeks I've prepared fly food vials, sorted flies into said vials, and ran a Negative Geotaxis Assay on flied who were stressed with soap, as well as flies treated with Vitamin E. These are words I never imagined to come out of my mouth, but I did it! It was a very new experience which I absolutely love.
Besides all of the work, I've also been able to create bonds with some of my peers. We help each other with assignments, we laugh, play and overall have fun! I think bonding with other students in TRIP is essential to our success. Without support it'd be too easy to just give up. I'm grateful for the friends I've made, and excited to get closer to everyone.
Hello, again, readers! I hope you are having a wonderful day!
Currently, we are halfway through our TRIP program (reaching the end of our 3rd week), and it has been quite a rollercoaster, phew! Specifically, I have been working on my introductory project, as I am determining how red clover and sugar affect fertility. In this scenario, my drug was the red clover (which was known to boost fertility), and my stressor was a high sugar diet (which was known to reduce fertility).
Apart from my introductory project, I set out to discover my independent project– something that had been known to affect my life. My family in India despises modern medicine, despite how fast the remedy may be, and they rather depend on naturopathy/allopathy, specifically in terms of ayurvedic medicine. Therefore, I came upon this project to truly see which type of medicine is the most effective and beneficial to humans without many of the widespread side effects. The benefits of homeopathy are quite prevalent and contain much fewer detriments, contrary to allopathy. Additionally, the rise of “Big Pharma”, the large amount of stress and breaks in the US healthcare system, and the rising corruption in the pharmaceutical industry led me to my question:How do Penicillin & Streptomycin (mixture) and Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) affect fertility and rate of growth, and what does it illustrate in terms of allopathy and homeopathy in its effectiveness as antibiotics?
This question, as I knew it from the start, was not going to be easy to prove. Additionally, there has not been any forms of research comparing the differences and similarities of a mixture of Penicillin & Streptomycin and Shatavari, as it is quite uncommon. In order to start this project, I needed to establish my main assays, and they include a microbiome assay (quantifying the gut bacteria of flies through the various amounts of antibacterial drugs), a male & female fertility assay (determining the quantity of successful offspring), and an overall growth assay (through an image analysis of the Fiji ImageJ software). With a large number of assays to test and prove my question, I am now ready to start this project in all its entirety!
Additionally, in conjunction with the TRIP initiative program, I have been able to further become an independent person. From taking the train to walking around the city, I find myself in awe of how wonderful urban life is and how discrete it is to the little suburbia I live in. In the end, I can’t wait to see how well my project goes, and I also can’t wait to update you all on how the project goes! Until next time!
I had a lot of fun on my second day in the lab. I really felt supported when I needed help making the dilutions and solutions. We sorted male and female flies using either CO2 or ice method. The CO2 method was a lot easier to work with. The ice method works just fine but you have to be a lot more careful with not getting the flies' wings wet because that will cause them to die in the long run. In addition, if they aren't fully on the ice they can start to wake up. I also got to make grape plates. I felt like a scientist! Doing the math correctly really sets you up nicely to ensure that you can run your protocol smoothly. I'm so glad that I took the opportunity to participate in this program.
I think that I'm going to test the impact of Sildenafil, otherwise known as Viagra, on my flies. I know it's a little bold but I'm really curious to see if it affects the reproductive system positively or negatively. I'm trying to think up another project, one that's not so straightforward. All I can think about is presenting my independent project and having the word VIAGRA in bold letters.
Welcome back! I’m halfway through my TRIP Journey: week 3! Since the last time I wrote, I have conducted an introductory experiment testing the effect of St. John’s Wort and constant darkness on fruit flies' mood. I collected and presented my data to my TRIP peers as well. Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to know my peers and look forward to sharing the lab with them.
After finishing up our introductory experiments, it was time to create our own independent research project. At first I wanted to test the side effects of high cholesterol in flies by feeding them a high-fat diet. But I quickly strayed away from this as the consequences for high cholesterol are thoroughly researched in humans, my questions would not be novel. So I decided to take a different approach to cholesterol. Over 200 million people take cholesterol medicine (statins) to control their high cholesterol. So what would happen if a patient were to continue taking stains when their cholesterol has come to a normal range? Would prolonged use of a medication patients didn’t need negatively affect them? Millions of people do not have access to quality health care around the world. While a patient could get prescribed cholesterol medicine, they may not have to means for a follow up appointment with their doctor to get their cholesterol tested again. We see articles about increasingly high cholesterol without a sedentary lifestyle, we hear about the news of a loved one’s passing due to heart problems because they had high cholesterol, so everyone knows of the negative consequences of cholesterol. But what about the medicine that control it? Modern medicine has done extraordinary things for millions of people, but not everyone can access healthcare workers for annual checkups. This idea gave way to my independent research project.
What effect does Lipitor medication have on fruit flies overall growth and development?”
My question is “What effect does lipitor medication have on fruit flies overall growth and development?” I set up my experiment yesterday and I am very excited to run my first assay tomorrow to test how the lipitor has affected the fruit flies’ bodies. Keep an eye out for my updates to learn more about my project and how it's going!
Hey guys! Glad to see you’re back. If you forgot from before, my name is Laney. We are halfway through Week 3 of TRIP and it truly has been a wild ride. While I knew this program involved math, I greatly underestimated the amount of math I would actually do in this program and the amount of times one person alone could screw up a math problem. Math is absolutely not my forte in any way, and I’m very glad I learned that before I go to college. Additionally, I am extremely grateful for my fellow TRIPmates, especially Charity, as well as Dr. Leystra for taking the extra time to help me better understand the math I struggled with so much. Outside of my frustration with math, TRIP has been so much fun! I’ve missed being in a lab so much. It’s so exciting to be back, with like-minded people so excited to learn about science and research. We still have a few weeks left and I am so excited for them! This is such an exciting experience that I will never be able to forget.
My original independent project plan wasn’t really a plan. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at all, but after thinking about it, as an incoming Neuroscience major, I decided I wanted to study cognitive function in some way. After talking with Dr. Leystra and my fellow TRIPmates, I decided to study the effects of Prozac on memory with a stressor of isolation. I’m surprised I didn’t think of this project sooner. I love learning about the brain and mental illness. Isolation will put the flies in a depressed-like state for the flies. This will then stress them out and could negatively affect their memory. The goal of this project is to see how Prozac impacts memory, as there are currently very mixed results with this topic and most studies are done in patients with fatal brain disease. I chose Prozac because it is a drug I am currently on, which means I have access to it, as well as an understanding of how it impacts me personally. I am doing the Proboscis Extension Response (PER) assay to determine the flies memory, using sugar water to determine if they are able to recognize positive feedback with a specific sound. I am so very excited to begin doing this experiment. Yesterday I did a bunch of prep work to get ready for this assay and I can’t wait. It is definitely going to be an insane amount of work and will most likely stress me out greatly, but I am confident it will be worth it.
Hi guys! Emily here. I didn’t realize we were halfway through the program already. Wow, time really ‘flies’. We are currently on week 3 of TRIP and have begun our independent projects! I find myself eagerly waiting for every Tuesday and Thursday of the week to be part of the lab and can not wait to see how far the projects will take us.
After the introductory experiments, it is time for our personal independent experiments. I value women’s health. Although pregnancy is not desirable for everyone, many women struggle with infertility which brings social and psychological problems to their health; women’s reproductive health affects their overall wellbeing, mental health, hormones, dietary restrictions, etc. Therefore, seeking a possible solution, I found Angelica Sinensis. Angelica Sinensis, also known as Dong Quai, has been used in Chinese medicine for a long time; mainly for female reproductive health. I want to test how accurately and to what extent this herb has an effect on the rate of female fertility. Hopefully, I will be able to receive positive results!