I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing new things that I would have otherwise never even dreamed of trying
Interestingly, my data supports that vitamin D does have a positive effect on microbiome health, and because the microbiome is responsible for regulating many bodily systems, better microbiome health is an indicator of better overall health. However, when looking at adult mobility, another measure of overall health, there was no statistically significant difference between how active the flies treated with vitamin D were in comparison to the control flies. While vitamin D does not seem to improve activity and mobility, it does potentially improve gut health.
I loved designing my own project, but that’s not to say that it did not come with its frustrations. Designing a research project has taught me much about learning to problem solve. As scientists, we must strive to be analytical and creative thinkers, not just when it comes to looking at our data, but also when we must adapt to problems and mistakes in the lab. Sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes an entire vial of flies gets stuck in wet food and dies, or sterile microbiome conditions are contaminated by using the wrong pipette tips. The great thing about TRIP is that you learn to grow from these mistakes. Over the course of the program, you learn better your lab skills as well as work through initial failures.
Overall, I am extremely thankful for my entire TRIP experience. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing new things that I would have otherwise never even dreamed of trying, like crushing flies to make solutions or observing fly embryos under a microscope. Working with Dr. Purdy, Dr. Leystra, and all my fellow TRIP friends taught me invaluable things about scientific careers, perseverance, and most importantly, myself.