Hello everyone! I’m back!
Wow. Last time I wrote, I was just starting my first experiment. And now, I’ve already finished it!
Soap causes intestinal inflammation and reduces the number and diversity of gut bacteria, and my goal was to observe whether Uva-ursi had a positive, negative, or negligible impact when combined with soap. I originally predicted that Uva-ursi would have a negative impact on the gut bacteria of flies, but my experimental results suggested the opposite.
To do my experiment, I used the microbiome assay to isolate and grow gut bacteria from my flies. Basically, I took five flies, drowned them in alcohol (to get rid of any exterior bacteria), added the flies to an MRS solution, diluted said solution, and then streaked the diluted solution on an agar plate, which was then incubated for a week. Whew! Although the microbiome assay is easy to perform, it takes a long time to obtain results. In fact, in the presentation I had to give about my experiment, I wasn’t able to include my experimental results because I was only able to see my agar plates a few minutes before my presentation. However, the main purpose of my presentation was to teach my classmates about my assay, not about my results, so everything went well despite my lack of presentable data.
Anyways, now that my first experiment is done, I can begin my independent research project! I don’t know yet for sure what I’m going to be doing, but I think I have a pretty good idea. Research suggests that a ketogenic diet helps with recovery from traumatic head injuries, and for my experiment, I’d like to test whether different lipids (with different fatty acid chain lengths) can improve the memory of flies with head trauma. Right now, I’m thinking of using four different lipids - butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and mustard oil. I don’t know for sure whether this experiment is possible, nor do I know whether it will work, but I’m hoping for the best!