Well. These blogs weren’t kidding when they said the time would go fast. Ten days seemed like a lot when we first got started, but now we’re already finished. It feels like we just walked into the lab yesterday!
Let me catch you up real quick. These past few weeks, I’ve been exploring a rising form of treatment for bacterial and autoimmune diseases: poop transplants. I know, I know, it sounds disgusting, but trust me, the bacteria in your poop has a lot of medical potential! And I highly recommend holding a vial of fly poop up to the light. For my project, I’ve compared a poop transplant’s efficacy to that of the traditional steroid treatment in treating inflammatory bowel disease.
And after weeks of research and data analysis, and an insane amount of fly vials? I didn’t find as much as I’d hoped-- neither the transplant nor the steroids significantly healed the sick flies. Biology is tricky! It’s possible that I wasn’t successful in inducing the disease in the first place, or maybe flies react differently than humans to these treatments. It’ll take more testing to find out (a very common phrase in science, I’ve learned).
I may not be walking away from this program with clear answers to the questions I started out with, but that’s okay. I’ve gained a bigger appreciation of all the work that goes into discovering new treatments, and the past work that went into the medicines we use every day. I’ve also learned an incredible amount of lab skills and scientific presentation skills; these are things I never would have learned in high school (seriously, when have you ever heard the word “ameliorate” in normal conversation?) And beyond the science, I got to meet some awesome new friends and mentors that I hope I’ll be seeing again soon. After months of quarantine, this has truly been amazing.
I heard about TRIP by random chance; all I did was hear someone, a person that I barely knew at the time, mention it in a zoom meeting. The incredible chain of events that followed led me to this moment, preparing for my final Symposium, where I’ll share all the research I’ve done with this network of TRIP teachers, students, and alumni-- including that first guy I heard about it from, now a good friend. I’m grateful and proud to have made it this far, to be a part of this program and community. I’m ready for this final presentation; it may be the end of this TRIP, but the next one is just beginning.