Starting the program, I had a very general sense of what “research” entailed. For most, the word passes by unregistered because it’s such a loose term that barely scratches the surface of what it means.
Research? Hmmm… that sounds cool.
Now nearing the end of this journey, I realize just how a beautiful and self-driven process it really is. There’s so much more to it than what the word ‘research’ conveys. Even now, I can’t even begin to imagine the expansive and meaningful work being done at FCCC.
The TRIP experience has really shifted my whole mindset of what it really means to apply what you learn and make it your own. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the grit and determination it takes to pursue a career in this field. I have to admit that sorting flies, setting up vials, and performing the tedious assays that didn’t always work weren’t too exciting per say, but once I got a hold of the data itself it was all worth it.
On a side note, these past three months gradually grew intense as I grew wary of my old experiment, both in terms of importance and accuracy. Needless to say, towards the beginning of April I began to tweak my project quite a bit. Deciding to build on the interesting data I already had with my antibiotic/UV radiation setup, I shifted the focus to antibiotics and added a probiotic component and then eventually prebiotics. With this, I continued to test the microbiome as well as development in my flies. More importantly, I now feel confident and proud of my project.
In short, I was testing to see if coupling probiotics with prebiotics could counteract the negative effects of antibiotics on the microbiome, which of course is representative of overall health. Results: it does not, however, there was an interesting impact on development… antibiotics seemed to cause a delay. With this in mind, I hope to delve deeper into this notion next school year in class at WTHS.
Oh! And I’m going to be able to see my graphical abstract ENLARGED soon so I’m looking forward to that (Thanks Dr. Gardiner)