Post-proposal: My idea is testable! Here’s what I proposed.
For my experiment, I’d like to test if there is a diet that can help reduce stress in those with autism spectrum disorders. I have two siblings with autism, and I’ve noticed that the parent community tends to create diets for kids like them that take away something. There are diets that take away gluten, dairy, and added sugars, but I have not seen a diet where something is added. I’d like to see if the antioxidants, or flavonoids, in dark chocolate can help reduce stress hormones and help those with autism spectrum disorders regulate their behavior.
The big question is, how do I test this with flies? Since I can’t create autism in flies, I decided that I would alter their hormones to create high stress levels. I’m utilizing the drug Prednisone to raise the stress hormones in flies to create my stressed group. I’m going to be using cocoa powder to hopefully lower these stress levels. I will have a group of flies with Prednisone, a group with cocoa powder, a group with both, and a control group. I plan to test the levels of stress in the flies with the centrophobism assay and the social space assay. These assays will give me an insight to whether or not the cocoa powder reduced how stressed the flies were after their stress levels were raised.
I’m ready to set up my experiment and get to work! I know there will be a lot of failures up ahead, and I’m more than prepared to deal with them. Thanks for reading!