Figuring out my project was really difficult for me because I had no clue where to start. I knew I wanted to do something different from the projects I had read about in the past, but I had zero ideas. For our project, we were allowed to pursue any plausible idea. That type of open-endedness really stumped me. For inspiration, I tried to think about things that my family and I do daily. I tried out a few ideas on my friends and family, and began to focus in on diet as my general topic. While discussing possible project ideas with my parents, they presented the idea of fasting. I thought it was really interesting, a little difficult to execute, but really interesting, so I ran with it. Also, after looking into it a bit further, I realized there weren't many strong conclusions about the effects of fasting, so I thought it would be fun to research!
My project called for work outside of class, since I had to fast the flies at different times a day, but the support of my instructors and family made this seemingly daunting task much much easier. It’s been interesting to observe how an initial vague idea about different types of diets evolved into testing legitimate fasting schedules that people really use. I loved studying something so relevant, popular, and relatable. My final experimental question was: How do different types of fasting affect the activity and gut microbiome of an organism?
After about 6 weeks of experimentation, I have concluded that fasting in the evening, or skipping dinner, is more beneficial than fasting in the morning and intermittent fasting. This schedule promotes the most activity, and although all fasting drastically decreases bacteria in the gut microbiome, fasting at night promotes the most of the three schedules. These results were very shocking to me because of the satisfaction that seems to surround intermittent fasting, but also good for me because I am always skipping dinner!
At the beginning, it was hard for me to get a single assay done with all the other tasks I had to complete, but by the end, I was finishing 3 assays on time. Looking back, it is crazy how much Dr. Purdy, Dr. Leystra, and Dr. Gardiner taught me in such little time. Even crazier is looking back at how our relationships have changed over the weeks, and how much we were able to learn about each other.