Here's a secret: I have a fear of bugs.
Why, you may ask, did I then apply to a science program where all we do is work with flies?
Well, I'd do anything for the sake of science. And as long as these flies are trapped in vials or knocked out, I'm perfectly fine.
Except, you know, those moments when they wake up too quickly from being knocked out while I'm still in the middle of transferring them between two vials, so they're just lying on the table when they begin to twitch and hover around, leading me to freak out and slam petri dishes over groups of them so they don't escape.
It's a lovely time. Really. Wouldn't trade it for anything else (No, but seriously, it was actually quite a wild experience, if your idea of wild is panicking over flies that, well, fly.)
Needless to say, the wonderful mentors helped me out in this dire time and taught me how to effectively transfer them even as they were awake. All while a camera was aimed to beautifully capture my horrified reaction as I tried it myself. (I did get it in the end though! Granted, it was stressfully, but it was the best stress I could have asked for at the time.)
So what is the lesson you should learn from this? Well, for one, even if you're inherently terrified (like me) of anything that's smaller than two centimeters that flies, you'll be okay if you still did TRIP. And two, don't be afraid to ask for guidance right off the bat, so you don't have to deal with flies trying to commit jailbreak from their tubes. (Are they aware they're in vials? Or are they blissfully living in the peace of their own unknowing ignorance to this fact? The world may never know.)
In other news, today most of us spent the day sorting hundreds of flies and making lots and lots of fly food. It sounds tedious, but it's quite a calming activity, really. But hey, that's not as fascinating as hearing a story about flies on the loose, am I right?
Author: Sasha Temerte