Hi everyone, it’s Naz! This week our instructors set us off on our ways to perform our independent projects. After a couple weeks of introductory lessons in the lab and getting to know our peers, the time has come to show what we have learned in our experiments. For my personal project, I will be performing the risk-taking assay. This assay was created by a former student from TRIP. The risk-taking assay is an experiment where you test if a fruit fly is willing to take the risk of going into the light and getting food, and in this case, the food is yeast. Flies do not like being directly under a shining light, but in this experiment, I am testing if they will take the risk and do as much as to go directly under the light.
To get this exact lighting, I will be covering a petri dish filled with an agar solution, with aluminum foil. In the base of the dish, there will be an agar solution, with yeast in the middle. Once the dish is covered with the foil, I will poke a hole through the center and shine a light through the opening. Once everything is set up, I will set up my phone and a timer, and record how many times the flies actually go to the food. I am setting up 4 petri dishes, one which is a control, one with one drug, one with another drug, and the last with both drugs.
My first drug is L-theanine. L-theanine is a main ingredient used in black tea, specifically used to boost the mood. You may be wondering as to why I am interested in using black tea, and it’s because my Turkish background greatly revolves around tea, and Turkish people are generally very outgoing. However, I am not one of those outgoing people, and I do not drink black tea very often. I wondered if these two things had a connection, and therefore came to the conclusion to perform this experiment. If you may have already guessed, the second drug is black tea itself. Since flies are so small, I cannot give them a cup of tea, so I used drug stocks and drug calculations to give the right dosage of each drug to my flies. Once everything is set up, I cannot wait to begin working on this experiment!