This past week I caught a glimpse of the weeks of chaos ahead of all of us. There’s the moment when one thinks they know exactly what they’re going to do and then there’s the moments when technical difficulties seem to say otherwise. With the first day of molding our projects done, I at least have an idea of what procedures to tweak and how to improve my technique. Of course, I wasn’t completely alone, as I had the guidance of mentors to fall back on when I felt lost in my design plan. And then there’s my classmates who gave input on assays they were experts on and then I as well felt helpful in communicating tips. Evidently, there’s value in sharing insights on knowledge and experiences within such a curious group.
Ah, yes. My plans for my independent project. Here’s a question: How does UV radiation affect the gut microbiome and for how long? To answer this, I will be treating flies with antibiotics, which have been proven to decrease microbiome diversity, and then exposing them to a nonfatal dose of UV at different stages of their development. Some of the antibiotics I’ll be using are penicillin/streptomycin and G418. Not only will I be looking for change in microbiome diversity, but also at the quantity of bacteria in the gut over time. Along the way, I will also be looking at overall health which I’m excited for because it gives me a chance to try some neat assays.
I’d love to hear any input.