Hey guys! Glad to see you’re back. If you forgot from before, my name is Laney. We are halfway through Week 3 of TRIP and it truly has been a wild ride. While I knew this program involved math, I greatly underestimated the amount of math I would actually do in this program and the amount of times one person alone could screw up a math problem. Math is absolutely not my forte in any way, and I’m very glad I learned that before I go to college. Additionally, I am extremely grateful for my fellow TRIPmates, especially Charity, as well as Dr. Leystra for taking the extra time to help me better understand the math I struggled with so much. Outside of my frustration with math, TRIP has been so much fun! I’ve missed being in a lab so much. It’s so exciting to be back, with like-minded people so excited to learn about science and research. We still have a few weeks left and I am so excited for them! This is such an exciting experience that I will never be able to forget.
My original independent project plan wasn’t really a plan. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do at all, but after thinking about it, as an incoming Neuroscience major, I decided I wanted to study cognitive function in some way. After talking with Dr. Leystra and my fellow TRIPmates, I decided to study the effects of Prozac on memory with a stressor of isolation. I’m surprised I didn’t think of this project sooner. I love learning about the brain and mental illness. Isolation will put the flies in a depressed-like state for the flies. This will then stress them out and could negatively affect their memory. The goal of this project is to see how Prozac impacts memory, as there are currently very mixed results with this topic and most studies are done in patients with fatal brain disease. I chose Prozac because it is a drug I am currently on, which means I have access to it, as well as an understanding of how it impacts me personally. I am doing the Proboscis Extension Response (PER) assay to determine the flies memory, using sugar water to determine if they are able to recognize positive feedback with a specific sound. I am so very excited to begin doing this experiment. Yesterday I did a bunch of prep work to get ready for this assay and I can’t wait. It is definitely going to be an insane amount of work and will most likely stress me out greatly, but I am confident it will be worth it.
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