Hello again! In the last few weeks since you heard from me, a lot has happened at TRIP. First things first, we presented the data from our initial experiments. My data was quite confusing, and I’m still not 100% sure what it all means, but I made it through my first experiment! Hooray! Now we have begun the process of conducting our own independent projects.
For my project, I am concussing flies, feeding them peppermint tea, then testing their memory. I know, that’s a lot–and after day one, I already know I’ve got my work more than cut out for me. I promise, though, that there is some rationale behind this craziness! What I want to know is whether or not peppermint tea can counteract the effects of head trauma. I know people who have had concussions–myself included. Concussions are painful, and can even be detrimental to memory and development. So why peppermint? Well, drinking peppermint tea is reported to help improve memory, alleviate headaches, and reduce stress. If peppermint really can do all of the things it’s supposed to, who says it can’t counteract the effects of a concussion?
Yesterday was the first day that the teachers cut us loose in the lab–it was exciting and terrifying. Turns out, sorting 8 vials of flies (I’m doing a gradient of drug concentrations, each level with and without head trauma) takes a very, very, very long time. So does making food. I can only imagine how long the assay is going to take. The flies are also very sneaky–while concussing them and transferring them to their new homes, a few managed to escape (darn). The upside is that I can only get better! My new and improved plan is to set up new vials every other week, so that I have enough time to sort, make food, and test my flies. In the meantime, I’m going to get really good at time-management! Plus, if I ever get stressed, I’ll just take a sip of my peppermint tea–problem solved!