The larval locomotion assay showed that an increase in caffeine also produces an increase in activity. I was surprised to find that the high caffeine vials (containing the human equivalent of 8 cups of coffee) did not result in dead flies, but live, active flies. The negative geotaxis assay (which tests adult activity) also provided results but not without obstacles. I had to change the gender that I used from females to males because I did not have enough females to complete the assay, but this also meant that I would not be able to use the data I collected the previous time to compare. Unfortunately, testing addiction did not come as easily. I was unable to gather data from the capillary feeding assay because the capillary tubes were too big. Most of the time that I was working with this assay, I was trying to figure out how the assay could provide more accurate data. Although these failures were frustrating, they helped me learn how to work through challenges and gave me a greater understanding about what I was testing.
I am so grateful to have participated in TRIP this summer. Though it did include a lot of hard work, I am glad that this is how I chose to spend my summer. TRIP taught me how to overcome obstacles, various forms of communicating, how to manage my time, different ways of looking at and solving a problem, how to push myself, and what it is like to work in a lab. I was able to experience the joy of having an assay work out, but also work through struggles when another assay did not work. If you’re thinking about applying to TRIP, I highly suggest it. I loved the environment that it provided and all of the friends that I made. I was surprised that despite coming from all over and being of different ages, we were able to talk openly with each other about advice, troubles with our projects, and about common interests. Though we have only known each other for 5 weeks, it seems like I have known them for years. I entered TRIP thinking I was just going to do a project and learn about flies but I did not expect to leave with an understanding of how to work through failure, many applications that I can use outside of TRIP, and the opportunity to meet great people.