The first few weeks into the program have been incredible. Everyone has been so welcoming and we all have gotten to know each other pretty well. The teaching assistants have also been very helpful and have provided assistance and guidance whenever I needed it. I have learned and developed so many experimental and presentation skills that are useful for the future from the practice assay I completed on how folic acid and high temperatures affect female fertility in fruit flies. For my independent project, I decided to conduct my research on assays that involve alcohol. I thought it would be interesting to do an experiment testing alcohol in female and male fruit flies, since alcohol abuse is such a major problem in humans.
At first, I wanted to see whether male flies or female flies are able to build up tolerance to the ethanol faster. However, after working on my experiment with Dr. Gardiner and a group of students, we decided to change the experiment where we test whether ginkgo biloba can help fruit flies with their memory after they have been exposed to ethanol which will affect their memory negatively. This would require the use of the larval memory assay but also adding the extra drug, ethanol, to see how the results would change. I am very excited to begin this project and to be able to compare my results with my hypothesis.