After learning these things, I decided to research whether vitamin D can improve the health of flies whose microbiomes were altered by antibiotics, which are known to disrupt gut health. To gather data, I am conducting the negative geotaxis assay, which quantifies activity levels, and the microbiome assay, which quantifies the number and type of bacteria in flies’ guts. Higher mobility levels are an indication of better overall health, and specific data about the microbiome will allow me to better understand the effects my drugs are having on gut health. I’m super excited to continue conducting my experiment and to see what surprises my data may yield!
As a shy person, talking to people I’ve never met before is out of my comfort zone. I was initially nervous about meeting new people at TRIP. Now, I look forward to each session and working with all the friends I’ve made at TRIP as well as the instructors.
TRIP has taught me so much, both about myself and research. In just a few short weeks, I’ve learned skills such as sorting flies and making solutions. I’ve also learned that I enjoy research and biology, would like to improve upon my public speaking skills, and can never pour water out of a beaker accurately (I’ve accidentally overpowered my water so many times, I had to remake my solution twice on the first day). Like learning to fly, in research you make mistakes. Again and again, you fall out of the sky, but each time you take off again, you know a little more, and fly a little further.