So, we are more than halfway through TRIP...wow...and we had to establish our independent projects. Being decisive has always been a challenge for me. So, at one point in the brainstorming process, I ended up with a bunch of different ideas and directions I could take those ideas. However, after stressing about picking my project and after hashing out possible research ideas and talking with family and people at TRIP, I had finally decided. Below is a little intro and what I’m thinking I’ll do, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from TRIP: not everything works out and I’ll most likely have to go different routes and change my plans, but that’s O.K.
Chances are you have drank from a plastic water bottle, eaten food that came from a can, or witnessed a plastic container labeled as “BPA free.” But what exactly is BPA? It stands for Bisphenol A. and is an endocrine disruptor, which means it likes to mess with the hormones in our bodies. Hormones help regulate so many of our body’s functions like growth, mood, and fertility which makes BPA all the more interesting to investigate. Because most humans are exposed to BPA in their everyday lives, I wanted to test if BPA negatively affect growth and development, and if this could lead to issues with motility in larvae and adults and overall health. I plan to do a larvae locomotion assay to test how the BPA affects the young, and I plan to do a negative geotaxis assay to test adult flies to see effects on the old and motility. I will then do a microbiome assay to take a look into the gut bacteria to indicate overall health. I wanted to try to provide some type of remedy for the effects of BPA and I found I could possibly do that with Kimchi (a fermented Korean side dish)! I hypothesized that the use of probiotics, the “good bacteria" that is found in kimchi, could help remedy the effects of BPA since probiotics have been found to eat the BPA and cause it to come out of the body through feces! Sounds appetizing! So I will be testing kimchi and BPA on the flies and see what results I yield!
Life at TRIP has been great. I love that the other students and I have bonded more, I mean we’ve eaten food from a food truck in the pouring rain together. Everyone is constantly supportive of each other, and it really showed when we shared our ideas for our independent projects. I learn so many new concepts/techniques from TRIP’s wonderful director, instructors, TAs, and peers each class. This program has really helped drive my curiosity in science and I am so grateful I get to have this experience. Moving forward to the future classes I will have to be in charge of planning and conducting my own independent project, yikes, I'll admit I am lil nervous, a lil scared, but a LOT excited. :)