Since my last blog, we’ve gotten so many more hands-on experiences at TRIP! Our introductory experiment helped me gain some much needed confidence in the lab, but this increase in confidence did not necessarily come easily. My assigned experiment was testing the effects of Black Cohosh, a drug used in humans to alleviate symptoms of menopause, and constant darkness, my stressor, on female fruit fly fertility. I ended up making a huge mistake by accidentally putting all four of my vials under stress. When I realized what I had done, I felt like an absolute idiot. Dr. Leystra and Dr. Purdy assured me that mistakes happen in the lab, which lowered some of the intense stress and guilt I felt, and I learned how to recover from setbacks in an efficient, positive, and productive manner. I also became more familiar with micropipetting, making agar plates, and making fly food. It felt really good to finally be able to do in person lab procedures after a year of online labs. Besides lab skills and life lessons, I also gained many friends! All my peers have been welcoming and kind, and we have created a positive environment that encourages teamwork!
I learned how to recover from setbacks in an efficient, positive, and productive manner. "
For my independent project, I was inspired by the desperate measures I’ve seen schools take in order to stop teens from vaping. While Covid is the most famous virus right now, vaping truly is like an illness that has spread across our generation (which was supposed to have ended nicotine addictions by stopping cigarette use). There are already many studies on nicotine and most people generally know that it can have harmful effects, but the flavors of vape (which make vape so appealing to teens) have very little research done on them and are not FDA approved. I wanted to test the effects of different vape flavors on memory, since teens are still developing and may not know if flavorings have an impact on their academics. I plan to use the larval memory assay, since larvae, like teenagers, are still developing. I hope that my findings will be helpful and informative, and I’m eager to continue working on my project! See you guys soon!