Hi again everyone! We are coming up on week 8 of TRIP and I feel like so much has happened since the beginning of the program. We have sorted, made fly food and drug stocks, done introductory experiments, and now we are beginning our independent projects! Participating in TRIP so far has been so fun and has been a great new experience for me.
Our first experience with fly experiments in the lab was with our introductory fly experiments, where I got to test how high temperatures affect the fertility of the flies. This was very interesting to me because I was initially very interested in fertility when coming into TRIP. My first experiment helped me to really get introduced to the lab and the lab culture. I was very nervous to start my independent project because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to look into, but I knew that I wanted to be able to connect it to my personal life. For my project, I am studying the effect of taurine, which is found in energy drinks, on anxiety and gut health. This is interesting to me because I experience a lot of anxiety on a regular basis as well as stomach problems, which seemed to be amplified when I started drinking energy drinks. I have used the centrophobism assay to try and see the effects of taurine on anxiety and I will be using the microbiome assay on the different generations of flies to test out my question. If my assumptions are correct, then the anxiety and gut health of the flies will be worsened by the taurine, but that is to be determined so far.
Getting to design my own independent project has been challenging because I never know what will actually work in the lab. Even though I have struggled at times, I have found that asking for help from my peers and from Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra has been a great resource that has helped me a lot when I am completely lost. Over the next few weeks, I cannot wait to continue experimenting on my flies (and hopefully not kill all of them).