My time at TRIP! by Harini Shankar
12 weeks later, and it’s time to reflect on my time at TRIP! This program has taught me so much about science, research, and collaboration. I learnt how to think about our world and its circumstances in a scientific manner, which helped me piece together my independent project idea!
For my project, I chose to study the effect of Vitamin D and Isolation on the anxiety and hostility in social behavior. This project was inspired by the hours of isolation, distancing, and lack of proper self-care many people faced over the past year (credits to COVID!). By placing flies under 4 conditions- a control, a Vitamin-D laced food vial, isolation vials, and one with both Vitamin D and Isolation, I was able to treat the flies in the environments many of us have spent the year of 2020 in. Following this, I ran assays to test the hostility of flies to one another, and their anxiety levels.
Growing up, research always seemed like a daunting task to me. Researchers are what I perceive to be some of the most creative, intelligent and patient folk who populate this planet. I always believed I would never be ready for that level of deep- thinking and patience to persevere through the depths of science that constitutes research. However, TRIP has taught me that if I put my mind to a task, and develop my interest in it, I can accomplish anything.
I would categorize myself as a highly impatient person, but I actually learnt to enjoy the tedious, long-drawn tasks involved in my project. I liked talking through my ideas with like-minded folk who helped me through my understanding of vast topics. At times, I strongly, strongly disliked the fruit flies when they refused to cooperate, but I soon learnt how to work with them and accomplish my goal. Overall, I truly enjoyed TRIP and I’m so glad I got to experience the program!
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