Over the past 5 weeks, I've been thoroughly enjoying TRIP and eagerly looking forward to my Saturday mornings when I get to come into the TRIP lab. Working alongside Dr. Leystra, Dr. Purdy, the TAs, and my fellow TRIP-mates has been an amazing experience. I've gained valuable skills in micropipetting liquids,sorting fruit flies, and running experiments over the past three weeks.
We are currently at the midpoint of our TRIP program, having completed 5 weeks, and it's been quite an eventful ride so far! Personally, I've been focused on my introductory project, exploring the impact of soap and vitamin D3 on fly motility. My study involved using vitamin D3, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, as the drug, and soap, which gives the flies intestinal inflammation, as the stressor. In order to test the effects of my drug and stressor I used the Negative Geotaxis assay. The Negative Geotaxis assay is a commonly used behavioral assay in which the ability of insects, such as fruit flies, to climb up a vial is measured. The assay involves placing a group of flies at the bottom of a vial or a narrow chamber and then gently tapping the flies to the bottom of the chamber. The flies will then try to climb up the chamber due to their innate negative geotaxis behavior. The assay is often used to assess the effects of genetic mutations, drugs, or environmental factors on fly behavior and can provide insights into various neurological and developmental processes. Through my Negative Geotaxis assay I learned that the effects of soap outweighed the anti-inflammatory effects of the Vitamin D3. I then presented my findings to my peers and learned a multitude of different techniques that can help me become a better presenter.
Additionally, I began working on developing my independent project. The idea that finally entranced me was studying the effects of amphetamines like Adderall on people who do not suffer from ADHD. It is important to test the effects of amphetamines on non-prescribed patients because amphetamines are a stimulant medication that potentially can be misused or abused by individuals seeking to enhance cognitive performance, increase energy levels, or lose weight. These medications have a high potential for addiction and can lead to adverse side effects, such as heart problems, sleep disturbances, and mood changes. Additionally, using amphetamines without a medical need can lead to dependence and may increase the risk of developing psychiatric disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Therefore, it is important to understand the risks and benefits of these medications, particularly in individuals without ADHD, to prevent their misuse and ensure their safe and effective use in the treatment of ADHD. I am looking forward to setting up my experiment next week, and writing to you all again!