Have you ever fallen asleep and accidentally left your light on? My independent project involves exposing fruit flies to “constant synthetic light.” It will be interesting to see what happens to sleep cycles when there is no darkness telling us it's time to rest. With constant light as my stressor, the drug Vitamin D3 will be incorporated. This has been known to help achieve long lasting nights of rest and acts as a sleep aid. What do you get when you mix constant light with vitamins to help you sleep? I'm unsure but that’s why I am absolutely ecstatic to do this project to uncover new understandings. I will keep the flies in constant light by using a desk lamp with a timer which will remain lit throughout the night. I will quantify the results by using the females for a fertility assay and check the activity of the males in the negative geotaxis assay.
I have always been interested in the different sleep schedules teenagers maintain. Through curiosity and interest I am designing this project to replicate the effects of light, its stimulation of our mind that could potentially keep us awake at night and asleep during school. The first few weeks on my independent adventure have been awesome! There is never a second to spare in lab and I am grateful for all the hands-on experience I have received. I have learned the importance of stock concentrations and even how to do the math! I look forward to continuing my experiments and uncovering the results.