Everyone is so nice, and, even though I still don’t know what the lower halves of their faces look like, I feel like I have become part of a very supportive family. We’ve begun our independent projects, but before that we each conducted an introductory experiment. My introductory experiment was about the effect of the drug Valerian on the anxiety of flies stressed with UV radiation. Through doing that mini project, I learned how to sort flies on ice, do the open field centrophobism test (a test that measures anxiety), and received a lot of tips on how to give a good presentation.
Now to the good stuff… beheading the flies! The glucose assay indirectly measures glucose metabolism by measuring how well a pink-colored solution absorbs light so a big part of the procedure is cutting the heads off the flies, as the eyes of fruit flies are red and the pigment would mess up the data. Even with a microscope, it’s quite hard to behead them without cutting off some of their body as well because flies are just so tiny. Dr. Purdy helped me a lot with the rest of the procedure because there are a lot of steps and equipment. Unfortunately, the spectrophotometer was malfunctioning, so I wasn’t able to get numerical data. However, the varying shades of my pink solutions indicate that there were indeed different levels of glucose, which is a good sign.
As I see what is working and what isn’t I will probably make a lot of changes to my project, and I’m really excited to see how it will turn out!