Time is flying by and we are almost at the end of the TRIP journey! Throughout the past few weeks, we established our independent project, performed 5 repetitions, and finally analyzed data and made our final presentations. We have come a long way, thanks to the help of my peers, TAs, and teachers, and I am beyond excited to present my findings in the symposium!
I used the microbiome assay to quantify the amount of gut bacteria in the flies for each condition just to see if the drugs are effective; the results confirmed the effectiveness of antibiotics and yogurt with probiotics. Then, using the open field test, I measured the levels of anxiety in flies for each condition. Each fly is put in a small petri dish, and throughout a 2-minute period, the longer they stay out of the center circle, the more anxious they are. The results directly answered the question: for the condition with both antibiotics and yogurt treating inflammation, the flies spent an average of almost 4 times the amount of time in the center than the ones receiving no treatment, proving that antibiotics and yogurt together can relieve anxiety during intestinal inflammation, and they work even better than when they are used individually! This verified the common belief of having probiotics as a supplement for antibiotics and their effects will double up instead of cancel out. So now, feel free to drink a bottle of yogurt after taking your antibiotics for treatment!
Through the 10 days together, I have established a close bond with my TRIP peers and teachers, helping one another when someone is facing a difficult situation not only in the lab, but in daily life too. Aside from learning to perform things individually, I also learned to share my ideas with others and collaborate to work towards a better result. Giving each other advice is extremely helpful to me, from finding relationships between my variety of ideas to changing the format of my presentation. I also liked every part of the program because it gives me such a complete research experience, where I can learn the basic techniques, raise a research question, design the procedures, make a presentation, and present all of my findings; these are things I can never gain in a school course. The only downside is how short the program is - I wish we can have more weeks to dive in on our projects! Regardless, this was an amazing adventure, and I truly enjoyed and appreciated this “TRIP” together!!