Hi again, readers! These past few weeks have flown by quicker than fruit flies escape from the vials—and all of my TRIPmates would certainly agree that they’re pretty quick. But in all seriousness, I’ve had a lot of fun creating solutions, sorting fruit flies, presenting to the class and performing behavioral assays. My fantastic peers have certainly assisted me along the way and I have enjoyed getting to know them a little bit more.
Fruit fly development has also been a blast to watch and since I absolutely enjoy counting birds, counting the number of pupae in a fly vial isn’t much different. Similarly, contrary to the reaction of some of my peers, I was delighted to have the opportunity to sort fruit flies into specific quantities. I enjoyed picking out the details between male and female flies, noting particular postures and field marks, just like with bird identification.
For my introductory experiment, I determined how the yellow flower typically used for depression, St. John’s Wort, along with head trauma, affects anxiety levels in the flies. Using my newly acquired knowledge about making solutions and inducing head trauma, I inflicted these onto my flies. After waiting a few weeks, I performed the open field test assay, measuring how anxious flies generally gravitate toward the edge of a container while unconcerned flies generally stay toward the center. I concluded that flies with St. John’s Wort were less anxious than those with head trauma. Interestingly, the St. John’s Wort flies seemed to develop slower than the rest.
I decided to research how monosodium glutamate (MSG) affects fruit fly fertility
Now for the thing that’s been on my mind for nearly half a year now—my independent project! After a bit of deliberation, I decided to research how monosodium glutamate (MSG) affects fruit fly fertility. MSG has been involved in much of the average person’s daily diet, including my own. As a common ingredient in many diets, MSG has been subject to many conflicting studies about its true effects on your health. As a result, I plan on testing their fertility while recording developmental data. I’m excited to see how my results turn out and if I can help contribute to the MSG debate scientifically!