Over the past several weeks I have been working with my fellow TRIP students, TAs, and instructors in a welcoming learning environment to expand on my interests in science. Throughout my time here at TRIP, I have made valuable friendships with the people I have worked with. I am very grateful for this opportunity and space to learn, grow, and dive into my passions. Compared to the first week, I think, as well as the other students, have come a long way in our scientific journey. From learning how to sort fruit flies, making food, and collecting data, to now researching, learning, and presenting our own independent projects–I think TRIP has developed my sense of the lab tremendously.
The risk-taking assay is a newer experiment in which I tested how many times the flies would cross the center. In this case, the risk was being exposed to direct light under a lamp, and the reward was yeast paste. As we know, if we are not very comfortable with an environment, we tend to stick around the sides. However, if one is more comfortable and extroverted, they will be more likely to move more towards the center. As drugs, I used black tea, and an amino acid prominent in black tea called L-theanine. After testing my theory, I uncovered some amazing results. The black tea itself had somewhat of an impact, however both the L-theanine and black teas results were noticeably larger than the controls and any other vials. The results told me that black tea, combined with L-theanine, does in fact impact risk-taking behaviors.
I want to thank everyone who helped me get where I am today with my final independent project results. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and the time I spent here in the lab.