Sleep? What Sleep? by Remi Zheng
I’m back! It’s only been a month since I started TRIP, but we’re already getting ready for our independent projects! After learning the basics in week 1, we jumped right in and started sorting fruit flies based on gender. I’ve already let out countless flies into the atmosphere, and every time I have an itch I think one of those insects has landed on me. By week 3 we started performing individual assays. I conducted the female fertility assay, which required me to sort and count the females again. Although it difficult, I definitely saw improvement in my fly-sorting skills from week 2. That’s not to say I didn’t let out any flies… when one of the flies flew away I jumped and spilled half my vial. Luckily, most of them were knocked out. Unluckily, they died from that. :(
The female fertility assay taught me how to count embryos, make grape plates, and properly handle flies. I still have a long way to go, but I can feel myself getting more accustomed to the process.
As part of my independent project, I’ve been thinking on experimenting on sleep deprivation. As a high school student it is often hard to get enough sleep. While schoolwork gets most of the blame, there’s no doubt that phones and other devices also impact our sleep time. Some students have resorted to taking caffeine pills in the morning to keep themselves awake.
Sleep is obviously very important to our health; as such, I want to see if we can counterbalance the negative effects of phone screens and other distractions with sleeping pills. My prediction is that a drug made for sleep (such as zolpidem) won’t be able to negate the overall negative health effects of sleep deprivation. To test it out, I am using constant blue light as my stressor and zolpidem as my drug.
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