Time flies when you are having fun! While half of TRIP has gone by, I met so many intelligent and humorous people who I can work, talk, struggle, and have fun with. Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra are both incredible mentors that guided us through many procedures as well as provided us with the opportunity to cultivate our interest in science. With all these preparations, my journey of exploring a field of my interest has begun.
During the first few weeks of TRIP, we were each assigned a drug, a stressor, and a formulated question to investigate. There were many protocols to follow throughout the experiment, such as controlling micropipettes, making drug stock, differentiating the gender of flies, sorting them, executing the assays, etc. They all had their own challenging parts, but I definitely enjoy the process and had so much fun working with different people. Nita and Lizzy are awesome partners to work with when we perform the negative geotaxis assay (where flies’ mobility is measured). Out of which, I was the most nervous about our presentation since my English is not totally fluent, and I lack confidence in presenting analyzed information on my own. After the presentation, I thought to myself: “wow, that must be the worst presentation of all day.” I received a lot of professional feedback and encouragement from my friends and Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra. TRIP feels like a big family to me, I never feel helpless or like an outcast after talking to them.
Every week, millions of high school students have numerous tests and quizzes to face, along with dozens of homework, studying, and extracurricular activities in the after school hours. This often leads to around 73% of high school students not getting enough sleep after their busy day. Thus, we often rely on energy beverages such as caffeine or sport drinks to “redeem” for our loss of sleep. Thinking that the 500mL bottle of drink would suddenly boost different elements of our body as the sweetening, tender liquid supply into our body. However, does this actually work? In what way does energy drink help/does not help with our body’s cognition after the disruption of sleep? So, I decided to take this question into my independent project in TRIP.
I brought in Pocari Sweat, a popular energy drink in Asia, which is always consumed whenever someone has a fever or is in the middle of a sports game. I also decided to shine some of the fly vials with constant light in order to disrupt their sleep. I predict that Pocari would have a positive effect on the cognition of the larvae, while the disruption of sleep would have a negative effect on the cognition of the larvae. So far, from the observation of the fly vials, surprisingly there are more larvae produced in each vial that have Pocari in it. Looks like it does have an effect on fertility (potential topic to discover). As of testing the memory of the larvae, we will get some data on that next week in TRIP!
Lastly, I want to give my praises to Nita, who got into Boston University! Just wait for one more year and we hopefully will be in the same area in no time <3