Hi again! These past few weeks have been filled with a lot of new experiences, both exciting and fulfilling. In gathering so much information about fruit flies and what I can learn from them, I’ve gained a lot of experience with carrying out various lab techniques, in addition to figuring out how to design my independent project. Attached are some pictures of me creating grape plates (used to analyze female fertility) as well as sorting flies based on gender. Both of these experiences were particularly engaging and very interesting to carry out. Before I continue on to the specifics of my project, I want to give a quick thanks to Dr. Purdy, Dr. Gardiner, and Ms. Pellegrin for guiding me through these experiences and providing me with the resources to carry out the learning process.
For a while now, I’ve become interested in the concept of superfoods, and how certain foods can become trends through advertising and the internet as a result of health benefit claims. I’m curious regarding the extent to which these foods actually benefit us, and I’m hoping to learn a little bit more about the science of superfoods through my independent project. I’ve selected two trending foods (quinoa and açaí berries), and I will be comparing the effects of these foods on the general well-being of the flies to a control group. I’ll be studying the mood and activity of the flies through a centrophobism assay, in which I’ll isolate the flies and examine their courage regarding whether or not they cross a threatening abyss (otherwise known as a 5 cm Petri dish). I’ll also be examining the diversity of their gut bacteria among the flies through an analysis of their microbiomes. Both of these assays are aimed to help me better understand both the internal and external effects of superfoods on activity, mood, and health, and I’m really excited to carry them out. Hopefully, once the project has concluded, I’ll have a better understanding of the extent to which superfoods benefit us. I can’t wait to update you later!