Since my last blog post, a lot has happened. Fruit flies are the only thing I talk about to all my friends and family members (they might be getting a little annoyed by now) and I’ve started my independent project! My independent project is something that is very important to me, as it stems from personal issues. As I mentioned in my last blog, I’ve had a plethora of medical issues in recent years, but the standout one is my frequent migraines. My migraines are so incredibly painful that I can’t function properly; they bring me to the point of slamming myself in the head with different objects or wishing for death just to relieve the pain. And because all the drugs I have (prescription and over-the-counter) don’t work to relieve the pain, I am often left with immense pain and no solution. This is the problem I wanted to tackle in my independent project.
Since I can’t induce a migraine in a fruit fly, I had to expand my topic to pain relief in general (which probably has more applications) instead of specifically pain relief for migraines. I also decided to use two different methods to attempt to relieve my flies’ pain: drugging them with ginger and short-term exposure to a cold environment before running assays (two different methods for pain relief means I have a lot of experimental conditions and a lot of flies to sort). I picked ginger because it is said to have many beneficial medicinal properties, including pain relief and I chose exposure to cold because being in the cold sometimes reduces my pain when I get migraines. After I picked my pain relief methods, it was time to injure my flies.
To induce pain in my flies, I turned to my old friend: the head trauma device which I used in my intro experiment. After testing different doses of head trauma, Dr. Leystra and I decided that three-hits at a 30-degree angle provided the best results in terms of how much pain the flies felt. Tomorrow, I’m going to test my flies with the negative geotaxis assay and possibly a pain sensitivity assay to see how the ginger diet and short-term cold affects their pain. I am super excited to see the results of my project and all the conclusions I will be able to draw!