So far, this experience has been both interesting and tasking. I learned that although research is difficult, that is exactly what I like. I like exposure to such a vigorous research environment. This internship has shown me that independent research is not something for the light of heart and requires lots of effort. For example, just last class I had to stay an hour after the end time. I guess what they say is true, time really does fly when you are having fun! The most interesting part about all of this, for me, though is the plethora of techniques and procedures available. In the beginning of the program my taste preference assay did not go as planned, which allowed me to understand the true unpredictability of science and the roadblocks that appear along the way of research. The inconclusiveness of my original assay, I have been able to expose myself to new techniques and assays that interest me and allow me to establish the individuality of my independent research project.
My independent research project explores the effect of a high sugar diet on the overall health of Drosophila through the analysis of eye phenotypes and larval locomotion. I gained an interest in this idea after research about diabetes and cancer. Due to the simplicity of Drosophila, they are not able to truly develop what is commonly known as cancer. However, signs of genetic mutations become evident through the analysis of the Drosophila eye phenotype. These genetic mutations symbolize cancer in more complex organisms, thus allowing scientists to draw parallels between Drosophila mutations and cancer research.
For my experiment, I took six samples of approximately 80 embryos then irradiated three samples at 5 mJ of energy. After the irradiation I put the samples of embryos in their corresponding vials. The vials with sugar inside of them will vary by concentration. The concentrations will either be two times the daily dose or three times the daily dose, in order to simulate a high sugar diet. After a week, larva should be present inside of these vials and then a larval locomotion assay will be run. This assay analyzes the movements of larva, allowing for the overall health of the larva to be determined based off their patterns of movement and distances traveled. After this week of larval locomotion assays then adult flies will be present and I will analyze the eye phenotypes under the microscope. Also, each week I am responsible for setting up new vials in order to have lots of data to analyze. Although this results in a snowball effect of data analysis as time progresses I can handle it. I hope you followed along and were able to understand how my first six weeks have gone so far in the world of TRIP.