Yesterday was already our 6th week of TRIP and it feels surreal. When I think about all the things I’ve done (micro pipetting, diluting solutions, and staring at the butt’s of flies to identify their gender), I realize I’ve come a long way.
Another surreal event that happened was that I’ve already decided what I will be doing for my independent project! My experiment asks the question: Can Korean red ginseng help with recovering from sleep deprivation on fertility, development, and motility? I did some research on the benefits of red ginseng and discovered it’s said to have helped with achieving pregnancy, feeling more energetic, and growth. The reason why I chose to experiment on this question goes back to my mom. Ever since we were younger, my mom made our family drink Korean red ginseng juice, a drink that is very popular in many Asian countries. Many Asians - including my mom - believed it was a “miracle drink” that will help you stay healthy. Whenever I was tired, I was given red ginseng. Whenever I was sick, I was given red ginseng. Whenever I had a headache, I was given red ginseng. Red ginseng, red ginseng, red ginseng. This one time I had broken my finger when I fell off my bike and I spread my fingers out to stop myself from slamming into a tree. Unfortunately, I jammed my ring finger into a branch and I heard a crack. I was carried home by my father and guess what I was given? Red ginseng! …I’m just kidding. That last part never happened. But you get how big of a deal it was, right? So, I decided to test whether or not red ginseng actually lived up to its fame and chose a common problem among teens as my stressor - sleep deprivation.
With the help of Dr. Purdy and Dr. Leystra (shout out to them!), I determined the daily dose of Korean red ginseng for a fly compared to a human. I had to make two stocks and the concentration was so small that when I had made my stock #1, the drug wasn’t visible at all and it looked like plain water. Next, I mixed the concentration with water and added it to the vials that needed the drug. After that, I did my favorite thing ever: staring at fly butts and sorting them by which had black butts (males) and which had striped butts (female)! Lastly, I placed my stressor vials near an LED lamp and it will continue to sit there until week 7 of TRIP.
Personally, I believe that Korean red ginseng will be able to counteract the effects of sleep deprivation on fertility, development, and motility, but we’ll have to wait a couple more weeks for a more credible conclusion. So, stay tuned!