Time Is Flying By! by Maegan Sojan
Welcome back! Last time you heard from me, we were just getting started on our kickoff experiments and finding our way around the lab! We are just heading into week six, and so much has happened since then. After learning how to sort the flies, I transferred them into the vials - where they would eat, sleep, and grow for the next seven days. The hardest part about sorting was not only identifying male and female flies but also doing so in fifteen minutes. I definitely may have over-drugged some of them, but I promise my fly-sorting skills have gotten much better since then!
I will be testing the effects of DNA methylation (caused by glyphosate - a herbicide) on female fertility.
Although the social space assay was fun, I’m ready to explore the other assays available. For my independent project, I will be testing the effects of DNA methylation (caused by glyphosate - a herbicide) on female fertility. Originally, I planned to use nitrogen dioxide instead of glyphosate as I was interested in studying the effects of air pollution on embryonic development. My neighborhood sits right next to a quarry and is surrounded with multiple power plants, emitting pollutants such as CO2, NO2, and SO2. For years, several of my neighbors raised issues about the long-term effects of exposure to toxic pollutants, so I was curious to test this out myself. However, using NO2 as my drug wasn’t feasible since it would’ve been difficult to determine a concentration that wouldn’t have killed the flies. Its odorless and colorless properties made this even harder! So, I opted to test the effects of glyphosate - the active ingredient in RoundUp - on female fertility instead. With Pennsylvania being an agricultural state, I was interested in testing the effects of the most commonly applied pesticide on developing youth. Finally, my project will also explore whether turmeric can counter the negative effects of DNA methylation. Since turmeric is a staple in my family’s dishes, I figured it would be an interesting drug to test.
I plan to conduct the female fertility assay on the P1 generation of flies as well as collecting developmental data about pupal eclosion. Hopefully this TRIP goes just as planned! Until next time…
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