Hello Everyone! The weeks have been flying by so quickly. It is great to meet new people during TRIP and connect with each other which helps make the program even better! I have recently finished my introductory experiment about how fly mood was affected by head trauma and rhodiola by using the social space assay. This experiment definitely made me feel much more comfortable in the TRIP lab and I improved my knowledge about how to run an experiment and make a slideshow presentation to share my findings with my peers. This experiment has also allowed me to improve my ability to analyze data and draw conclusions from this research. This has let me communicate with others about my research much more effectively. Also, learning how to properly cause head trauma in fruit flies was quite interesting (I did feel a little bad doing it though.)
The project I decided on doing for my independent research was how sleep deprivation caused by constant light and a high sugar diet can affect fruit flies' mood, specifically depression and sociality. I chose this topic because many of my friends along with myself constantly stay up very late and do not get enough sleep and it is of interest to see the possible effects of this on their mood and sociability. Also, the average American eats around 3 times the recommended amount per day of sugar, which is insane and I am interested in if sociality or depression can be affected by this. In order to do this experiment I will use the Social Space Assay and the Forced Swim Test which will let me learn a new way of testing depression in flies. I will continue this experiment next time in the lab by making a high sugar solution to add to my fly food along with sorting the 200 flies I need!
I am excited to learn the results of my experiment and cannot wait to share them with you.