Hello again! Wow, I can't believe I am already halfway through the program! Last time you heard from me, I was introducing myself and expressing my interest and dedication in the program. Although I have been in the program for only a few weeks, I have learned so many new techniques ranging from effectively presenting my research through a presentation to making serial stock solutions to sorting flies. Recently, I have completed my introduction experiment regarding how Rhodiola and disrupted circadian rhythms affect the mood of fruit flies. Rhodiola is known to increase the energy levels of flies. Disrupted circadian rhythms are known to mess with the sleeping pattern of flies and drain the flies energy. Therefore, I tested whether the drug (Rhodiola) and stressor (constant darkness) would balance each other out and create a positive mood in the flies. The positive mood was tested through the Social Space Assay which quantifies the distance between the fruit flies during time stamps of 5, 10, and 15 minutes. The closer the distance the happier the flies and vice versa. I predicted that the fruit flies would have a positive mood when exposed to both the drug and the stressor.
Even though my assay did not go as expected, I still definitely gathered some tips and advice I can utilize next time I perform the assay to make it go much smoother.
This week in TRIP, I am beginning to conduct my very own research project! The questions being tested are “How is fruit fly cognitive development affected by iron? Does iron improve the memory of fruit flies?” What is interesting about fruit flies is that unlike humans who have red blood cells, fruit flies have something different called hemolymph. For fruit flies, the hemolymph acts as a transport medium for the exchange of nutrients and hormones between cells. In addition, iron is supposed to increase blood flow and circulation in humans which then increases cognitive development and attention. Thus, I was interested to see if iron has the same effect on hemolymph as it has on blood, which is how I came to this research topic. I recently just began setting up my four experimental conditions for the experiment and will be conducting my first Larval Memory Assay next week! Until next time when I will hopefully come back with some results from the assay! Thank you for reading!