A few weeks ago, I was nervous about entering a room with seven new people with whom I would spend four-plus hours for several months. Now, I look forward to the sessions and cannot wait to meet with my fellow classmates, Dr. Purdy, and Dr. Gardiner because science is, in fact, fun.
Hey, y’all! I cannot believe we are already beginning week six; it’s true that time really does fly when you are having fun (and working with fruit flies). Throughout the past few weeks, I have been busy completing my preliminary experiment which tested the effects of St. John’s Wort and head trauma on fruit fly activity. To measure their activity levels, I used the negative geotaxis assay which measured the height flies moved in ten-second intervals. Flies that reached the top portion of the vial were deemed more active and healthy, and, after my first trial, I found that flies exposed to both head trauma and St. John’s Wort had the highest activity rate, but more trials would be needed to verify these results.
I have had the great pleasure of not only being able to experiment with fruit flies but also meeting new friends along the way. A few weeks ago, I was nervous about entering a room with seven new people with whom I would spend four-plus hours for several months. Now, I look forward to the sessions and cannot wait to meet with my fellow classmates, Dr. Purdy, and Dr. Gardiner because science is, in fact, fun.
We have finally reached the point in our TRIP adventure where it is time to work on individual projects. Although I had no idea what I wanted to test when I first entered the program, I have decided to ask the question, “how does exposure to different light frequencies affect the rate of concussion recovery?” Sticking with the theme of head trauma, I chose this topic because I have had a lot of concussions and most doctors have told me to avoid using technology because of how the light coming off of the screens can disrupt sleep. However, certain research studies have shown that varied frequencies of light can induce sleep. With this in mind, I want to know if certain light frequencies can help to readjust concussed fruit flies back to their normal circadian rhythm, allowing for a quicker recovery. Since I cannot use normal concussion testing on fruit flies, I plan to use the light response assay which will measure flies’ ability to respond to stimuli as well as their activity levels, which are both responses impaired by concussions.
I cannot wait to begin testing and to update the TRIP community on my results!