I never knew I could learn to love a bug, but somehow, it happened.
So far I have loved working in the TRIP lab and it’s really opened my eyes to the full process of research, from coming up with an idea, or several, that is doable and intriguing, to actually planning out the experiments themselves and collecting data. The first few weeks have already passed by so quickly and I feel as though I've learned so much. I’ve definitely gained a newfound respect for the fruit fly, they are fascinating creatures. I never knew I could learn to love a bug, but somehow, it happened.
Another one of the great experiences that thas come from these weeks has been the other students that I get to work with. Everyone is extremely friendly and always open to share what they are doing when asked. At first, I was a little nervous meeting so many new people and I honestly felt like I was the only person lost at certain points, but after talking to everyone during the program, I learned that we all feel the same way at times and it definitely made me feel more comfortable in the lab. We are always willing to help each other and once our independent projects began, it really emphasized the point that this was a group experience that we all share.
One of the biggest challenges that I've faced has been coming up with a topic to study for my independent project. I spent a lot of time researching different drugs and how to induce specific effects, like reducing the senses of taste and/or smell, in my flies. I knew I wanted to do something with sensation because being able to monitor the effects the loss of certain senses has on behavior could potentially influence how doctors treat their patients based on their behavior patterns. After help from the amazing instructors, I’ve shifted the focus of my project towards pain tolerance and how the painkiller Aspirin affects the bravery of the fruit flies. I decided to go with this topic because finding a connection between pain tolerance and risk-taking behaviors could lead to predictions in human behaviors and whether they would need extra assistance in activities like physical therapy, possibly being too afraid to do it by themselves because of the pain. Additionally, I started noticing that those who are more outgoing tend to have a lot of body modifications like tattoos and piercings, so I’m excited to see if there is actually any correlation or if my experiments prove me wrong completely.