Welcome back! I’m halfway through my TRIP Journey: week 3! Since the last time I wrote, I have conducted an introductory experiment testing the effect of St. John’s Wort and constant darkness on fruit flies' mood. I collected and presented my data to my TRIP peers as well. Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to know my peers and look forward to sharing the lab with them.
After finishing up our introductory experiments, it was time to create our own independent research project. At first I wanted to test the side effects of high cholesterol in flies by feeding them a high-fat diet. But I quickly strayed away from this as the consequences for high cholesterol are thoroughly researched in humans, my questions would not be novel. So I decided to take a different approach to cholesterol. Over 200 million people take cholesterol medicine (statins) to control their high cholesterol. So what would happen if a patient were to continue taking stains when their cholesterol has come to a normal range? Would prolonged use of a medication patients didn’t need negatively affect them? Millions of people do not have access to quality health care around the world. While a patient could get prescribed cholesterol medicine, they may not have to means for a follow up appointment with their doctor to get their cholesterol tested again. We see articles about increasingly high cholesterol without a sedentary lifestyle, we hear about the news of a loved one’s passing due to heart problems because they had high cholesterol, so everyone knows of the negative consequences of cholesterol. But what about the medicine that control it? Modern medicine has done extraordinary things for millions of people, but not everyone can access healthcare workers for annual checkups. This idea gave way to my independent research project.
What effect does Lipitor medication have on fruit flies overall growth and development?”
My question is “What effect does lipitor medication have on fruit flies overall growth and development?” I set up my experiment yesterday and I am very excited to run my first assay tomorrow to test how the lipitor has affected the fruit flies’ bodies. Keep an eye out for my updates to learn more about my project and how it's going!