Wassup y’all in the TRIP community! Last time I blogged, I was just starting my preliminary screen, having been in the program for only a week. Now, week 4 is starting up (man, time really does fly by…) and I’m getting to work on my independent project. The whole screen and project planning process was absolutely delightful! I learned a lot about lab work, project design, and presentation. I have also been learning a lot of quite interesting stuff about science communication and comic drawing during the overlap class, and talking to the morning students is a lot of fun.
My independent project involves a drug that allegedly enhances cognition, memory, and alertness. I’m sure we’ve all seen advertisements at one point or another on the internet for some sort of “wonder drug” that promises to make you smarter, increase your memory, blah blah blah… Well Adrafinil, which is what I am using in my project, promises to do exactly that! It is actually closely related to another drug that is reported to have similar effects, Modafinil, which has actually been used quite widely in a manner similar to Adderall and Ritalin. Only, the thing is, neither Adrafinil nor Modafinil have ever been investigated in any long-term studies. I have heard several fellow high school students extol the virtues of these drugs, and that’s when I started wondering: can frequent use of Adrafinil (or Modafinil, which is actually a metabolite of Adrafinil) during development negatively affect memory in the future? This the question that I plan on answering by testing the memory of larvae and adults who use adrafinil or used it during development, and I will be using the larval and adult memory assays to do so. Check back when I have results!!