Rapid Tolerance in Drosophila Melanogaster
General description of the project
Testing for the correlation between sleep length and rapid tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster. The flies used were bred for long sleep and short sleep cycles. We saw loss of righting reflex in both trials during the alcohol sensitivity and rapid tolerance trial. This allowed us to better deduce which fly lost their righting reflex as this was more subjective making us decide a better way to decide aside from the 5 second rule if they are one their side or back. We also determined a more efficient way to collect flies as only collecting the groups we need for the experiment the next day rather than collecting as many all at once. As far as cost goes, we used materials available in the lab to create the flybar as we needed three erlenmeyer flasks, four vials to serve as administration chambers, plastic tubing, and a bubbler that is used for fish tanks. We were able to present this at a separate conference at the University of Houston-Downtown, a hispanic serving institution, where we honed our networking skills as well. Some of the lessons learned resulted in better management for our time, to be more deliberate and careful in our decisions as well as how messy research can truly be.
We used a web-based program known as ShinyR-DAM developed by Karol Cichewicz, a former PhD student. This app is used to analyze Drosophila activity monitoring (DAM) system information which encompasses circadian rhythms, activity, as well as inactivity. We utilized monitors specialized for this data collection. The DAM monitors detect activity from individual flies in sets of 32 in small elongated tubes. The middle of these tubes are monitored by using an infrared sensor that takes down a tally every time the fly crosses the sensor. This, in conjunction with an incubator set for 75 degrees celsius as well as a 12 hour light, 12 hour night cycle. This would connect to the monitors through telephone cables which would connect to a computer for the DAM program to collect the raw data. We utilized excel for a majority of the data analysis as well for the rapid tolerance and alcohol sensitivity.
Explain project results
This helped me and fellow students gain a higher focus on future goals such as where we wanted to go for graduate school. Even more recent accomplishments as we now know how to culture flies and make supplies to maintain fly cultures. This landed us into a summer research internship to work with fruit flies and also maintain cultures as well.
Why it should be considered best practice?
This project should be considered for replication as it dives into a field of the intersection of sleep and alcohol use that is mainly unexplored. Studying alcohol related behaviors is imperative in understanding alcohol use disorders as this is something that affects a large number of people in the United States alone.
Highlights of your proposed presentation
We gain an understanding of the correlation between the development of rapid tolerance and the length of sleep as these seem to be dominated by different regions in the brain. Some of the lessons learned was mistakes will inevitably happen, what’s worth it is how we approach these mistakes to improve ourselves. Another was all findings are good findings as they allow us to take on different perspectives on the project especially if findings are unexpected.
The Evaluation Committee will evaluate submitted proposals based on the following criteria. Each area will be rated on a scale from 1 to 7 (1= non-satisfactory; 7 =outstanding), for a maximum of 63 points.