Hey guys, so I thought I’d just update you on a few things going in my research.
So this summer, I continued my main lab’s project on mechanosensation. Mechanosensation is basically how you would interpret the physical stimulus you receive from your surroundings, like touches and vibrations. I work with Drosophila, or the common fruit fly and I wanted to test their behavior for possible defects in their mechanosensation. Their bristles are very similar to the bristle (hair) cells we have in our inner ear.
Everyday, I would work on creating mosaic flies that would have florescent GFP (Green florescent protein) on the fly bristles so that I can put them through this behavioral assay. I would test every bristle that showed florescences and I tested around 8 different types of bristles. I would touch their bristle once every two minutes using a thick piece of my hair under the microscope and measure to see if they would elicit a grooming response, which is them scratching where I touched their bristle. I’d do that 5 times and the record all the data.
After all that and around 40+ flies, I compiled everything to see which bristle responded the best, and I found that the post-alar bristle was the best responder, responding at a 40% rate, which is better than the other bristle types. The post alar is also good in that in all the individuals I’ve tested all of them at least had some type of (one) response in each test. The purpose of this is to find which is the best bristle to use so that I can use it (test that one) when I am looking for mutations in different genotype flies. – a fly that wouldn’t respond (like) the wildtype, or typical, fly would be considered having an effect on mechanosensation. So with that all done, I’m still reworking my techniques to get better results and test different bristles and look at their response.
What’s next? This fall i plan to actually start testing new mutations after two years of getting ready!