A Reflection on and Summary of my Zebrafish Research

Today as I reentered the zebrafish lab, I felt a sense of both accomplishment and victory. I had many goals coming into this summer which included producing high effort in the lab, managing my time effectively, and committing to the sometimes mundane process of research. Another one of these goals was to make a scientific impact through the finding of something different – a new test that biologists could use to test zebrafish with different types of manipulations. I am pleased with my performance over the summer as I felt I did what was necessary to be successful in research. This time, the kind of success I was striving for did not come; but with time, I believe there will be a breakthrough.

What I was able to do this summer was rule out some options in terms of the ways in which we can test zebrafish. We found that our initial NO/NL project (the one in which we made use of real objects) had some apparent flaws. We then devised a new test to avoid these problems, only to encounter some new ones which called for some creative thinking and PsychoPy creations. Still, we could not achieve our desired results we thought were missed because of the stress produced from the initial NO/NL. In the meantime, though, we successfully bred new zebrafish, exposed to alcohol during specific time periods in their development. These zebrafish will likely be valuable in the coming semesters as we brainstorm and create new ways to test learning and memory in our zebrafish.

The last project we worked on was the Conditioned Place Preference (CPP). This project is ongoing, as we hope to test more fish this fall so that we can have a bigger sample size of fish to draw conclusions from. The good news with the fish we tested in CPP is that the data look promising so far. We are actually seeing our anticipated trend which is a wonderful sign. This project is ongoing and I look forward to testing more of the fish in this procedure specifically as well as variations in the procedure which I alluded to beforehand.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my research. While I did not achieve all my goals, I do not regret my attempts to do so and I am still quite excited about finding that elusive and significant test.

Comments

  1. acadbyspicer says:

    I thought this post was so relevant and comforting to read. Research does sound like a very glamorous process in which you find answers to questions you have but this was a very honest portrayal of the many trials and errors that research involves. In the end a summer sometimes just isn’t long enough, or at least I didn’t think so! Will you continue with this work in the upcoming year?