LeAndrea Wilson - Research


Uploaded by ScienceCareerPath on 30.03.2011

Transcript:
I am from Kansas City, Kansas. I went to Sumner Academy; I went there from 8th grade to 12th grade. I got interested in Biology
when I think I was in 10th grade, we had Biology class and we were dissecting these little pigs and frogs and everything, and I was just like,
you know, this is cool to me this is what I think I want to do. And then I got interested in, just all types of Chemistry, Biology, everything in high school.
So that's why I decided to major in Human Biology in college. I'm just interested in the human body in general, especially biomedical research.
In my lab, I work with flies. I guess the common phrase is flies, but they're called drosophila, and they are the model organisms for genetics.
Their life cycle is so rapid, that it's easier to control the population and everything, so that's why we use drosophila. So, with my project,
every day I would come in, and I have to collect virgins. What that means is, early in the morning, you see if it's a male or female and if their coat is like,
I'm not going to say it's a coat, but to see if they're light enough to be a virgin. It's kind of hard to explain, it'd actually be easier if you saw. So I take those,
I separate the male from the female, and I let them sit for seven days. After seven days, I mate two females with one male into two, and I kind of make them
or force them to mate, and after that, we collect data from there. The ultimate goal is to see if there is a preference between female mate choice in drosophila
simulans and drosophila sechellia. At this current moment, we're progressing the project, and now I'm trying to extract
simulans and drosophila sechellia. At this current moment, we're progressing the project, and now I'm trying to extract
the cuticular hydrocarbon of the flies, just to see if the female type has something to do with mate choice. So, I can't go into detail with that
because I just started that but that's what I'm doing now. We have 123 recombinant inbred lines and basically
we cross simulans and sechellia to make that cross. So, there's 123. Out of each 123 recombinant inbred lines, I have to take ten females
and extract from each one. So, if you do the math, that's a lot of flies. So, it's going to take a while, it's not going to be a
month project and I'm done. No, not at all. I love my lab work. I love the people in my lab; I love what I'm doing.