Tea Time: Natasha Naidoo '12

Uploaded by MountHolyokeCollege on 12.04.2012

Natasha Naidoo '12: In a nutshell, my thesis is about how different types of tea impact
aging. Reactive oxygen is oxygen in your system that really want to become, is unstable and
really wants to become stable, so it steals electrons from everything. So that could be
your cells, your lipid biolayer, random parts of your skin and body. So that's bad times
for you. That's kind of what makes you age and it makes you look old, and etc. But, if
you put something in really high amounts of reactive oxygen, you can actually make that
process happen really quickly. So you can see how that would make them age.
So I'm putting tea in with these reactive oxygens species with the worms because tea
is a really potent antioxidant. And so I want to see which type of tea—green, black, or
white tea—is sort of the best overall at stopping or slowing down this process.
So I'll have all the worms sitting in their solution, and then I'll take my tea extracts
and just put them in different areas of the wells, and then I'll put the oxidizer in all
of the wells. So then the worms will be exposed to both the oxidizer, which is supposed to
be creating all this stress, and then also to the tea, which theoretically—we'll see—if
it's going to protect them. So that's the plan for tomorrow.
I lose track of time when I start talking about tea, I think is really what that comes
down to. My plans for next year—I'm going to start a Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley, the
molecular cell biology program. And I might be working with worms. I'm not totally positive
yet. There are a lot of people whose labs I'm really interested in rotating in. A couple
of the issues I'm very drawn to are, of course, aging. I think it's a lot of fun and of course
it's relevant to everyone. We all age, we all get old. And these can help us answer
a lot of those questions. But I'm also really interested in alternative energy, and I think
that's something that we, our generation, really needs to address. So Berkeley has a
lot of opportunities for that as well, so that's part of what drew me there.