Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Physiology and Health
Dynesha Powell - Harris-Stowe State University
Co-Author(s): Leal Sandra, Harris-Stowe State University
Obesity is a global health epidemic that leads to the development of diseases including high blood pressure, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. We first utilized the fruit fly as a model system to determine the effects of obesity on specific behaviors by feeding third-instar larva media containing 30% coconut oil. Coconut oil is composed of approximately 99% fat. While allowing female flies to lay eggs in the media containing coconut oil, we serendipitously discovered that adult 4-day old female flies fed 30% coconut oil died within 3-5 minutes of exposure to the media. Subsequently, we determined that the effect of coconut oil on adult fly viability is dosage- and age-dependent. Conversely, feeding third-instar larva doses of coconut oil ranging from 10-30% did not affect viability, but high doses impaired locomotors activity. Further specific behavioral studies are currently being applied to larva and adult flies to dissect the effects of coconut and other heavily saturated oils on behaviors and viability. With an eye to the future, we are using this study as a foundation to screen for potential fruit fly and mosquito repellants that are safe to use for humans and biodegradable.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): HBCU-UP
Faculty Advisor: Sandra Leal, PhD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: This research project was primarily my responsibility.