Does temperature preference change in aging flies? Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/t148fj505

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  • Aging is known to be affected by many factors such as nutrition and exercise, and more studies are needed to understand the mechanisms of aging. Aging in flies shows many similarities with humans; therefore we study mechanisms of aging in flies as a model organism. Studying aging in flies requires knowledge of meaningful bio markers to measure quantitatively the rate of aging. In this study, I addressed the question of whether flies would change their temperatures preferences as they age. In a series of experiments, we sought out to compare if young flies showed the expected temperature preference rhythm (TPR).We then investigated whether the temperature preference is altered with age. We observed a trend for aging flies to lose the temperature preference rhythm. In addition, older flies preferred lower evening temperature compared to the young ones. While we were able to see a loss of temperature preference rhythm, we believe this is not a reliable or easy biomarker in the search for the measurable signs of aging.
  • We set out to see if a biomarker of aging in could be found in temperance preference since it was found previously to be a predictable circadian rhythm in young flies. Since flies live 70 days it can be said that a day in the life of a fly is like a year in the life of a human. This is important because in our lab we use flies as a model organism for studying aging as to then apply to our understanding of human health and longevity. Currently most labs use over all lifespan as their biomarker of aging, but we need something that can be seen throughout the lifespan, not just at the end of it. We are always on the lookout for ways to see how aging effects the different conditions and genetic mutations we use. First we chose both wild types and genetic mutations to test for variation in results. We aged these flies at different intervals so as to have different ages to compare together. We further put these flies in alternating light-dark conditions to test together at different time points along the circadian 24 hour clock. The flies were tested in an apparatus that had a hot and cold side, with room temperature estimated in the middle along a temperature gradient that was established. There were 4 channels that separated the different groups of 50 individuals which labeled by their time of time, age, gender and genotype. After 30 minutes, a picture was taken to determine each of their temperature preference. No fly was retested and instead many bio repeats were used to establish a trend. Each fly was given a xy coordinate which a formula and computer program assigned a temperature to each. This data was averaged using statistical test and used to plot graphs of how the rhythm of temperature preference changed from young and old, and compared to the previously reported data.
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