Well, the post isn’t that random, but it is focused on me and what I’m doing in school. Specifically, my thesis. I wanted to share a little bit of information about this exciting project that I have decided to start. At the beginning of the semester I decided to start an independent project and subsequently write a thesis. I will be examining the idea that insulin signaling and tissue remodeling share a common pathway in Drosophila melanogaster. Tissue remodeling is the process in which tissue masses undergo morphological changes. It is characterized by dissociation of the tissue mass, which releases the cells to move freely around the body cavity. Insulin signaling refers to the maintenance of homeostasis through energy levels from energy storing organs. They share a common pathway because during metamorphosis, fat body storing energy during Drosophila larval stages undergoes remodeling and subsequently releases the energy.
I’ll be looking at four genes, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (Pi3k), AMP-activated kinase (AMPK), insulin-like receptor (InR), and Pten. Each gene is found in the insulin signaling pathway. Pi3k and AMPK will be overexpressed, while InR and Pten will be knocked out from the pathway. Using the GAL4-UAS system, I’ll be looking at the fat body remodeling process at different points during the metamorphosis of a fruit fly. I am excited to actually put this system into effect and use microscopy to see the effects on fat body these gene conditions have.