Students: Hosen Arman, Karena Joy, Rafia Sohail, Taqdees Gohar, Zainab Rizvi
Title: Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Fish oil Improved Learning and Memory in Drosophila melanogaster
Abstract: Amnesia (memory loss) is a prevalent issue that occurs in invertebrates and vertebrates leading to forgetfulness. There are very limited treatment options available for this problem. Studies have proven that fish oil assists in improving the cognitive performance in humans with mild cognitive impairment. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). However, the precise role of fish oil and its effect on short term memory of an invertebrate species, D. melanogaster, is currently unknown. Here, we show how implementing fish oil into the diet of D. melanogaster impacts their short-term memory compared to fruit flies that are provided with standard diet. We found that the fruit flies exposed to the fish oil diet learned faster than the fruit flies exposed to the standard diet. This suggests that fish oil can improve learning and memory in D. melanogaster. Our results demonstrate how adding fish oil to a fruit fly’s diet affects their memory. We anticipate this experiment to be a starting point in learning more about the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on learning and memory, as well as to see if fish oil is able to improve memory in humans with normal brain functioning.