Home // LCSB // Scienteens Lab // News & E... // Méckelabo of the Lycée Michel Lucius visits the Scienteens Lab

Méckelabo of the Lycée Michel Lucius visits the Scienteens Lab

twitter linkedin facebook email this page
Published on Thursday, 14 April 2016

Students from the Méckelabo, an extracurricular lab offered by the Lycée Michel Lucius where students can experiment with fruit flies, were interested in understanding how our diet affects the immune system.

Particularly, they wanted to know whether our Western style diet, rich in refined sugars and saturated fats, is detrimental to our ability to fight off colds and infections.

Therefore, the students packed up their fruit flies and headed to Belval where they teamed up with the Scienteens Lab to make use of their expertise and equipment. Although the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster seems very far from humans, they are a widely used model system in biology as the most important mechanisms are conserved across species. Fruit flies share similar basic metabolic systems with humans, need to be able to fight off infections. In addition, they are easy to keep and manipulate and are therefore the perfect model organism to try to answer these questions.

Students from Méckelabo at the LCSB

In their experiment the students fed flies for three consecutive days on different diets: a standard diet, a protein rich diet, a carbohydrate rich diet, a nutrient rich diet or did not feed them at all for a day. Subsequently, they induced a septic injury by infecting the flies with the bacterium E. coli. In the next couple of days the students will now observe if the flies are able to fight the infection and if one type of diet enables or hampers to fight the infection.

“We very much enjoyed the collaboration with the students from the Méckelabo and happy to give such important initiatives a helping hand at the Scienteens Lab”, concludes Dr. Elisabeth John, Coordinator of the Scienteens Lab. The high-school students will publish the results of the experiment as part of their end-of-year thesis.