Testing Adderall on Flies

Genetics and Biotechnology

How many people in your lives are affected by medicinal drugs? If you're like most, then the answer is at least one. We tested a common drug prescribed to more than 24 million individuals in the U.S. alone.

By: Damian, Rhiley, Julia, and Sarah

The Experiment

Our thought process for condoning this experiment was to create a maze and compare the flies on Adderall with the normal flies. So the first step was to create the maze, and thankfully we got some help from some students in the robotics class in our school. With their help, we got to make two separate 3D printed mazes. The next step was to give our flies some Adderall. To administer Adderall to the flies, we had to make mixed food with solutions containing Adderall. This procedure was done with a standard 15 mg pill of prescribed Adderall mixed with 100 ml of water to make a 100% solution. We then took 8 ml of this and mixed it with 92 ml of water to make an 8% solution. We repeated this step for several different percentages until we found the 7% solution gave the most results. Once we dosed them with the Adderall, we could begin putting them into the mazes. First, we had to knock out the flies using our CO2, and then once they were knocked out, we set the Adderall flies in one maze and the normal flies in another one. Our group observed that knocking out the Adderall flies was more challenging to manage, and we had to figure out how to properly dose them with the CO2 so that they wouldn’t wake up too fast and weren’t too sleepy. Once they woke up, we set aside two different timers and recorded how many flies made it and the times.


The Results

Our hypothesis was supported, and the Adderall flies performed better than the regular flies. They had an overall better performance time and beat the regular flies in every race.