Student Research - Gabriella Boehm Tests the Effects of COVID-19 on the Heart

Tuesday, Oct 10, 2023

For science fair this year, Gabriella Boehm is researching the effects of COVID-19 on the heart of athletes using fruit flies. While numerous studies have been done on how COVID-19 has affected the human body, there is still a gap in knowledge regarding how it has affected the cardiovascular system that Gabriella intends to investigate using a “Power Tower”, a fruit fly exercise machine originally developed at Wayne State University.

With the help of The Cane Institutes' Mr. Allan Phipps, Gabby’s new and improved “Power Tower” exercises the flies by exploiting their negative geotaxis behavior, which means that they are naturally drawn upwards, so when the Power Tower knocks them down, they run up the sides of the wall again. They continue this process until they reach fatigue and can no longer exercise. The hope of this study is to definitively see how COVID-19 has affected cardiovascular system, and move from there as to how we would need to adjust certain parts of our lifestyle.