For many, 2020 has been
the year of the cancelation, but one North Texas teen decided to say no to cancelations
and yes to improvising. She posted her innovation to social media and has since
Parisa Varizi is a
rising senior at Plane East Senior High School.
Her plan, before the pandemic, was to continue her research on fruit flies at UC Berkeley in California. When the pandemic hit, she knew going to California just wouldn’t be possible, but she didn’t want her experiments to suffer.
“To continue my scientific endeavors, I built a neuroscience lab in my bathroom and made a video about it on the social media app TikTok,” Varizi said. “The video went viral and has over 1.1 million views. Since posting my video different STEM organizations have reached out to me asking to write stories/conduct interviews on the video, my research and the awards I have won at such a young age.”
Of course, transforming a bathroom into a lab is no easy feat. Varizi said in order to maintain a controlled environment she had to start by cleaning the bathroom from top to bottom to ensure her experiment wouldn’t be contaminated.
So why fruit flies?
“Genes in the fly and
genes in the human are very similar. When you see what a certain mutation is
causing in a fly, you can extrapolate that it can be doing the same in a human.
You can check the human genome and see if this person is predisposed to
diabetes or different kinds of health problems that have to do with their diet,”
She said she doesn’t
know what the future holds for in-person classes in the fall at her high
school, but she of course hopes to stay in the science field when she goes off
to college in 2021.