I’m currently a senior at PHS and in my third year in the research program. In the last three years, I have worked with grasshoppers, fish, and spotted lanternflies. Currently, I am marketing and helping create soaps and candles, while also modelling the dynamic behavior of stars in globular clusters. In 2022, I helped with the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow project, which has inspired me to continue the soap Sol Feliz project with Zoë Eby #buysoap. I’m interested in pursuing math in college. Outside of school, I spend a lot of my time rowing. I also enjoy playing the guitar, bass, rock climbing, and watching a lot of netflix.
Sol Feliz Soap
We make sustainable handmade soap using alternatives to palm oil. They smell really good, and all the proceeds go to materials and resources for PHS Research. We are currently having our spring sale with soap, bath bombs, and candles. They were originally made with oil from soldier fly larvae, but now contain coconut oil, essential oils, and beeswax.
Dazed and Confused: The Pharmacological Effects of Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) on Goldfish
Datura stramonium, also known as jimsonweed, is a member of the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) that has been recognized for its pharmacological properties in folklore and traditions across many different cultures. At the same time, little has been documented about the overall effects of D. stramonium treatments on the nervous system–particularly its potentially sedative and hallucinogenic effects. In this study, domestic goldfish (Carassius auratus) were treated by immersion within an emulsion composed of homogenized jimsonweed leaves, which did not demonstrate any immediately toxic effects. Fish that were exposed to this extract showed significantly delayed reaction times to light and touch when compared with controls, implying that compounds in jimsonweed may indeed have neuropharmacological properties. Whether these are sedative or hallucinogenic remains to be determined, though all fish showed complete recovery to the initial response states after 24 hours without jimsonweed exposure and there were no mortalities.
Figure 5: The graph above shows the reaction time to a laser light when goldfish are treated with jimsonweed (left) vs. control (right). The jimsonweed group in blue corresponds to the experimental group 5 minutes after being treated with jimsonweed and the control group in red corresponds to the control group which was not treated with jimsonweed. The x-axis shows the treatment groups, and the y-axis shows the reaction time in seconds.
Figure 4: The graph above shows the reaction time to touch for goldfish when treated with jimsonweed. The jimsonweed group in blue corresponds to experimental group minutes after being treated with jimsonweed, the control group in red corresponds to the control group which was not treated with jimsonweed, and the jimsonweed 2 group in yellow corresponds to the second exprimental which were the fish treated with jimsonweed tested one day after. The x-axis shows the treatment groups, and the y-axis shows the reaction time in seconds.
Results: We aim to better understand the effects of jimsonweed on the brain, this experiment can be extended to explore other implications. Psilocybin has shown to have therapeutic effects in the treatment of neuropsychiatry-related conditions , as have mescaline, and ketamine. Should jimsonweed’s compounds continue to prove pharmacologically active, they may provide an additional tool in combating mental illness.