Connected on 2010-04-21 14:15:00 from Pewaukee, WI, US
- Bugscope Team Hi Mr Fixl!
- Bugscope Team We're setting up for today's session
- Teacher Greetings
- Bugscope Team Hi Mr Finn!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Teacher Thanks - good to be back :) How is everyone over there?
- Bugscope Team We are doing well. Cate is making the presets and I am pressing the buttons to set them.
- Bugscope Team This is Scott, logged into Chaos.
- Teacher Sounds good - we'll have all of the student's here in about 10 minutes. Just wanted to make sure we could get on.
- Bugscope Team Looks like you're in great shape.
- Teacher cool - the students are filing in now
- Teacher we're ready to go when you guys are
Bugscope Team the session is unlocked and you have control
- Bugscope Team Alright! You are the supreme ruler.
- Teacher That's awesome
- Bugscope Team this is near the mouth of the earthrworm -- a slightly shrunken pollen grain and the folds of the 'skin.'
- Bugscope Team lot of debris from crawling through the dirt
- Teacher The kids are amazed right now
- Bugscope Team Feel free to drive around, ask questions; let us know if you have any trouble.
- Bugscope Team you are controlling a $600,000 electron microscope from your classroom
- Teacher Why is the mouth all scrunched/crinkled? --Elias
Bugscope Team worms shrink and shrivel when they air dry. They don't have a hard exoskeleton like insects, which allow them to keep their shape
- Bugscope Team the samples in the microscope -- in the vacuum chamber -- are coated with gold-palladium to make them conductive.
- Teacher What is the thing in the center of the screen? -- Brett
Bugscope Team we think it is a pollen grain. sometimes mold spores look very similar to pollen, however
- Bugscope Team once we got fresh worms in ethanol, and we were able to critical point dry them, keeping them in essentially their normal 3D form. When they air-dry the surface of the worm shrinks as the water leaves the tissue.
- Bugscope Team there are other examples of pollen grains on the samples you sent
- Bugscope Team do you recognize this?
- Teacher They knew based on the title ... but they are surprised it does look like this up close
- Bugscope Team you can see compound eyes on either side of the head, and you can see large palps that look like vacuum cleaner nozzles, and you can see small palps, now
- Bugscope Team ladybugs eat other insects like aphids, which are pests. So lots of people hate ladybugs, but they help with the aphid population
- Bugscope Team plus you can see the jaws, which open from side to side and are almost delicate looking.
- Teacher Is this the mouth of the ladybug? What do they eat to survive?
- Bugscope Team We were talking about the tiny jaws earlier, and Cate pointed out that smaller jaws like that would be helpful in grabbing and piercing aphids, for a little snack
- Bugscope Team i think the forked jaws help with tearing into the aphids
- Teacher Why is it all hairy? -- Ross
Bugscope Team insects are a lot hairier than they seem, they aren't at all smooth. Insects are wearing that hard armor, called an exoskeleton, that they can't feel through like we can our skin, so they have those hairs poking through that are attached to nerves underneath- allowing them to feel around their environment
- Bugscope Team Ladybugs eat other insects, but they have to choose rather small ones.
- Bugscope Team It's like Cate said, ladybugs are beneficial. Without them your plants might be taken over by aphids.
- Teacher Productive members of the animal kingdom
- Bugscope Team to me ladybugs are a bit of a pest since I had to vacuum them all winter, but to many agriculturists they are beneficial
- Bugscope Team the hairs, which we call 'setae,' are mechanosensory (touch receptors), or thermoreceptors (hot/cold), or chemoreceptors (smell).
- Bugscope Team the smaller pointy palps have chemoreceptors built into their tips so the ladybug can taste its prospective food
- Bugscope Team and here we see the edge of a housefly's tongue
- Teacher What are the stringy things? --Jackson
Bugscope Team those are bigger setae, or hairs
- Teacher Do animals have taste buds like we do?
Bugscope Team yeah, they can be a little different looking, but they are essentially like tastebuds.
- Bugscope Team some of the *small* stringy things are microsetae, and they likely do not have a sensory function. they do help the saliva stick to the surface of the tongue
- Bugscope Team insects detect and respond to lots of chemical signals, certainly more than we do
- Teacher Is it possible to see germs through a microscope? --Brett
Bugscope Team we see bacteria in the microscope a lot. The rod-shaped bacteria, like e. coli, are about 2 microns bigs.
- Bugscope Team some insects produce pheromones to attract mates, and sometimes to warn other insects of danger
- Bugscope Team we didn't see any bacteria on the insects today, but we see them sometimes
- Bugscope Team we often see bacteria on ticks
- Teacher What are the circular areas on the tounge? -- Cooper
Bugscope Team those are places where bristles that are almost certainly mechaosensory, like cat or rat whiskers, have broken off.
- Bugscope Team oops Cate beat me to that, about the ticks
- Teacher What is the stick looking thing coming out of the circle in the upper left? --A.C.
Bugscope Team that is a broken setae, which are the bug hairs. They kind of look like those cinnamon churros
- Teacher How is the fly tounge different than a human one?
- Bugscope Team i don't think our tongue is a furry looking
- Bugscope Team as furry*
- Teacher Why are there so many spheres on the flies eye? --Brandon
Bugscope Team those are the individual components, called ommatidia, of a compound eye. They each are responsible for acquiring an image and sending it back to the brain
- Teacher Mrs. Roben says "Sometimes it feels like it Cate"
Bugscope Team that is pretty funny
- Bugscope Team to the right of the image was some spider web
- Bugscope Team spider silk strands I guess I should say
- Teacher sweet
- Teacher Is that debris on the eye as well, or is that part of it?
Bugscope Team it is liquid and dust that have settled on the eye. if the fly was alive, she/he would be able to clean much of it off.
- Bugscope Team the fly tongue is outside of the head, and it is sort of spongy. it carries saliva that it spits onto things it would like to eat, and the saliva dissolves those things. like if you were to lick icing on a cake. and then it can suck the icing, for example, up as a liquid.
- Bugscope Team this is cool!
- Teacher The kids agree!
- Teacher How can you determine the gender of a fly?
Bugscope Team one way to tell that is not always correct is to look at the eyes. those of male flies are often close together, like Mikhail Baryshnikov's eyes. and those of a female fly are often separated -- far apart. like, I dunno, Uma Thurman?
- Teacher Is this the head of a millipede rolled around the body or something else?
Bugscope Team oops Cate beat me to it again
- Bugscope Team the bumpy part towards the middle is the compound eye
- Bugscope Team next to the thing that looks like an eye with a stick coming out, which is actually an antenna
- Bugscope Team this is a super nice looking millipede you sent
- Teacher Thanks :) Go kids!
- Bugscope Team centipedes are the more creepy variety of "pedes" that are all leggy and flat looking
- Bugscope Team see the ball-and-socket joint at the base of the antenna? that is how your femur fits into your pelvis
- Bugscope Team this is cool too!
- Bugscope Team this is a claw surrounded by spider hair. It kind of looks like an antler
- Bugscope Team under those fine plumose setae -- the hairs that look like long line trees -- you can see the claws
Bugscope Team those setae are great for sensing vibrations
- Bugscope Team oops long *pine* trees
- Teacher How does a spider eye work? Is it similar the fly?
- Bugscope Team spiders can make web in different varieties. some of the web is not sticky. but if they get caught in their own web they can eat their way out. and they often do recycle web by eating it.
- Bugscope Team spiders have simple eyes- which can vary between I think 6-8 eyes
- Bugscope Team so compared with the fly's compound eyes, they are often poor substitutes
- Teacher What is a spider web made out of? What is the silk from? Food or something?
Bugscope Team the silk is made of protein, so if the spiders get really hungry they can eat their webs to hold them over.
- Teacher One of the student's just said that flies see in slow motion. Any truth to that?
Bugscope Team I've seen studies suggesting that flies have nerves hard-wired for detecting motion, which suggests that some visual processing is a reflex -- something they can react to more quickly because it doesn't need to go through the normal long processing route in the brain
Bugscope Team yes it is thought that with their compound eyes that encompass almost their entire head, that they see in slow motion and they also have hairs in their eyes that help with sensing air movement, which aids them even more
- Bugscope Team some spiders see well, but most see poorly and are more apt to use those plumose setae to sense vibrations that give them information about the outer world
- Teacher awesome!
- Bugscope Team this is nice
- Teacher What is the smalles type of spider? --A.J.
Bugscope Team if we were to cheat a little, it is clear that some mites are arachnids, and they can be quite tiny. but we will have to look up the smallest spiders.
- Bugscope Team the biggest is a bird-eating tarantula, which sounds pretty cool
- Bugscope Team one of the deals with seeing in slow motion is that if you have many receptors that see variations of the same image field, perhaps you are more able to quickly sense when that field changes, and thus it is like seeing fast motion slowed down
- Bugscope Team this is a beetle, but the head reminds me of an ant- it looks muscly
- Teacher Andrea would like to know more about the neck and why it looks like a robot.
- Bugscope Team hehe i think that's because you can see where the legs and head go into the thorax
- Teacher What is the most intelligent insect? --Dani
- Bugscope Team this is copied from the internet: The smallest spider known today is the female Anapistula caecula her counterpart the male may really be the smallest but no one has ever seen him yet. She can be found on the Ivory Coast in West Africa. She only measures to be 0.46 mm or 0.018 inches. Since most male spiders are much smaller in comparison to their female counterparts her mate maybe the smallest, however, no one has yet discovered the male of the species. The smallest male spider known to man is the Patu d
- Teacher What kind of beetle is this?
Bugscope Team it kind of looks similar to a firefly, but it's not
Bugscope Team i looked up in a field guide that an insect that most resembles that beetle is the soldier beetle
- Bugscope Team the smallest male spider known to 'man' is the Patu digua, which measures 0.37 mm, or 370 microns in diameter. also from the internet
- Teacher Was the mouth of the beetle damaged or is it the way it is supposed to be?
Bugscope Team It looks fairly complete. I see a missing right antenna (missing from the left side because it's on its back)
- Teacher What is the slowest moving insect?
Bugscope Team you could argue that it is a walking stick. but some insects, like scalebugs, attach themselves to surfaces, and thus they are quite slow to move ever.
- Bugscope Team beetles, depending on how they are caught, as well as other insects, sometimes throw up when they are poisoned and die. and sometimes they throw up anyway, maybe from being squeezed. so sometimes they look great until we see them up close, and then we see that their mouthparts are covered with some kind of juju.
- Teacher juju being the technical term of course :)
- Bugscope Team yes very technical
- Teacher How about the fastest moving insect?
Bugscope Team some people say it is the dragonfly, some people say the tiger beetle, and some people say it is a flying roach. I go for the dragonfly.
- Bugscope Team pret-ty!
- Bugscope Team this is a scale from a yellow butterfly. there are little pods between the structures that are pigment granules
- Teacher What is the purpose of an antenna?
Bugscope Team antennae are sometimes more important than eyes, to insects. they collect lots of information from the air and from touch, much of it chemical.
- Teacher What does it take to be you guys? What type of classes do you take?
Bugscope Team We've all gotten here a little differently. I studied physics and computer science, recently getting a masters degree in Bioengineering, none of which are really related directly. But I got a great opportunity to intern in the microscopy suite here when I was in highschool and have been closely associated ever since
- Bugscope Team we have entomologists (people that study bugs) that log in every now and then that lend their bug expertise to us
- Bugscope Team some ants, for example, do not have eyes. but they always have antennae. almost all of what they do is mediated by chemical signals. if you take the smell of a dead ant and put it on a live ant, the ants that take out the trash, including other dead ants, will carry the live ant away, ignoring that it is live, because of the smell. and the smell is relayed through the antennae.
- Teacher What is the most intelligent insect? --Dani
Bugscope Team some people say bees because of their complex societies, others say certain spiders (even though they are technically not insects) because of their ability to create different kinds of webs and able to capture prey
- Bugscope Team and others say fruit flies are the smartest for their size
- Bugscope Team I have a degree in English and Biology, and I have been doing electron microscopy for many years. But what I think is most important is being interested in how things work, and always learning. the more you know about the more interesting everything is, and the more it all seems to tie together.
- Bugscope Team this is salt from a Wendy's restaurant. you can see that it is cubic, like sodium chloride is, but the cubes are duplicated at a smaller scale inside the larger cube. we think that there is a tiny percentage of anticaking agent added to the salt that makes it look so cool.
- Bugscope Team Working with microscopes got me interested in all sorts of imaging topics, which is why I chose to study MRI machines (what they use to see inside you at the hospital) in Bioengineering
- Teacher Why are there holes in salt?
Bugscope Team They are not holes so much as they're regions where the salt crystal just didn't grow. New crystals grow from small seed crystals, causing the layering effect, but due to the way they grow some voids are left
- Bugscope Team this salt looks like some sort of aztec ruins because of the structure
- Bugscope Team this is one of your water striders
- Bugscope Team Cate appeared here in the lab one day, out of the blue, or maybe the elevator. She has a physics degree and just started working here. Now she trains people to run this and other microscopes.
- Bugscope Team it is a true bug, which means it has a proboscis it uses to stab either plants or other insects to drink from them
- Teacher Does the structure of a butterfly wing differ according to butterfly?
Bugscope Team I think the structure is basically the same, but the color pattern varies, of course. the scales often have structural colors as well as colors from the pigments we see in the interstices of the scales.
- Teacher What is coming out from between the eyes? Tounge or a stinger of some sort?
Bugscope Team that is a proboscis, which is a mouth part, a feeding tube
- Bugscope Team this is a hemipteran -- a 'true bug.' one thing that makes them 'true bugs' is their piercing/sucking mouthparts.
- Bugscope Team this is the tip of the proboscis we saw a minute ago.
- Teacher All the kids are saying goodbye and thank you! We have to start ending out day here.
- Teacher *our
- Bugscope Team some of these guys pierce other insects (ambush bugs and assassin bugs, for example), and some of them pierce leaves and fruit.
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Teacher Mrs. Roben and Mr. Finn both extend our thanks as well! You guys rock!
- Bugscope Team We had a good time.
- Bugscope Team this is your member page: http://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2009-154/
- Bugscope Team you can access your member page after the session.
- Bugscope Team over and out!