Connected on 2012-03-02 12:00:00 from Middlesex, New Jersey, United States
- Teacher hello
- Bugscope Team Hello!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team sorry -- we were working on the presets and not paying attention to chat
- Bugscope Team our session starts at 1 your time, correct?
- Teacher yes 1
- Bugscope Team cool
- Bugscope Team you have control of the microscope right now
- Bugscope Team perhaps obviously
- Bugscope Team this is a pillbug that was in my laundry area
- Bugscope Team so it has lots of clothing fibers on it...
- Bugscope Team please let us know if you have any questions about anything now
- Teacher the kids are coming in at 1 so we will probably be able to start with the microscope by 1:15
- Teacher can we do the fly first?
- Bugscope Team sure
- Teacher what part of the fly are we looking at?
- Bugscope Team you can see its compound eyes, its palps, its antennae...
- Bugscope Team this is the head
- Bugscope Team the lighter areas are the compound eyes
- Bugscope Team it's difficult to see the mouth, which I believe is extended toward us and obscured by the forelimbs
- Bugscope Team you have the ability to drive, and you can also select from any of the presets on the lefthand screen
- Bugscope Team are the students going to be able to log in on other computers today?
- Teacher ok thanks
Bugscope Team try out anything you
- Bugscope Team 'd like
- Bugscope Team this is cool
- Bugscope Team the antennae are often loose and charge up with electrons; these look great
- Teacher no we will only have one computer logged in
Bugscope Team no problem at all of course
- Bugscope Team you can see the individual facets of the compound eye, called ommatidia
- Bugscope Team the tall things in the mouth area that look like Buddhas in a cave are palps
- Bugscope Team the sponging mouthparts are extendable, and a bit obscured here
- Bugscope Team you are driving a $600,000 scanning electron microscope from your classroom
- Teacher ok we are ready..they would like to ask you a few questions about yourselves
- Bugscope Team ok we are ready!
- Bugscope Team great!
- Bugscope Team Welcome to Bugscope!
- Bugscope Team Cate made the sample and set everything up today. She's in her office. I am in the room with the microscope.
- Bugscope Team we work in a lab where we have a variety of microscopes to image different kinds of samples. We also train students to use them for their own studies
- Teacher what kind of scientist are you?
Bugscope Team I have a degree in English and Biology, so you could say I am a biologist. I am also an electron microscopist and have been doing this kind of work since 1983.
- Teacher do you have a title? biotechnologist?
Bugscope Team I used to be called a Senior Research Engineer, which was cool, I thought. But now I just the Manager of the Microscopy Suite.
- Bugscope Team oops 'now I am'...
- Bugscope Team Cate does the prep herself most of the time.
- Teacher can you describe how you prepare the samples?
Bugscope Team I put the samples on an aluminum disk that has carbon tape on it to help ground any charges. Sometimes I also use a little silver paint to act as a glue. Then we coat the whole thing with a thin layer of metal to make it conductive
- Bugscope Team the bubbly looking background with the cracks is the carbon tape
- Teacher can you describe what we are viewing?
Bugscope Team this is the head of a green bottle fly, from the ventral side (from underneath). You can see its compound eyes on either side of the head, and you can see its palps, which it uses to help taste prospective food.
- Teacher is the bug dead?
Bugscope Team yes all the insects are dead and dry because they have to go inside a vacuum of the microscope
- Bugscope Team you can also see its antennae, which have a sort of pad portion and also a branched (aristate) portion
- Teacher what are their purpose?
Bugscope Team the hairs help the insect to sense what is going on around it like cat whiskers. Some have the job of just sensing when it is touching something or getting close to something. Others can feel changes in temperature or smell/taste
- Teacher what are the hairs made of?
Bugscope Team I believe they are made of chitin, same as the exoskeleton
- Teacher what is the life span of a normal fly?
Bugscope Team they can live for upwards of a month
- Teacher do the hairs grow back?
Bugscope Team usually they do not grow back, because the insect does not live that long
- Bugscope Team if the insect goes through molts, it may produce new hairs
- Teacher what is the material around the hair?
- Bugscope Team the hairs are often called 'setae,' and they are chemosensory, thermosensory, and mechanosensory
- Bugscope Team the longer living insects that have multiple adult molts can grow back hairs or even limbs
- Teacher what is the material on the left?
Bugscope Team juju!
- Teacher what is juju?
- Bugscope Team it is some kind of debris that we don't recognize
- Bugscope Team sometimes it is the remnants of a film that has dried
- Teacher what is the maximum we can magnify?
Bugscope Team with this microscope we can go as high as 200,000x and still see distinct things, but with insects we don't normally go above 40,000x because there just isn't much to see any higher than that
- Teacher what is the structure in the middle?
Bugscope Team that is a sensory seta
- Bugscope Team also called a 'hair,' but because insects are not mammals they do not have hair, technically
- Bugscope Team this is from Cate's house
- Bugscope Team it was trying to overwinter in my house, or it got in on a nice day
- Bugscope Team this is a wasp, and we are looking at the glossa, which is what the tongue is called
- Teacher what is this?
Bugscope Team the thing in the middle is the 'tongue' and the small parts that look like little legs are palps that help taste or move around food
- Teacher what special things does the tongue do?
Bugscope Team it laps up the nectar or other juices it eats
- Teacher what is this?
Bugscope Team this is the stinger!
- Teacher what is the skin underneath it?
- Teacher what is the string?
Bugscope Team either a piece of lint (actual string) or maybe even a plant fiber
- Teacher does a wasp lose its stinger?
Bugscope Team no it can sting repeatedly
- Bugscope Team a honeybee loses its stinger when it stings a mammal
- Teacher what does the spider use these for?
Bugscope Team this is how this kind of spider eats; it is not really a spider, however
- Bugscope Team this is a harvestman, which is an arachnid
- Teacher what is it?
Bugscope Team it is an arachnid, but it is more closely related to scorpions and mites
- Teacher what are these structures? what are they used for?
- Bugscope Team those are claws, which are used much like we use our hands
- Bugscope Team the tiny setae help the wasp sense when it is touching something
- Bugscope Team some insects, like some butterflies, can smell with the setae on their feet
- Bugscope Team they land on something and scratch it, and they can taste the scent that arises
- Bugscope Team the central portion of the claw often has a pad called a pulvillus that has tenent setae on it that help it stick to surfaces
- Bugscope Team there is a pair of hinged jaws on the upperhalf of the mouth
- Teacher how old is this species?
Bugscope Team I'm sorry I don't know how old they are -- I'm sure they go back past the dinosaurs
- Bugscope Team of course
- Teacher alright we are going to sign off...thank you very much!
- Bugscope Team thanks for using bugscope with us this afternoon!
- Bugscope Team you can view images and chat from today by going to your member page
- Bugscope Team http://bugscope.beckman.uiuc.edu/members/2011-097