Connected on 2009-09-22 20:00:00
from Richland, WA, US
- 7:40 pm
- TeacherWhat a nice logon process this time! You guys have really improved the layout and navigation since I was last here! We will be on shortly. :)
- Bugscope Teamhi lisa, welcome to bugscope!
- Bugscope Teamthanks for the compliment, chas did a great job working on bugscope 2.0
- Bugscope TeamLisa!
- 7:49 pm
- Bugscope TeamCate!
- Bugscope TeamThis is a nice sample you made.
- Bugscope Teamyup hi
- Bugscope Teamthanks
- Bugscope TeamWhere is the little peezerette?
- Bugscope Teamhere getting rdy for sleepy time
- Bugscope TeamHi Nittany. Welcome to Bugscope!
- GuestThanks! This site is great.
- TeacherWe're back and so excited to see what you have for us tonight... How do you want to do the scope control?
- Bugscope TeamYou have it.
- Bugscope TeamUnless you want someone else to drive, like one of your 'kids.'
- 7:54 pm
- Bugscope TeamWe can confer control to whomever you want.
- Bugscope Teamhey there, welcome to bugscope
- Bugscope TeamLIke Marccase...
- Bugscope Teamthis is the head of a wasp.
- Bugscope Teamwith one of its antlers missing
- Bugscope Teamgrasshopper
- Bugscope Teamsmall beetle there
- Bugscope Teamgetting the hang of the controls huh? feel free to ask any questions at all
- Bugscope TeamLisa -- Rob is an entomologist, so if you have questions we have some serious help this evening.
- TeacherGreat! What are the bugs coated with?
- Bugscope Teamgold-palladium
- Bugscope Teamabout 4 or 5 nm
- Bugscope Teamwe use a sputter coater, so it is a super fine coat
- TeacherHow long do your samples last?
- 8:00 pm
- Bugscope Teamthey will start to rot right away once they are coated unless we keep them in a desiccator
- StudentWhere did this particular grasshopper come from?
Bugscope Teamit came from a bunch of insects an entymologist gave us
- Studenta desiccator?
Bugscope Teamit's a little vacuum sealed pot
- Bugscope Teamwe never use the same sample stage once one is used for Bugscope
- Bugscope TeamI think the hopper came from around here and was collected by Annie
- TeacherCan you transfer control to Marc?
- Studentthat's me
- Bugscope TeamGot it Dude.
- Bugscope Teamthis is a pretty cool-looking moth
- Bugscope Teamsee the compound eyes?
- Studentwhat is the bulging bits?
- Bugscope Teamthousands of ommatidia
- TeacherCan you remind me, what is a compound eye?
- Bugscope TeamExcellent view of the individual ommatidia here - those are the simple lenses that make up the eye.
- Studentwhat is the... marc beat me to it
- Bugscope Teamoh and a pollen grain!
- Bugscope TeamEach one of those hexagons has its own lens and its own light-catching apparatus.
- Bugscope Teama compound eye has multiple facets, called ommatidia, and as Rob says, each has its own lens...
- Bugscope TeamYou can tell the moth gets a lot of information through its eyes because there are so many.
- Bugscope Teamif you had compound eyes like this you would have excellent peripheral vision
- Bugscope TeamInsects that rely more on smell and touch will only have a few lenses, sometimes no eyes at all.
- StudentIs the eye the most important organ on its body?
Bugscope TeamHard to say. For this moth in particular, probably very important - because of flight - but there are more important things like the brain, the heart, etc.
- Bugscope Teamand you would also be able to register motion very quickly
- 8:05 pm
- TeacherHow is it scratiching its eye?
Bugscope Teamits left forelimb is reaching around its head and seems to be touching its right eye
- Bugscope Teamif you look at an ant's eyes -- sometimes there are only a few ommatidia, and sometimes ants don't bother to have eyes at all
- Studentoh my...
- Studentthat looks like a leaf on it's tounge
Bugscope TeamThose leaf-like things are the scales, which cover the wings and most of the body.
- StudentWhat do they do to compensate for this?
Bugscope Teamthey use their antennae for most of the information
Bugscope TeamIf you mean the eyeless ants? An excellent sense of taste and smell. Most ants get around by following trails laid by others. The eyes aren't that important.
- Bugscope Teamthis is the proboscis
- Studentis that a hair?
Bugscope Teamwell not hair like ours, but setae (sea-tea), they help insects to feel their environment. the setae stick through the exoskeleton to nerves underneath
- StudentWhich part is the powdery part if you pick up a moth? Is it these scales?
Bugscope TeamYeah, that's the stuff. The scales are actually used to help escape from spiderwebs - the web sticks to the scales instead of the moth.
- StudentI had always heard that if the powder came off the moth it would kill them. Is this the case?
Bugscope TeamI think the more scales they lose, the harder time they have flying. But losing the scales alone won't kill it.
- Studentok give Angela the wheel
- Bugscope Teamsetae can be mechano sensory or chemosensory (and others too), so they help insects feel and smell, at least
- Bugscope TeamAngela has control.
- Studentthanks marc :)
- 8:10 pm
- Studentit's a claw!
- Bugscope TeamThere's the tip of an insect's leg.
- Studentdon't insects have a sticky pad at the end of their foot?
Bugscope Teamyes, some do, those sticky things are called tenent setae
- Bugscope Teambesides helping insects that have them get out of spider webs, scales also seem to function like feathers do for birds.
- StudentWhat kind of insect is that?
Bugscope TeamThe name of the preset says 'fly claw', so I'll go with that. :)
- Bugscope TeamThe claws help it grab rough surfaces, and the pad beneath secretes oils that helps it stick to flat surfaces.
- Bugscope Teamthis is a fly claw
- Studentman it's hairy
- Bugscope Teamuhoh brochosomes
- StudentHow does a fly or spider hang upside down on a ceiling? Is it the sticky part or the claw?
Bugscope TeamCould be either, or both. Depends on the material of the ceiling as to which will be more useful.
- Bugscope Teamsomeone has been fraternizing with leafhoppers
- StudentSo they can choose what to use depending on the surface?
Bugscope TeamI think it's more that they will stick when they are able, rather than a choice of tools.
- StudentHow would this hair compare to human hair? When it gets wet would it react the same way as a persons?
Bugscope TeamGood question! Insect hairs are made out of chitin, while human hairs are made out of keratin. They are different materials, so they will not act the same way - but insect hairs will clump a little when wet.
- StudentWhat do you mean someone has been fraternizing with leafhoppers?
Bugscope TeamLeafhoppers have tiny soccerball like pellets that they secrete and cover their bodies and eggs with. We could see some of them (white balls) on the claw of the fly, so we know the fly had been pestering a leafhopper.
- 8:15 pm
- StudentSo they sense their environment more by touch than vision like humans.
- Studentwow, those things go right through the exoskeleton
- TeacherWhat about the size difference between human hair and this?
Bugscope TeamI just had to check some photos I took for someone with bleached blonde hair -- those were about 90 microns wide.
- Bugscope Teampreset #9 has those brochosomes from the leafhopper
- StudentSo would their setae be more... firm? Or would it be more wispy?
Bugscope TeamInsect setae can range from very flexible to stiff, defensive spines. So, both? That's about the best I can tell you.
- StudentWhat is the purpose of the "tiny soccer ball like pellets" that the leafhoppers secrete?
Bugscope Teamthey are called brochosomes -- sorry. And they seem to be helpful in keeping the eggs from dehydrating.
- Studentfair enough
- Studentwow! this is very interesting!! can you send the controls to marisa
- Bugscope TeamMarisa you are the supreme ruler.
- Bugscope Teamthe tiny white dots we see here are brochosomes.
- Bugscope Teamthere is a preset with a better view
- 8:20 pm
- Studentdidn't I see that on star wars?
Bugscope Teamwhat was on Star Wars?
- Bugscope Teamthis is cool -- a fly spiracle
- Bugscope TeamI see there's also a preset with a leafhopper, if you want to see the animal that makes the brochosomes.
- Bugscope Teamah, this is cool, this is a spiracle, this is how insects breath
- StudentDo they breathe like humans?
Bugscope Teamno they use the spiracles, which are connected to tracheae that go inside the body cavity
- Studentit looks like those ocean things... "anemas"?
- Studentthat thing they threw Boba into
Bugscope Teamthat would be the sarlacc
- Studentso if an insect falls in water it can't hold it's breath?
Bugscope TeamIt can close its spiracles. If we put a live roach in the 'scope this evening it would close its spiracles and try to hold its breath until we let it out.
- Bugscope TeamIf this was a preset it may have moved since we made it
- Bugscope TeamInstead of taking air into a bloodstream, the air passively diffuses into every cell in the body, through the tracheae that Alex just mentioned.
- StudentSo a chemical process takes place when the oxygen touches it?
- Bugscope TeamYou can think of it as the equivalent of a human circulatory system, except the only thing it carries is air. No blood, no nutrients, no immune cells.
- Bugscope Teamthese setae might function like our nose hairs, to keep dirt and juju out of the spiracle
- StudentAre these spiracles constantly in motion?
Bugscope TeamThey're just the entrances - but they do open and close quite frequently as the insect measures carbon dioxide levels in the environment and in its blood.
- Studentyeah that's it, the Sarlacc, I heard in one of the books he got out of it.
Bugscope TeamToo popular to die, I guess.
Bugscope Teami dont know. i didnt read them
- StudentHow would heat or cold weather effect their breathing capabilities?
Bugscope TeamTrying to work out the chemistry. In warmer weather I suppose air would diffuse more quickly, so their respiratory system would function a little better.
- 8:25 pm
- StudentHe put up a pretty weak fight for his popularity. You would think he would have been better at using that jet pack.
- StudentDo the spracles fall out like human hairs and replace in the same place?
Bugscope Teamspiracles are large pore-like structures; setae are like tiny hairs, sort of, sometimes
- Studentwell that was fun can you send the controls to burkie
- Bugscope TeamBurkie is now the commander of the 'scope.
- StudentWould that mean they are hollow?
Bugscope TeamThe tracheae? Yes. The insects, no - they have an open circulatory system and so at their core are big bags of goo.
- Bugscope Teamoh and I doubt if setae grow back in most insects, not unless they molt
- Studentoh thanks
- Bugscope TeamOh, whoops. I'm stuck on spiracles.
- StudentI had friends in middle school who caught a fly and put it in the freezer. Supposedly after taking it out and letting it thaw it went back to flying like normal. Could there be any truth to what they claimed? Why would that be possible if it is true?
Bugscope Teamyeah we have had ants, especially, that wake right up after they thaw out
Bugscope TeamInsects have evolved a number of ways to deal with cold and freezing, so it's definitely possible. Many species actually freeze during the winter and then thaw in the spring. Others will produce antifreeze and go into hibernation.
- Bugscope Teamevery session has it's own member page, with all the chat and images, and we store that in a database forever, well not forever, but you know what i mean
- Bugscope Teaminsects are full of juice called hemolymph, kind of like blood
- StudentSorry, I know you cant' read my mind...I meant the spiracles.
Bugscope TeamOk. Yeah, the spiracles are hollow - just holes that open into the tracheal system.
- Bugscope TeamThe setae are filled with what we call the sensillar lymph, which is what odor and taste molecules diffuse into. They're transported to the nerve endings at the center of the seta, where they are "smelled" or "tasted."
- Bugscope Teamthe idea of the member page is to give the teacher and students a place to go back to after the session and review the material
- StudentSupposedly they tied a string around it and had their own little "fly kite".
Bugscope Teambig fly and small string
- Bugscope Teamlike, an industrial-sized fly
- 8:30 pm
- TeacherWhat are your job descriptions? What types of experiences brought you here with us tonight?
Bugscope TeamI have a degree in English and Biology and have been doing electron microscope full time for a long time now.
- Student"produce antifreeze" can you go into that more?
Bugscope TeamGlycerol, mannitol - substances that, when combined with the liquids in the insect's body, will lower the freezing point.
- Bugscope Teamwasp head
- Bugscope Teamlisa, i'm a systems administrator, with degrees in music composition. scott is a microscopist. cate is a microscopist, and rob is an entomologist.
- Bugscope Teami am a microscope technician that started a few years ago. I prepare the samples
- Bugscope TeamCate was a physics major.
- Bugscope TeamI'm a PhD student in ento at the University of Illinois. My friend Annie introduced me to this, and it's a lot of fun so I log in and help out when I can.
- Studentwe've got a crazy driver..
- Bugscope Teamit's okay, i reset the scope and we are back to normal
- Studentwhat are those?
- Bugscope Teamno problemo laura
- Bugscope Teamthese are brochosomes!
- Bugscope TeamAlex fixed it and moved it to the brochs.
- Bugscope TeamThe leafhopper byproduct we mentioned earlier!
- Bugscope Teamthey are usually less than 500 nm in diameter.
- Bugscope Teamthese are the tiny things that leafhoppers spread all over themselves
- Studentwhat are they for?
Bugscope TeamSupposed to keep the leafhopper and its eggs from drying out.
- Bugscope TeamFrom what I have seen during these BugScope sessions, they seem end up on everything, leafhopper or otherwise.
- StudentDoes that mean the fly was jumping on the leafhopper?
Bugscope Teamheh, good questions, yeah they must have had some kind of contact, mabye secondary, who knows...
- Bugscope Teambrochosomes were first discovered in 1952, with the aid of an electron microscope
- Bugscope Teamhaha maybe marisa
- Bugscope Teamif you click on the micron bar, lower left corner, you will see a readout of some of the parameters of the microscope.
- 8:36 pm
- StudentNow that I am so experienced :) I will transfer controls Jason
- Bugscope Teamjason, you are driving, fasten your seatbelts everyone
- StudentWe already had them fastened for Laura
- Bugscope Teamcool
- Bugscope Teamhi
- Studentsomeone ate the camera
Bugscope Teamah, black screen, this happens sometimes, hit refresh (F5)
- Studentthe little bubbles in these brochosomes are for...?
Bugscope Teambrochosomes seem to be hollow, like a wiffleballsoccerball, and we don't know just why
- StudentIs the brochosome caught?
Bugscope TeamHow do you mean?
- Bugscope Teamthis is a pollen grain, now
- Bugscope Teamif you look at the micron bar -- bacteria (bacilli) are usually about 2 microns long, so we can see bacteria when they are around.
- StudentBetween the long grass like things
Bugscope Teamah, well, more likely they just fell down in there. caught implies intent to catch, and i'm not sure that happened here
- Studentwhat is this?
- TeacherWhen it says "tongue scrubber" is that the hairy patch? Does it function like a human tongue?
Bugscope Teamwe think the little brush of setae there help keep the tongue -- the proboscis -- clean when it rolls back up
- Studentwhat are the bubbles behind the insect?
- 8:41 pm
- Bugscope Teamthose dents/bubbles are on the double sided tape that we affix the insects to on the stub
- Bugscope Teamit doesn't function quite like a human tongue -- it is like a straw that straightens out when the insect forces hemolymph into it
- StudentOk you can transfer to jrehder now.
- Bugscope Teamsometimes we try to make things a little less "scientific" sounding, or we try to relate things we see to normal life objects.... like tongue scrubber, kids might be more inclined to ask questions about that? although sometimes we are very serious too. it depends on how the session is going
- Studenthey, if an insect gets it's support from the outside, what is the material of the joint made of that lets it flex?
Bugscope TeamStill chitin, just like the exoskeleton. The flexible chitin and hardened chitin differ by a chemical process called "sclerotization," which crosslinks the proteins and makes them stiff and intractable.
- Bugscope Teamthe main goal of bugscope is to get kids interested in science, and help them to believe that they can become scientists
- Bugscope Teamthis is why wasp stings hurt
- TeacherWhat is the youngest audience that you've done this with successfully?
Bugscope Teamwell, we've done sessions with kindergarden kids, and they go fine. if the kids can't type that's fine, the teacher can type and control the scope. one thing about kids, they LOVE bugs, even if they hate them, and even the youngest will want to ask questions about it.... like how do they breathe, what are all the hairs, etc.
- Bugscope Teamif it was sharper it would not hurt so much
- Studentlooks like a catfish tongue
- StudentI thought the stinger was hollow
Bugscope Teamthe stinger -- stingers are modified ovipositors and sometimes function both ways -- can slip and slide side to side as it cuts into your skin. not all of them are like that, though
- Bugscope TeamAnd the venom injected by the sting doesn't help anything.
- Bugscope Teamwe have worked with kindergartners, but the teacher has to drive and an aide ask questions
- Studentwhat is the bubble like substance on it towards the right side?
- StudentThe stinger looks more blunt than I would have imagined.
Bugscope TeamWell, it's amazing how sharp things stop looking sharp when you magnify them.
- Studentoi! there's spikes on it!
- 8:46 pm
- TeacherI can't remember, is it a bee that dies after it stings you? A wasp? A yellow jacket?
Bugscope TeamIt's only honey bees. Other bees will keep going at you until you kill them or they get away.
- Bugscope Teamclick to stop when you click to drive, and if you get lost go to a preset -- just like that
- Studentso how's the venome delivered?
Bugscope TeamThere is a venom gland at the base of the stinger that pumps venom through a hollow channel and into the wound.
- StudentThis is why no sports teams are called the honey bees
Bugscope TeamHeh. Nice, Jason.
- Bugscope Teamyou all are doing a really great job, and asking good questions too
- StudentThere is more then one stinger there?
Bugscope TeamNo but it is in two parts that are closely appressed so it can cut in a side-by-side manner
- Studentoh so it's not closed off it's just a channel?
Bugscope TeamI don't study these groups, so I don't want to make a blanket statement. But the venom has to come out somewhere, right?
- StudentWhat part of the wasp are we looking at now?
- StudentIf we were to look under a microscope at our skin we would see a lot more dirt, bugs, skin, etc. WHy doesn't this seem to have that ?
Bugscope TeamNot sure, but insects are very meticulous cleaners. Whenever they have free moments, they are running combs of hairs across their bodies and removing grit and dirt. That said, I've seen some pretty grody and messy bugs under my own microscope, so they aren't always clean..
- Studentare all the small...dots in this picture pores?
Bugscope TeamThey may be the outlets of wax canals. Insects cover themselves with waxes that prevent them from drying out, and also act as "fingerprints" for the species.
- Bugscope Teamit's like if your hands were held together and one slide ahead, then then other, and if your hands were super sharp
- Bugscope Teamone slid ahead...
- StudentOh i see!
- StudentI've never heard of a leafhopper before, what kinda bug is that?
Bugscope TeamThey're little jumping guys that suck plant juices - they have a straw for a mouth, kind of like a butterfly but rigid and inflexible. You can see thousands of them if you kick around in high grass.
- Bugscope Teamfleas have laciniae like that, that cut into your skin
- 8:51 pm
- Studentlooks like a plant
- Bugscope Teami'm sure you've seen them before, they are all over the place, usually hanging out on leaves and stuff
- Bugscope Teamthis is part of the moth, and you can see where many of the scales have fallen out
- Studentlike apheds?
Bugscope Teamaphids are still smaller, generally, and they have soft bodies that shrivel when they die or dry out
Bugscope TeamBut close, yeah. Aphids and leafhoppers are in the same order of insects, the Hemiptera.
- Bugscope Teamheh, funny you should bring up aphids, we've got a massive attack of soybean aphids in this town at the moment, it is totally disgusting
- StudentCan we transfer control over to marc one more time?
- Studentwoo! my turn!
- Studentlet's see that leafhopper!
- Studentas soon as the presets come up...
- Bugscope Teamare your controls working marc?
- Bugscope TeamIs it not working?
- Bugscope Teamhmm, maybe the scope is confused, ah there it goes...
- Bugscope Teamsometimes it hangs up
- Bugscope Teamy hitting refresh - F5
- Bugscope TeamHey, there we are.
- StudentCan you guys do this with things larger than insects?
Bugscope Teamthe sample chamber is pretty small -- the sample holder is 1.75 inches in diameter, so that is about the limit
- Bugscope Teamwe didn't really feature this little dude because he is in kinda bad shape
- Bugscope TeamYeah, can't make out much of the mouth in this guy.
- 8:56 pm
- Bugscope Teamit would've had cool piercing mouthparts like an aphid, as Rob had said
- Bugscope TeamThere is a nice big hole where the head separated from the body.
- Studentwhat exactly is wrong with it?
Bugscope Teamsomehow it got broken after it died
- Bugscope Teammaybe it had been pinned, and when we unpinned it we busted it
- Bugscope TeamI am sorry.
- StudentThank you guys for all of your time! It was amazing and i can't wait to try it with my students some day
- Bugscope Teamwe try to be careful
- StudentThanks guys.
- Bugscope TeamThe internet is replete with pictures of leafhoppers, so if you're dying to see one it's only a few clicks away.
- Bugscope TeamThank you!
- Bugscope TeamThanks for the questions!
- TeacherSee you tomorrow night... thanks again for the top-notch experience!
Bugscope TeamThanks Lisa.
- Studentvery interesting stuff here! thanks for your time!
- Bugscope Teamyou all did a great job
- Bugscope Teamtomorrow it is
- Bugscope Teamrxl stopped, session locked, disabled. nice session everyone