Connected on 2013-11-12 09:00:00
from Polk, Florida, United States
- 7:50 am
- Bugscope Teamsample is pumping down
- 7:58 am
- 8:04 am
- Bugscope Teamnow we
- Bugscope Teamare making the presets
- 8:11 am
- 8:23 am
- Bugscope Teamgood morning, Michelle!
- TeacherGood morning! Thanks again for having us!
- 8:29 am
- Bugscope TeamYay!
- Bugscope TeamI am still making presets for you, so if you can hold off on driving for a few more minutes we'll have a bit more for you to image.
- TeacherNo problem! Kids are still getting ready to go.
- Bugscope Teamsuper cool
- 8:35 am
- Bugscope Teambe right back
- 8:43 am
- Bugscope Teamwe are ready to roll
- TeacherAlrighty, I think we are too.
- 8:48 am
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know when you have questions about anything at all
- Bugscope Teamthis is a pollen grain -- they come in many forms -- on one of the honeybee's legs
- Bugscope Teamyou can use the controls to change the magnification if you want to see where you are, or if you want to image the pollen grain more closely
- TeacherQuinn would like to know what's holding the pollen onto the bee.
Bugscope Teampollen is often sticky in some way -- sometimes it has little spikes on it. in this case there may be some kind of fluid that comes out of those little pores that helps it stick
- Bugscope Teamwe are at a level of magnification at which we could see bacteria if there were any
- Bugscope Teambacteria -- the bacilli, or rod-shaped ones -- are about 2 microns long. a micron is the same as a micrometer; it is a thousandth of a millimeter and thus a millionth of a meter
- Bugscope Teamwe can see, on all insects, lots of setae -- what we call the things that look like hair
- 8:53 am
- TeacherWhat is the purpose of the setae?
- Bugscope Teambecause insects and comparable arthropods do not have skin with nerve endings in it -- instead they have a shell, or exoskeleton -- the setae stick through that shell and help them sense their surroundings
- Bugscope Teamso the setae can be mechanosensory, chemosensory, thermosensory, and also proprioceptive, among other things
- Bugscope Teamthat is, they can help the insect feel touch or wind
- TeacherOh! That's interesting. We didn't know that.
- Bugscope Teamthey can sense different chemicals by touch or in the air
- Bugscope Teamthey can feel hot and cold
- Bugscope Teamand they can help the insect sense when its limb is extended, hyperextended, things like that
- Bugscope Teamthe very fine setae, called microsetae, do not have a sensory function
- Bugscope Teamthe microsetae can help hold onto the air, in a flying insect; they are likely responsible for thermoregulation; and they also form patterns, some of which can be seen only in UV
- TeacherSo, similar function to cats' whiskers?
Bugscope Teamyes the mechanosensory setae are like that exactly
- Bugscope Teamhere we can also see a moth or butterfly scale, to the lower left
- Bugscope Teamscales are setae themselves
- 8:58 am
- Bugscope Teamscales are where we see patterns of color in butterfly wings, and they are analogous to feathers; they also serve to protect their bearers from spider webs
- Bugscope Teamthis is one of the lower limbs of the honeybee; it may be the pollen basket, although we see little pollen
- Bugscope Teamthe abdomen is below, kind of the background
- Bugscope Teamyou are driving a scanning electron microscope from your home
- TeacherThat's really amazing.
- Bugscope Teamthe images you are producing are in black and white, in grey scale, because we're using electrons rather than light to see
- Bugscope Teamthat is the stinger, which is a bit hard to make out
- TeacherWe're talking about the notches on the stinger, and how it's barbed to hold a grip.
- Bugscope Teamit is serrated, like a steak knife; when it cuts into your skin, the sides slide, side by side
- Bugscope Teamhoneybees can sting other insects repeatedly. it's when they sting mammals, with their thick skin, that the barbs you see get stuck
- Bugscope Teamthe setae are littered with scales from butterflies and moths
- 9:04 am
- Bugscope Teamthat is because they were collected and then stored in the same place
- TeacherHow do the scales wind up in the setae?
- Bugscope Teamscales come off easily. they're what appears to us as powder when we rub a butterfly's wing
- Bugscope Teamthat is how they protect moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, and silverfish from spider webs
- TeacherAre they shed, like human hair, as well?
Bugscope Teamthey are shed but they do not re-grow
- Bugscope Teamscales can produce color in two ways: as pigmented color, like paint; and as structural color
- TeacherQuinn would like to know why bees have black and yellow stripes.
Bugscope TeamI am not sure. It may be a warning coloration; it may be a kind of camouflage; it may also be a means of identifying the bee as a member of a certain species
- Bugscope Teamit is also important for us to consider that the colors we see on insects are not necessarily the colors the insects see
- 9:09 am
- TeacherSo perhaps like zebra stripes
Bugscope Teammaybe, since they are often among flowers
- Bugscope Teamthis is a female housefly
- Bugscope Teamits sponging mouthparts are in the middle of its head
- Bugscope Teamwe can tell males from females in flies, sometimes, because the eyes of the females are often far apart, whereas those of the males are often close together, and even touching
- TeacherAinsley would like to know why the tongue looks hairy
Bugscope Teamthe tongue has lots of sensory setae on it as well -- for touch sensing and also for chemical sensing, which is the same as tasting
- Bugscope Teamthere are also palps near the tongue that help it taste its prospective food
- Bugscope Teamthis kind of fly sops its food up as a liquid
- TeacherWhat is the purpose behind the different setting of the eyes?
Bugscope TeamI'm not sure why that would be; they likely see about the same, but the female may have some advantage in stereo vision
- TeacherQuinn says that he would like to know if flies have tastebuds on their feet.
Bugscope Teamit is likely that some do, as we know some butterflies do
- 9:14 am
- Bugscope Teamnow we can see the individual ommatidia -- the facets of the compound eye
- Bugscope Teamflying insects also, often, have three simple eyes on the tops of their heads, called ocelli
- Bugscope Teamsome large hornets can have as many as 30,000 ommatidia in one compound eye
- TeacherAinsley would like to know if the compound eyes have pupils?
Bugscope TeamI do not believe these have pupils, or not that we can see. it is interesting that we can see what appear to be single pupils inside compound eyes of praying mantises; it is like the compound eyes work together as one, more than they normally do
- Bugscope Teamthat is a bit limitation of the kind of imaging we are doing now, because many insects are partially transparent, so we can see inside them to some extent, but that is not true when we use the scanning electron microscope
- 9:19 am
- Bugscope Team'bit of a limitation'
- Bugscope Teamthis is cool
- Bugscope Teamcraneflies look like giant clumsy mosquitoes
- Bugscope Teamthey do not bite. the adults are said to feed on nectar from flowers, or sometimes they do not eat at all
- TeacherDoes the cranefly have a probiscus? Or is its mouth more like that of a regular housefly?
Bugscope Teamit has a long proboscis, like a horse, but the way we see it here it is foreshortened
- Bugscope Teamwe can see that its antenna are intact at the bases but broken off further out
- 9:25 am
- TeacherWhat is the lifespan, if it doesn't eat?
Bugscope TeamI am not sure, and certainly they vary. The females have mature eggs as soon as they metamorphose from larvae, so they can mate right away. the male is likely the one that does not eat, and it could thus live only a few days as an adult but still manage to breed.
- Bugscope Teamwith some insects, like mayflies, the male may live only a few hours as a flying adult
- TeacherQuinn would like to know if craneflies and humans have any similar DNA.
Bugscope TeamI'm sure there are some small overlaps, but they have both evolved separately over millions f of years
- Bugscope Teaminsects have to do the same things we do, but they do many of those things a different way
- Bugscope Teamhere we can see that the aristate portion of the antennae on the left is still intact
- TeacherI'm curious - what are the barnicle appearing ovals in the background? Is it the mount for the microscope we're seeing?
Bugscope Teamthose are craters in the double-stick carbon tape we use to help hold the insects onto the stub, which is made of aluminum
- TeacherAh, interesting, thank you. :)
- 9:30 am
- Bugscope Teamyou will also see smoother-appearing areas in which we have applied silver paint
- Bugscope Teammany bees have setae on their eyes
- Bugscope Teamfruitflies have little bristles between the ommatidia
- TeacherFor preservation purposes?
Bugscope Teamwe coat them so they will be conductive, so the electron beam we are using to image the insects does not go into the cuticle and charge them up
- Bugscope Teamthat is, we want the electrons to go to ground
- TeacherAinsley would like to know what the giant beaver-like teeth are.
Bugscope Teamthose protect the glossa, which is what the tongue is called
- Bugscope Teamthis is the underside of a spider, and we are looking at the fangs, pointed toward each other
- 9:35 am
- Bugscope Teamspiders are softbodied, unlike insects, so unless we do something specific to preserve their form, they will shrivel up when they dry
- TeacherQuinn is very excited to check out these spider fangs. :)
Bugscope Teamthere are pores at the tips that the venom comes from; all spiders inject venom into their prey; the venom dissolves the internal organs, and the spider sucks all of that up like a milkshake, or a smoothie
- Bugscope Teamspiders have lots of setae, many of which are sensitive to vibration
- Bugscope Teamsome spiders have what are called urticatign hairs
Bugscope Teamoops urticating, which means itching
- TeacherDo they suck the liquid back up through the fangs? Or do they have another organ for that?
Bugscope Teamthe liquid goes back up through the fangs
- Bugscope Teamspiders can also do this thing called autotomy, which means that if they sense the venom of another spider coursing into one of their legs, they can jettison that leg, just let it fall of
- Bugscope Team'fall off'
- 9:40 am
- TeacherAnd what do the itching hairs do? Are those the ones sensitive to vibration?
Bugscope Teamthey can be projected at a mammal, for example, that is bothering the spider
- Bugscope Teamthose hairs can get caught in the surface of the eye, of the human eye, for example
- Bugscope Teamthese are mold spores; they resemble pollen
- Bugscope Teameventually, everything that is made of some kind of protein will rot, and mold spores are the first to arrive
- Bugscope Teamthey will produce fungal hyphae
- Bugscope Teamsometimes we get insects that look fine to the eye, but in the electron microscope we see that they are covered with fungus
- Bugscope Teamhere we are looking at the cricket thorax
- Bugscope Teamthe legs are attached to the thorax
- Bugscope Teaminsects have six legs, a head, thorax, and abdomen, and two antennae
- TeacherHow magnified will the microscope go? I know you said earlier that we can see to a bacterial level, but is that its furthest magnification?
- 9:46 am
- Bugscope Teamwhen we are working with researchers, and they have very small particles, for example, we can take the magnification to 200,000x or a bit more and get publication quality images
- Teacherthat's amazing.
- Bugscope Teamwe can magnify to 800,000x or so but the images are not going to be high quality
- Bugscope Teamyou can see that the ant has very few ommatidia in each compound eye
- Bugscope Teamwhen we work with researchers, we set the microscope up so that the samples are much closer to the electron source. that gives us better resolution than we get now
- Bugscope Teamthat is some kind of dirt or goo on the eue
- Bugscope Team'eye'
- Bugscope Teamthis is what the microscope looks like on the inside
- Teacheroh wow!
- Bugscope Teamthis is the vacuum chamber, and you can see a little platter in there with the bugs on it
- Bugscope Teamthe electrons come from the cone-shaped thing in the top of the chamber
- Teacherthat's amazing.
- 9:51 am
- Bugscope Teamthe electrons hit the sample and knock what are called secondary electrons out of the conductive coating on the surface of the sample; they 2ndary electrons make up the signal that we see as images
- TeacherQuinn would like to know why the bugs need to be in a vacuum chamber.
Bugscope Teamwe would not be able to collect good images if the bugs were in room air, because the electrons would bump into air molecules
- Bugscope Teamthis is kind of cool -- a surprise
- Bugscope Teamit is the coiled proboscis of the moth
- Bugscope Teammoths and butterflies often have probosces like this that they coil up when they are not using
- Bugscope Teamit has little ridges on it that help it hold onto a flower, for example
- Bugscope Teamas it sucks up nectar
- Bugscope Teamthe proboscis comes apart so it can be cleaned
- 9:56 am
- TeacherDoes the coiled up probiscus sit outside of the moth's mouth when it is not in use?
Bugscope Teamyes it is always outside of the head
- Bugscope Teamsee how weird it is? it looks like it's coming out of the side of the head
- Bugscope Teamits base is covered up by the palps, on either side of it, that are in turn covered with scales
- Bugscope Teamyou can see the compound eyes, as well
- Bugscope Teamwhen the moth wants to extend its proboscis, it forces hemolymph into it like a New Year's noisemaker
- TeacherThat's really bizarre looking. I always thought that the probiscus was stored inside the head. Learned something new!
Bugscope Teamwe learn new stuff all of the time, really cool
- TeacherI know we're about out of time, and want to thank you both so much for having us. The kids and I have learned so much.
- Bugscope Teamthank you for working with us today!
- Bugscope Teamthis is fun for us
- Bugscope Teamhttps://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2013-072
- 10:01 am
- Bugscope Teammost of the images and most of the chat will be available at the link below
- Bugscope Teamhttp://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2013-072
- Bugscope Teamthere it is without the s
- TeacherThank you both again, and have a wonderful rest of your day. Love from Florida!
- Bugscope TeamSweet! You too! Bye!
- Bugscope Teamshutting down...