Connected on 2014-05-19 12:15:00
from Iredell, North Carolina, United States
- 11:27 am
- Bugscope Teamhello! we are taking the sample out of the sputter coater and will put it into the 'scope forthwith
- 11:59 am
- 12:07 pm
- TeacherWe sent swallowtail butterflies.
- Bugscope Teamhaha I'll change that. They look like faded Monarchs.
- TeacherMy class is so excited about our session!
- 12:13 pm
- TeacherThe students want to know if you are taking images right now!
- Bugscope TeamWe're setting up the presets now. We experienced a few problems with the scope and charging.
- Bugscope TeamIt took longer than expected to obtain the correct vacuum so we're a few minutes behind
- TeacherThe students want to know what DW stands for.
- Bugscope TeamDaniel Weber - I'm one of the original bugscope team.
- TeacherThe students cheered! You are awesome, says Cole, and so is Scot, says Jesse!
- TeacherIt is a peacock feather.
- Bugscope TeamAh, great. I'll adjust the preset name. Scott is driving around to get a few more presets configured.
- TeacherThe students want to know how long you have worked there?
- 12:19 pm
- Bugscope TeamScott has been here for 15+ years. I started here in the mid-1990's, but took a leave of absence a few years ago to get a PhD. I just had my final defense last Tuesday, so once I deposit the dissertation with the U of I, I'll be "Dr. Weber".
- Bugscope TeamAlmost done.
- 12:24 pm
- Bugscope TeamWe're done. The scope is now your's to control.
- Bugscope TeamDaniel cannot type today. "Yours".
- Bugscope TeamI misused "it's" earlier too.
- Bugscope TeamUgh. Me gets PhD. Me nose hows to rite gud.
- Bugscope Teamthis is so cool!
- Bugscope Teamthis came from a batch of insects our entomologist gave us, so we're not sure just what kind of beetle it is. We have like 300,000 choices.
- Bugscope Teamoh also, this is Scot, on the SEM computer
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know when you have any questions at all, about Daniel or anything else, like what's in the 'scope.
- Bugscope Teamthis is some kind of frill around the inside of the mandible. it is possible it has a chemosensory function
- Bugscope Teamto the left we see the doublestick carbon tape we use to hold the critters down
- 12:29 pm
- Bugscope Teamthey're also coated with about 23 nm of gold-palladium, using a sputter coater, to make them conductive.
- Bugscope Teamplease let us know if you're having any trouble driving...
- Bugscope Teamsometimes presets get 'stuck'
- TeacherWe are discussing what chemosensory means.
Bugscope TeamAhh, very good!
- Bugscope Teaminsects like beetles have mandibles and two sets of palps that help them taste (chemosensory) and manipulate their food
- Bugscope Teaminsects have an exoskeleton, which to us would be much like wearing armor
- Bugscope Teamrather than having skin, they have a shell -- the 'armor'
- Bugscope Teambecause they do not have skin, with nerve endings in it, they do not feel the same way we do. nor do they have noses....
- Bugscope Teamthis is super cool -- it's been a long time since we looked at feathers
- TeacherThank you! Who are you, says Jesse and Anish and Dina.
Bugscope TeamI'm Daniel Weber. I was one of the original developers of Bugscope and worked with the Bugscope team full time up until ~6 years ago when I started in on my PhD research in genetics/bioinformatics, specializing in horticulture.
- 12:35 pm
- Bugscope TeamI'm Joe, I work with longhorned beetles (their larvae feed in trees), my research is focused on how they find each other and host materials
- Bugscope Teamwe're up close on the feather, and we see bits of debris, no surprise
- Bugscope Teamsome feathers have tiny hooks that help them align.
- Bugscope TeamI am Cate. I have worked with this program since I was an undergrad in 2005. I started working here in the lab in 2007 full time after I graduated
- Bugscope TeamThis flat beetle is most likely a Cucujidae, their common name appropriately is Flat bark beetle
Bugscope TeamJoe, nice to "meet" you.
Bugscope TeamNice to meet you as well.
- Bugscope TeamMy background is in Physics
- TeacherWe wanted to see the hook and barbs on the edges of the feathers, please. We were studying birds recently.
Bugscope TeamScott's driving over there right now.
Bugscope TeamHe has an idea where they are to save you some time.
- Bugscope Teamlet's look around...
- TeacherLily, Campbell and Michael say yay, a woman! We love guys, too!
- Bugscope TeamSplit ends. Needs conditioner.
- Bugscope Teamhaha great!
- Bugscope Teamoops, conditioner
- TeacherVery funny! The peacock needed a shower!
- Bugscope Teamit's always great when girls are interested in science. I have 2 little girls, and I love it when they ask me science-related questions
- Bugscope Teamhere we go!
- Bugscope Teamneeds some shampoo
Bugscope TeamScott's not up on his hygiene...
- Bugscope Teamhooks
- Bugscope TeamScott thinks he has found some of hte hooks you were asking about.
- TeacherThere are the barbs that zip the feather!
- Bugscope Teamyes!
- Bugscope TeamScott's tidying up the image for you.
- Bugscope Teamwasps, bees, and flying ants have similar hooks, called hamuli, to link the fore- and hindwings together
- TeacherThanks for driving to show us the cool stuff!
- 12:40 pm
- TeacherWe are going to look at the dragonfly wing now.
- Bugscope TeamAny time you want to jump to something, just say so. Since you asked for the hooks, Scott went to find some since he had an idea where they were...
- Bugscope Teamwhat we're seeing also has a counterpart in bees and wasps
- Bugscope Teamdragonfly wings are so fine, like super thin sheets of glass or mica
- TeacherDo you mean the hooks have a counterpart in bees and wasps?
- TeacherAndrew wanted to see the dragonfly and says the point looks like the points on cat briars
- TeacherWhat are the pointy things?
Bugscope Teamthey're tiny spines we see on the wings; you could imagine they have a number of purposes
Bugscope Teamfor example, if you had a featureless wing it could get stuck to a flat surface when it was wet
Bugscope Teamthey might be antimicrobial
Bugscope TeamA further possibility is that they may affect the aerodynamics of the wing in flight.
- TeacherWe are going to see the tulip pollen now.
- 12:45 pm
- Bugscope Teamclearly this is not a good pollen for us to work with
- TeacherMitch wanted to do this!
Bugscope TeamCool. They look like deflated potatoes.
Bugscope TeamSome of which were stinking up my kitchen this week.
- Bugscope Teamthere are other examples of pollen on the Swallowtail proboscis
- Bugscope TeamI always thought that since dragonflies like to fight other insects they might use the spikes on their wings to inflict damage
Bugscope Teamthat would be amazing.
Bugscope TeamWhen I was collecting data from the field last summer, there were hundreds of dragonflies and damselflies around. I watch one aerially attack a horsefly. It caught the thing, then landed on the end of one of my blackberry canes and ate it. I wished I had a camera.
- Bugscope Teamwhat Joe says is one of the newest concepts -- if you have a number of fine projections like that you can disrupt bacteria -- they won't settle down where there are points like that
- TeacherOn sharks the skin is rough so bacteria can't stick on says Amelia.
- Bugscope TeamAwesome!
- TeacherWe love dragonflies! If they eat horseflies that is so cool!
- Bugscope Teamthis is wild; they are kind of like conidiospores
- 12:51 pm
- Bugscope Teamdragonflies are great predators
- TeacherThey look like ruffles potato chips, but now they changed!
- Bugscope Teamthis is the same scale but I kicked the mag way up
- TeacherNow it looks like a net or like coral!
- Bugscope Teamwing scales can have both pigment-based and structural colors
- TeacherCole, Ethan and Al are thinking of a question.
- TeacherAre the pollen grains the tiny spheres?
Bugscope TeamWe're not sure. I must apologize I didn't get a good look at them, and now we are off on the wing scales. Pollen grains are multicellular, so that may be what is there. We'd have to go back to take another look. BTW: pollen grains are unique to each species. It is possible to identify which plant the pollen came from just by looking at the pollen.
- TeacherWe are going to the wing scales of the butterfly.
Bugscope TeamThe microstructures you see contribute partly, to the colouration on the wings.
Bugscope Teamcolour granules also contribute to this.
- Bugscope Teamwithin these troughs we often find pigment granules, but the shape of the scale and the distance between the ridges also makes colors
- TeacherWow, you are smarticle particles!
Bugscope TeamScott's more of a brainiac maniac.
- Bugscope Teamthe ridges interfere with the way light is refracted back to the viewer, and you see different colors depending on the angle, like one of those lenticular postcards
- 12:56 pm
- TeacherMary thinks that is sooooo cooool!
- Bugscope TeamMmmmm... Lay's ultra wavy potato chips...
- Bugscope Teamwhat is super cool and interesting is that the colors are sometimes in the UV, so we cannot see them but the insects can
- TeacherYou got it, dude, says Dina!
- Bugscope Teamfor example, if we look at Monarchs, we know that the males have thinner veins on their wings
- TeacherAll wants to look at the stinkbug claw.
- Bugscope Teambut if you were to look at Monarch wings in UV you would see a huge obvious difference between the colors
- Bugscope TeamThe CLAW.
- TeacherWe meant Al.
- Bugscope TeamClaws like these help the insect grab onto things. Just like fingers.
- TeacherWhat does it use the claw for? To grasp food?
Bugscope Teamyes they use their claws kind of like the way we use our hands, except I guess for typing
- Bugscope TeamFor the stink bug, they're used to grasp plant material and to anchor themselves into position while they feed on the plant.
- Bugscope Teamyou can see the claws (two), and you can also see setae that let the insect know that it is touching something
Bugscope Teamthe claws are the two larger curved extensions
- Bugscope Teamthe setae (see-tee) on an insect/arthropod help it sense its environment
- 1:01 pm
- Bugscope Teamsetae can be chemosensory, thermosensory, mechanosensory, and also they can be used for proprioception
- Bugscope TeamStink bugs and shield bugs can be a real problem for people who grow fruits and vegetables for a living. They stick their proboscis into the plant to obtain their food. This damages the skin on fruit and can pass disease from one plant to another.
Bugscope Teamone of the more infamous ones currently is the Brown marmorated stinkbug
- Bugscope Teamhaha this is juju
Bugscope Team"Juju" being the latin name for garbage. ;)
- Bugscope Teamwe were just looking around...
- TeacherGarbage on the bug?
Bugscope TeamYes. Dust. Soil particles. Possibly excrement from another bug.
Bugscope TeamScott likes the word.
- Bugscope Teamlooks like a spiracle -- the pore at the top
- 1:07 pm
- TeacherCan we see a bacteria?
Bugscope TeamOccasionally. However, they don't often survive well when put into a vacuum - they can burst open and be hard to identify. Those that have time to encyst should be visible, but I don't think we ran across any here.
- TeacherWhat are you showing us?
Bugscope TeamWe're on a spiracle now. It is a pore through which gas exchange takes place - a kind of "nostril" for insects.
- Bugscope Teamif we look around enough we might be able to find bacteria; their shape often helps them survive being dried and in a vacuum like this
- TeacherThank you! Lily wants to see a bacteria explode!
Bugscope TeamYou can do this yourself. Get a small balloon, fill it with water, then throw it at your little brother. It's the same effect really: bacteria are basically little water sacks; membranes surrounding fluid containing the bacterial DNA.
Bugscope TeamIf you don't have a little brother or sister, an older brother or sister will do as long as you can outrun him or her.
- Bugscope TeamLuke I am one of your jointed antennae!
- TeacherWe like the Star Wars joke!
- TeacherWe are playing Star Wars in orchestra!
- 1:12 pm
- Bugscope TeamLuke I am a stinkbug's stink gland!
- Bugscope Teamwe can actually see some of the scent liquid coming out of the gland here
- TeacherThanks for the great idea! You are so radical! Lily has a little brother and so do many others!
Bugscope TeamBacteria are fun. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. But a lot of bacteria and prokaryotes have the same structure: a plasma membrane surrounding one or two chunks of circular DNA. Some bacteria/prokaryotes are more complex than this, of course. This was just a generalization. But a water balloon isn't too far off as a simple model of one.
- TeacherWow, that is so cool!
- Bugscope Teamstinkbugs do not like their own bad smell -- that is what cues them into using it as a weapon.
- Bugscope Teamso all around the openings to the stink glands is absorbent tissue
- TeacherWe had so much fun! That was awesome, says Campbell and the others! We will look at the archived images this week some more. The students also say thank you so very much!
Bugscope TeamThanks! Have a good week!
Bugscope TeamThank you for participating! It was fun answering your questions and we hope you'll continue to study science!
- Bugscope TeamThank You!
- Bugscope Teamwe had a good time with you! here is another type of pollen, on the Swallowtail's proboscis!
- TeacherWe will continue to study science; the force is with us!
Bugscope TeamHa ha! Take care! (Oh, and I hope I'm not spoiling anything, but mitichlorians aren't real. ;) )
- Bugscope TeamBye!