Connected on 2009-09-22 20:00:00 from Richland, WA, US
- Teacher What 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 Team hi lisa, welcome to bugscope!
- Bugscope Team thanks for the compliment, chas did a great job working on bugscope 2.0
- Bugscope Team Lisa!
- Bugscope Team Cate!
- Bugscope Team This is a nice sample you made.
- Bugscope Team yup hi
- Bugscope Team thanks
- Bugscope Team Where is the little peezerette?
- Bugscope Team here getting rdy for sleepy time
- Bugscope Team Hi Nittany. Welcome to Bugscope!
- Guest Thanks! This site is great.
- Teacher We're back and so excited to see what you have for us tonight... How do you want to do the scope control?
- Bugscope Team You have it.
- Bugscope Team Unless you want someone else to drive, like one of your 'kids.'
- Student heeeyy
- Bugscope Team We can confer control to whomever you want.
- Bugscope Team hey there, welcome to bugscope
- Bugscope Team LIke Marccase...
- Bugscope Team this is the head of a wasp.
- Bugscope Team with one of its antlers missing
- Bugscope Team grasshopper
- Bugscope Team small beetle there
- Bugscope Team getting the hang of the controls huh? feel free to ask any questions at all
- Bugscope Team Lisa -- Rob is an entomologist, so if you have questions we have some serious help this evening.
- Teacher Great! What are the bugs coated with?
- Bugscope Team gold-palladium
- Bugscope Team about 4 or 5 nm
- Bugscope Team we use a sputter coater, so it is a super fine coat
- Teacher How long do your samples last?
- Bugscope Team they will start to rot right away once they are coated unless we keep them in a desiccator
- Student Where did this particular grasshopper come from?
Bugscope Team it came from a bunch of insects an entymologist gave us
- Student a desiccator?
Bugscope Team it's a little vacuum sealed pot
- Bugscope Team we never use the same sample stage once one is used for Bugscope
- Bugscope Team I think the hopper came from around here and was collected by Annie
- Teacher Can you transfer control to Marc?
- Student that's me
- Bugscope Team Got it Dude.
- Bugscope Team this is a pretty cool-looking moth
- Bugscope Team see the compound eyes?
- Student what is the bulging bits?
- Bugscope Team thousands of ommatidia
- Teacher Can you remind me, what is a compound eye?
- Bugscope Team Excellent view of the individual ommatidia here - those are the simple lenses that make up the eye.
- Student what is the... marc beat me to it
- Bugscope Team oh and a pollen grain!
- Bugscope Team Each one of those hexagons has its own lens and its own light-catching apparatus.
- Bugscope Team a compound eye has multiple facets, called ommatidia, and as Rob says, each has its own lens...
- Bugscope Team You can tell the moth gets a lot of information through its eyes because there are so many.
- Bugscope Team if you had compound eyes like this you would have excellent peripheral vision
- Bugscope Team Insects that rely more on smell and touch will only have a few lenses, sometimes no eyes at all.
- Student Is the eye the most important organ on its body?
Bugscope Team Hard 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 Team and you would also be able to register motion very quickly
- Teacher How is it scratiching its eye?
Bugscope Team its left forelimb is reaching around its head and seems to be touching its right eye
- Bugscope Team if 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
- Student oh my...
- Student that looks like a leaf on it's tounge
Bugscope Team Those leaf-like things are the scales, which cover the wings and most of the body.
- Student What do they do to compensate for this?
Bugscope Team they use their antennae for most of the information
Bugscope Team If 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 Team this is the proboscis
- Student is that a hair?
Bugscope Team well not hair like ours, but setae (sea-tea), they help insects to feel their environment. the setae stick through the exoskeleton to nerves underneath
- Student Which part is the powdery part if you pick up a moth? Is it these scales?
Bugscope Team Yeah, that's the stuff. The scales are actually used to help escape from spiderwebs - the web sticks to the scales instead of the moth.
- Student I had always heard that if the powder came off the moth it would kill them. Is this the case?
Bugscope Team I think the more scales they lose, the harder time they have flying. But losing the scales alone won't kill it.
- Student ok give Angela the wheel
- Bugscope Team setae can be mechano sensory or chemosensory (and others too), so they help insects feel and smell, at least
- Bugscope Team Angela has control.
- Student thanks marc :)
- Student welcome
- Student it's a claw!
- Bugscope Team There's the tip of an insect's leg.
- Student don't insects have a sticky pad at the end of their foot?
Bugscope Team yes, some do, those sticky things are called tenent setae
- Bugscope Team besides helping insects that have them get out of spider webs, scales also seem to function like feathers do for birds.
- Student What kind of insect is that?
Bugscope Team The name of the preset says 'fly claw', so I'll go with that. :)
- Bugscope Team The claws help it grab rough surfaces, and the pad beneath secretes oils that helps it stick to flat surfaces.
- Bugscope Team this is a fly claw
- Student man it's hairy
- Bugscope Team uhoh brochosomes
- Student How does a fly or spider hang upside down on a ceiling? Is it the sticky part or the claw?
Bugscope Team Could be either, or both. Depends on the material of the ceiling as to which will be more useful.
- Bugscope Team someone has been fraternizing with leafhoppers
- Student So they can choose what to use depending on the surface?
Bugscope Team I think it's more that they will stick when they are able, rather than a choice of tools.
- Student How would this hair compare to human hair? When it gets wet would it react the same way as a persons?
Bugscope Team Good 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.
- Student What do you mean someone has been fraternizing with leafhoppers?
Bugscope Team Leafhoppers 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.
- Student So they sense their environment more by touch than vision like humans.
- Student wow, those things go right through the exoskeleton
- Teacher What about the size difference between human hair and this?
Bugscope Team I just had to check some photos I took for someone with bleached blonde hair -- those were about 90 microns wide.
- Bugscope Team preset #9 has those brochosomes from the leafhopper
- Student So would their setae be more... firm? Or would it be more wispy?
Bugscope Team Insect setae can range from very flexible to stiff, defensive spines. So, both? That's about the best I can tell you.
- Student What is the purpose of the "tiny soccer ball like pellets" that the leafhoppers secrete?
Bugscope Team they are called brochosomes -- sorry. And they seem to be helpful in keeping the eggs from dehydrating.
- Student fair enough
- Student wow! this is very interesting!! can you send the controls to marisa
- Bugscope Team Marisa you are the supreme ruler.
- Bugscope Team the tiny white dots we see here are brochosomes.
- Bugscope Team there is a preset with a better view
- Student didn't I see that on star wars?
Bugscope Team what was on Star Wars?
- Bugscope Team this is cool -- a fly spiracle
- Bugscope Team I see there's also a preset with a leafhopper, if you want to see the animal that makes the brochosomes.
- Bugscope Team ah, this is cool, this is a spiracle, this is how insects breath
- Student Do they breathe like humans?
Bugscope Team no they use the spiracles, which are connected to tracheae that go inside the body cavity
- Student it looks like those ocean things... "anemas"?
- Student that thing they threw Boba into
Bugscope Team that would be the sarlacc
- Student so if an insect falls in water it can't hold it's breath?
Bugscope Team It 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 Team If this was a preset it may have moved since we made it
- Bugscope Team Instead of taking air into a bloodstream, the air passively diffuses into every cell in the body, through the tracheae that Alex just mentioned.
- Student So a chemical process takes place when the oxygen touches it?
- Student Thanks
- Bugscope Team You 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 Team these setae might function like our nose hairs, to keep dirt and juju out of the spiracle
- Student Are these spiracles constantly in motion?
Bugscope Team They'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.
- Student yeah that's it, the Sarlacc, I heard in one of the books he got out of it.
Bugscope Team Too popular to die, I guess.
Bugscope Team i dont know. i didnt read them
- Student How would heat or cold weather effect their breathing capabilities?
Bugscope Team Trying to work out the chemistry. In warmer weather I suppose air would diffuse more quickly, so their respiratory system would function a little better.
- Student He put up a pretty weak fight for his popularity. You would think he would have been better at using that jet pack.
- Student Do the spracles fall out like human hairs and replace in the same place?
Bugscope Team spiracles are large pore-like structures; setae are like tiny hairs, sort of, sometimes
- Student well that was fun can you send the controls to burkie
- Bugscope Team Burkie is now the commander of the 'scope.
- Student Would that mean they are hollow?
Bugscope Team The tracheae? Yes. The insects, no - they have an open circulatory system and so at their core are big bags of goo.
- Bugscope Team oh and I doubt if setae grow back in most insects, not unless they molt
- Student oh thanks
- Bugscope Team Oh, whoops. I'm stuck on spiracles.
- Student I 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 Team yeah we have had ants, especially, that wake right up after they thaw out
Bugscope Team Insects 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 Team every 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 Team insects are full of juice called hemolymph, kind of like blood
- Student Sorry, I know you cant' read my mind...I meant the spiracles.
Bugscope Team Ok. Yeah, the spiracles are hollow - just holes that open into the tracheal system.
- Bugscope Team The 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 Team the 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
- Student Supposedly they tied a string around it and had their own little "fly kite".
Bugscope Team big fly and small string
- Bugscope Team like, an industrial-sized fly
- Teacher What are your job descriptions? What types of experiences brought you here with us tonight?
Bugscope Team I 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 Team Glycerol, mannitol - substances that, when combined with the liquids in the insect's body, will lower the freezing point.
- Bugscope Team wasp head
- Bugscope Team lisa, i'm a systems administrator, with degrees in music composition. scott is a microscopist. cate is a microscopist, and rob is an entomologist.
- Bugscope Team i am a microscope technician that started a few years ago. I prepare the samples
- Bugscope Team Cate was a physics major.
- Bugscope Team I'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.
- Student we've got a crazy driver..
- Bugscope Team it's okay, i reset the scope and we are back to normal
- Student what are those?
- Bugscope Team no problemo laura
- Bugscope Team these are brochosomes!
- Bugscope Team Alex fixed it and moved it to the brochs.
- Bugscope Team The leafhopper byproduct we mentioned earlier!
- Bugscope Team they are usually less than 500 nm in diameter.
- Bugscope Team these are the tiny things that leafhoppers spread all over themselves
- Student what are they for?
Bugscope Team Supposed to keep the leafhopper and its eggs from drying out.
- Bugscope Team From what I have seen during these BugScope sessions, they seem end up on everything, leafhopper or otherwise.
- Student Does that mean the fly was jumping on the leafhopper?
Bugscope Team heh, good questions, yeah they must have had some kind of contact, mabye secondary, who knows...
- Bugscope Team brochosomes were first discovered in 1952, with the aid of an electron microscope
- Bugscope Team haha maybe marisa
- Bugscope Team if you click on the micron bar, lower left corner, you will see a readout of some of the parameters of the microscope.
- Student Now that I am so experienced :) I will transfer controls Jason
- Bugscope Team jason, you are driving, fasten your seatbelts everyone
- Student We already had them fastened for Laura
- Bugscope Team cool
- Student hello?
- Student YeeHaw
- Bugscope Team hi
- Student someone ate the camera
Bugscope Team ah, black screen, this happens sometimes, hit refresh (F5)
- Student the little bubbles in these brochosomes are for...?
Bugscope Team brochosomes seem to be hollow, like a wiffleballsoccerball, and we don't know just why
- Student Is the brochosome caught?
Bugscope Team How do you mean?
- Bugscope Team this is a pollen grain, now
- Bugscope Team if you look at the micron bar -- bacteria (bacilli) are usually about 2 microns long, so we can see bacteria when they are around.
- Student Between the long grass like things
Bugscope Team ah, well, more likely they just fell down in there. caught implies intent to catch, and i'm not sure that happened here
- Student what is this?
- Teacher When it says "tongue scrubber" is that the hairy patch? Does it function like a human tongue?
Bugscope Team we think the little brush of setae there help keep the tongue -- the proboscis -- clean when it rolls back up
- Student what are the bubbles behind the insect?
- Bugscope Team those dents/bubbles are on the double sided tape that we affix the insects to on the stub
- Bugscope Team it doesn't function quite like a human tongue -- it is like a straw that straightens out when the insect forces hemolymph into it
- Student Ok you can transfer to jrehder now.
- Bugscope Team sometimes 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
- Student hey, if an insect gets it's support from the outside, what is the material of the joint made of that lets it flex?
Bugscope Team Still 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 Team the main goal of bugscope is to get kids interested in science, and help them to believe that they can become scientists
- Student ah
- Bugscope Team this is why wasp stings hurt
- Teacher What is the youngest audience that you've done this with successfully?
Bugscope Team well, 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 Team if it was sharper it would not hurt so much
- Student looks like a catfish tongue
- Student I thought the stinger was hollow
Bugscope Team the 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 Team And the venom injected by the sting doesn't help anything.
- Bugscope Team we have worked with kindergartners, but the teacher has to drive and an aide ask questions
- Student what is the bubble like substance on it towards the right side?
- Student The stinger looks more blunt than I would have imagined.
Bugscope Team Well, it's amazing how sharp things stop looking sharp when you magnify them.
- Student oi! there's spikes on it!
- Teacher I can't remember, is it a bee that dies after it stings you? A wasp? A yellow jacket?
Bugscope Team It's only honey bees. Other bees will keep going at you until you kill them or they get away.
- Bugscope Team click to stop when you click to drive, and if you get lost go to a preset -- just like that
- Student so how's the venome delivered?
Bugscope Team There is a venom gland at the base of the stinger that pumps venom through a hollow channel and into the wound.
- Student This is why no sports teams are called the honey bees
Bugscope Team Heh. Nice, Jason.
- Bugscope Team you all are doing a really great job, and asking good questions too
- Student There is more then one stinger there?
Bugscope Team No but it is in two parts that are closely appressed so it can cut in a side-by-side manner
- Student oh so it's not closed off it's just a channel?
Bugscope Team I don't study these groups, so I don't want to make a blanket statement. But the venom has to come out somewhere, right?
- Student What part of the wasp are we looking at now?
- Student If 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 Team Not 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..
- Student are all the small...dots in this picture pores?
Bugscope Team They 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 Team it's like if your hands were held together and one slide ahead, then then other, and if your hands were super sharp
- Bugscope Team one slid ahead...
- Student Oh i see!
- Student I've never heard of a leafhopper before, what kinda bug is that?
Bugscope Team They'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 Team fleas have laciniae like that, that cut into your skin
- Student looks like a plant
- Bugscope Team i'm sure you've seen them before, they are all over the place, usually hanging out on leaves and stuff
- Bugscope Team this is part of the moth, and you can see where many of the scales have fallen out
- Student like apheds?
Bugscope Team aphids are still smaller, generally, and they have soft bodies that shrivel when they die or dry out
Bugscope Team But close, yeah. Aphids and leafhoppers are in the same order of insects, the Hemiptera.
- Bugscope Team heh, 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
- Student interesting...thanks
- Student Can we transfer control over to marc one more time?
- Student woo! my turn!
- Student let's see that leafhopper!
- Student as soon as the presets come up...
- Bugscope Team are your controls working marc?
- Bugscope Team Is it not working?
- Bugscope Team hmm, maybe the scope is confused, ah there it goes...
- Bugscope Team sometimes it hangs up
- Student slowly
- Bugscope Team y hitting refresh - F5
- Bugscope Team Hey, there we are.
- Student Can you guys do this with things larger than insects?
Bugscope Team the sample chamber is pretty small -- the sample holder is 1.75 inches in diameter, so that is about the limit
- Bugscope Team we didn't really feature this little dude because he is in kinda bad shape
- Bugscope Team Yeah, can't make out much of the mouth in this guy.
- Bugscope Team it would've had cool piercing mouthparts like an aphid, as Rob had said
- Bugscope Team There is a nice big hole where the head separated from the body.
- Student what exactly is wrong with it?
Bugscope Team somehow it got broken after it died
- Student :(
- Bugscope Team maybe it had been pinned, and when we unpinned it we busted it
- Bugscope Team I am sorry.
- Student Thank you guys for all of your time! It was amazing and i can't wait to try it with my students some day
- Bugscope Team we try to be careful
- Student Thanks guys.
- Bugscope Team The internet is replete with pictures of leafhoppers, so if you're dying to see one it's only a few clicks away.
- Bugscope Team Thank you!
- Bugscope Team Thanks for the questions!
- Student Thanks!
- Teacher See you tomorrow night... thanks again for the top-notch experience!
Bugscope Team Thanks Lisa.
- Student very interesting stuff here! thanks for your time!
- Bugscope Team you all did a great job
- Bugscope Team tomorrow it is
- Bugscope Team rxl stopped, session locked, disabled. nice session everyone