Connected on 2014-05-19 12:15:00 from Iredell, North Carolina, United States
- Bugscope Team hello! we are taking the sample out of the sputter coater and will put it into the 'scope forthwith
- Teacher We sent swallowtail butterflies.
- Bugscope Team haha I'll change that. They look like faded Monarchs.
- Teacher My class is so excited about our session!
- Teacher The students want to know if you are taking images right now!
- Bugscope Team We're setting up the presets now. We experienced a few problems with the scope and charging.
- Bugscope Team It took longer than expected to obtain the correct vacuum so we're a few minutes behind
- Teacher The students want to know what DW stands for.
- Bugscope Team Daniel Weber - I'm one of the original bugscope team.
- Teacher The students cheered! You are awesome, says Cole, and so is Scot, says Jesse!
- Teacher It is a peacock feather.
- Bugscope Team Ah, great. I'll adjust the preset name. Scott is driving around to get a few more presets configured.
- Teacher The students want to know how long you have worked there?
- Bugscope Team Scott 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 Team Almost done.
- Bugscope Team We're done. The scope is now your's to control.
- Bugscope Team Daniel cannot type today. "Yours".
- Bugscope Team I misused "it's" earlier too.
- Bugscope Team Ugh. Me gets PhD. Me nose hows to rite gud.
- Bugscope Team this is so cool!
- Bugscope Team this 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 Team oh also, this is Scot, on the SEM computer
- Bugscope Team please let us know when you have any questions at all, about Daniel or anything else, like what's in the 'scope.
- Bugscope Team this is some kind of frill around the inside of the mandible. it is possible it has a chemosensory function
- Bugscope Team to the left we see the doublestick carbon tape we use to hold the critters down
- Bugscope Team they're also coated with about 23 nm of gold-palladium, using a sputter coater, to make them conductive.
- Bugscope Team please let us know if you're having any trouble driving...
- Bugscope Team sometimes presets get 'stuck'
- Teacher We are discussing what chemosensory means.
Bugscope Team Ahh, very good!
- Bugscope Team insects like beetles have mandibles and two sets of palps that help them taste (chemosensory) and manipulate their food
- Bugscope Team insects have an exoskeleton, which to us would be much like wearing armor
- Bugscope Team rather than having skin, they have a shell -- the 'armor'
- Bugscope Team because 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 Team this is super cool -- it's been a long time since we looked at feathers
- Teacher Thank you! Who are you, says Jesse and Anish and Dina.
Bugscope Team I'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.
- Bugscope Team I'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 Team we're up close on the feather, and we see bits of debris, no surprise
- Bugscope Team some feathers have tiny hooks that help them align.
- Bugscope Team I 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 Team This flat beetle is most likely a Cucujidae, their common name appropriately is Flat bark beetle
Bugscope Team Joe, nice to "meet" you.
Bugscope Team Nice to meet you as well.
- Bugscope Team My background is in Physics
- Teacher We wanted to see the hook and barbs on the edges of the feathers, please. We were studying birds recently.
Bugscope Team Scott's driving over there right now.
Bugscope Team He has an idea where they are to save you some time.
- Bugscope Team let's look around...
- Teacher Lily, Campbell and Michael say yay, a woman! We love guys, too!
- Bugscope Team Split ends. Needs conditioner.
- Bugscope Team haha great!
- Bugscope Team oops, conditioner
- Teacher Very funny! The peacock needed a shower!
- Bugscope Team it'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 Team here we go!
- Bugscope Team needs some shampoo
Bugscope Team Scott's not up on his hygiene...
- Bugscope Team hooks
- Bugscope Team Scott thinks he has found some of hte hooks you were asking about.
- Teacher There are the barbs that zip the feather!
- Bugscope Team yes!
- Bugscope Team Scott's tidying up the image for you.
- Bugscope Team wasps, bees, and flying ants have similar hooks, called hamuli, to link the fore- and hindwings together
- Teacher Thanks for driving to show us the cool stuff!
- Teacher We are going to look at the dragonfly wing now.
- Bugscope Team Any 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 Team what we're seeing also has a counterpart in bees and wasps
- Bugscope Team dragonfly wings are so fine, like super thin sheets of glass or mica
- Teacher Do you mean the hooks have a counterpart in bees and wasps?
Bugscope Team yes
- Teacher Andrew wanted to see the dragonfly and says the point looks like the points on cat briars
- Teacher What are the pointy things?
Bugscope Team they're tiny spines we see on the wings; you could imagine they have a number of purposes
Bugscope Team for example, if you had a featureless wing it could get stuck to a flat surface when it was wet
Bugscope Team they might be antimicrobial
Bugscope Team A further possibility is that they may affect the aerodynamics of the wing in flight.
- Teacher We are going to see the tulip pollen now.
- Bugscope Team clearly this is not a good pollen for us to work with
- Teacher Mitch wanted to do this!
Bugscope Team Cool. They look like deflated potatoes.
Bugscope Team Some of which were stinking up my kitchen this week.
- Bugscope Team there are other examples of pollen on the Swallowtail proboscis
- Bugscope Team I always thought that since dragonflies like to fight other insects they might use the spikes on their wings to inflict damage
Bugscope Team that would be amazing.
Bugscope Team When 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 Team what 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
- Teacher On sharks the skin is rough so bacteria can't stick on says Amelia.
- Bugscope Team Awesome!
- Teacher We love dragonflies! If they eat horseflies that is so cool!
- Bugscope Team this is wild; they are kind of like conidiospores
- Bugscope Team dragonflies are great predators
- Teacher They look like ruffles potato chips, but now they changed!
- Bugscope Team this is the same scale but I kicked the mag way up
- Teacher Now it looks like a net or like coral!
- Bugscope Team wing scales can have both pigment-based and structural colors
- Teacher Cole, Ethan and Al are thinking of a question.
- Teacher Are the pollen grains the tiny spheres?
Bugscope Team We'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.
- Teacher We are going to the wing scales of the butterfly.
Bugscope Team The microstructures you see contribute partly, to the colouration on the wings.
Bugscope Team colour granules also contribute to this.
- Bugscope Team within these troughs we often find pigment granules, but the shape of the scale and the distance between the ridges also makes colors
- Teacher Wow, you are smarticle particles!
Bugscope Team Scott's more of a brainiac maniac.
- Bugscope Team the 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
- Teacher Mary thinks that is sooooo cooool!
- Bugscope Team Mmmmm... Lay's ultra wavy potato chips...
- Bugscope Team what is super cool and interesting is that the colors are sometimes in the UV, so we cannot see them but the insects can
- Teacher You got it, dude, says Dina!
- Bugscope Team for example, if we look at Monarchs, we know that the males have thinner veins on their wings
- Teacher All wants to look at the stinkbug claw.
- Bugscope Team but if you were to look at Monarch wings in UV you would see a huge obvious difference between the colors
- Bugscope Team The CLAW.
- Teacher We meant Al.
- Bugscope Team Claws like these help the insect grab onto things. Just like fingers.
- Teacher What does it use the claw for? To grasp food?
Bugscope Team yes they use their claws kind of like the way we use our hands, except I guess for typing
- Bugscope Team For the stink bug, they're used to grasp plant material and to anchor themselves into position while they feed on the plant.
- Bugscope Team you can see the claws (two), and you can also see setae that let the insect know that it is touching something
Bugscope Team the claws are the two larger curved extensions
- Bugscope Team the setae (see-tee) on an insect/arthropod help it sense its environment
- Bugscope Team setae can be chemosensory, thermosensory, mechanosensory, and also they can be used for proprioception
- Bugscope Team Stink 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 Team one of the more infamous ones currently is the Brown marmorated stinkbug
- Bugscope Team haha this is juju
Bugscope Team "Juju" being the latin name for garbage. ;)
- Bugscope Team we were just looking around...
- Teacher Garbage on the bug?
Bugscope Team Yes. Dust. Soil particles. Possibly excrement from another bug.
Bugscope Team Scott likes the word.
- Bugscope Team looks like a spiracle -- the pore at the top
- Teacher Can we see a bacteria?
Bugscope Team Occasionally. 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.
- Teacher What are you showing us?
Bugscope Team We're on a spiracle now. It is a pore through which gas exchange takes place - a kind of "nostril" for insects.
- Bugscope Team if 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
- Teacher Thank you! Lily wants to see a bacteria explode!
Bugscope Team haha!
Bugscope Team You 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 Team If 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 Team Luke I am one of your jointed antennae!
- Teacher We like the Star Wars joke!
- Teacher We are playing Star Wars in orchestra!
- Bugscope Team Luke I am a stinkbug's stink gland!
- Bugscope Team we can actually see some of the scent liquid coming out of the gland here
- Teacher Thanks for the great idea! You are so radical! Lily has a little brother and so do many others!
Bugscope Team Bacteria 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.
- Teacher Wow, that is so cool!
- Bugscope Team stinkbugs do not like their own bad smell -- that is what cues them into using it as a weapon.
- Bugscope Team so all around the openings to the stink glands is absorbent tissue
- Teacher We 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 Team Thanks! Have a good week!
Bugscope Team Thank you for participating! It was fun answering your questions and we hope you'll continue to study science!
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team we had a good time with you! here is another type of pollen, on the Swallowtail's proboscis!
- Teacher We will continue to study science; the force is with us!
Bugscope Team Ha ha! Take care! (Oh, and I hope I'm not spoiling anything, but mitichlorians aren't real. ;) )
- Bugscope Team Bye!