Connected on 2012-04-16 10:00:00 from Cook, Illinois, United States
- Bugscope Team sample is pumping down
- Bugscope Team soon we will start making presets
- Bugscope Team Hello Tamara!
- Bugscope Team Welcome back!
- Bugscope Team we're finishing up the presets for your session
- Guest what does pumping down mean?
Bugscope Team before we can start the electron beam we have to have a good vacuum in the specimen chamber, so we click 'Pump' and get the chamber to pump down to an acceptable level.
- Bugscope Team we keep all the samples in a vacuum chamber so that the electrons will be better at hitting the sample
- Bugscope Team we are using electrons rather than light to collect images of the samples, and electrons require a good vacuum
- Bugscope Team the electron microscope uses 'primary' electrons -- the electron beam -- to knock what are called 'secondary' electrons out of the conductive coating on the surface of the sample. The secondary electrons provide the signal that becomes the image we see.
- Bugscope Team these are individual scales on the wing of the butterfly
- Teacher The first graders are now ready and very excited!
- Bugscope Team sweet!
- Bugscope Team these are butterfly scales from the butterfly. They look kind of like potato chips
- Bugscope Team please let us know whenever you have questions, or when you might need help
- Bugscope Team the scales are the powdery stuff that comes off the butterflies or moths when you touch them
- Bugscope Team when you rub a butterfly's wing, and it feels really silky, this is the powdery stuff that comes off
- Teacher The children want to know why there are all of those lines and hole?
Bugscope Team wing scales like this are kind of like feathers to some insects; the holes, for example, keep them lightweight. The ridges keep them a bit rigid and also interfere with light so that the scale produces what are called 'structural' colors. That is, the ridges cause us to see changing colors on the wing.
- Bugscope Team scales can have both colors that come from pigments and colors that come from the closeness of the ridges (the lines) we see now.
- Bugscope Team moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, silverfish, and very few other insects have scales
- Bugscope Team we know from rubbing the wings and making the scales come off like powder that the scales are loosely attached to the wing
- Bugscope Team Tamara let us know if the system is not allowing you to select from other presets
- Teacher What is that volcano like hole for (in between the scales)?
Bugscope Team that is where a scale fell off
- Teacher That's cool!
- Bugscope Team yes as Cate says -- that is where a scale was attached to the wing and fell off
- Bugscope Team moths and butterflies are ok if they lose a few scales. They even can lose a few to get free from a spider's web!
- Teacher Do the scales grow back if they lose them?
Bugscope Team no they don't
- Teacher Abput how many scales does a butterfly have?
Bugscope Team they have tens of thousands of scales, at least. We don't know for sure
- Teacher The children think it is disappointing that they don't grow back!
- Bugscope Team when an insect gets wings it has reached its adult stage, and it doesn
- Bugscope Team 't molt and thus regenerate new scales
- Teacher How many scales can they lose before they can't fly?
Bugscope Team I'm not sure how many, but they can still fly after losing a lot of scales, but probably not as efficiently
- Bugscope Team I read that a Monarch butterfly can lose half its scales and still manage to fly.
- Teacher Daania wants to know how long does a butterfly live?
Bugscope Team some monarchs are migratory so they can live for around a year, but most just live a few weeks
- Teacher Morgan wants to know what a butterfly likes to eat?
Bugscope Team they like the nectar of certain plants depending on what species they are. Monarchs like milkweed, which is poisonous to a lot of animals. So when monarchs eat it, it makes the monarch poisonous to eat too
- Bugscope Team Nectar is the sweet liquid that flowers produce in order to attract insects that can help spread pollen.
- Teacher We learned about molting when we studied penguins!
Bugscope Team penguins can molt, but most insects and other arthropods do not once they have developed wings
- Teacher We are now looking at the True Bug head. Is that the name of a kind of bug?
- Bugscope Team this is some sort of true bug you sent us. A true bug is a type of insect that has a proboscis to drink liquids from. They look similar to a beetle. Not all insects can actually be called bugs. Fun fact
- Teacher Max wants to know how butterflies get their different colors?
Bugscope Team the colors come from two things: one is the pigment that we can sometimes see in the latticework of the wing scales, and one is from the shape of the ridges in the scales and how that shape interferes with the light we see
- Bugscope Team the bumps we see that make up the shape of the compound eye are actually individual lenses of the eye
- Teacher Paul wants to know what that stick is on the eye?
Bugscope Team it looks like a thorn!
- Teacher All the children want to know why there is so much sticking to the bug's eye?
Bugscope Team most of it is dust and dirt. I think most of it accumulates after the insect dies. They tend to keep their eyes a little more clean than that by using their front legs to help wipe it away
- Bugscope Team when we see insects up close like this we see that they have lots of tiny hair-like things on their body surfaces
- Bugscope Team the hair-like things are called 'setae,' pronounced see-tee
- Teacher What is the hair for?
Bugscope Team insects do not have skin like we do, with nerve endings in it. and they do not have noses, like we do, to help them smell.
- Bugscope Team instead of having skin, they have what is called an 'exoskeleton,' which is a shell, or a kind of armor.
- Bugscope Team their exoskeleton is similar to what it would be like if you were to wear a suit of armor. You wouldn't be able to feel if something was touching you through the armor, so they have little hairs poking through theirs to help
- Bugscope Team this ant kind of looks like a frog
- Bugscope Team yes as Cate said, the little hairs -- the setae -- help the insect sense what is around it.
- Bugscope Team the setae help the insect smell and sense touch and wind, and also to sense hot and cold
- Teacher Lindsay wants to know that if there are so many parts to a bug's eye, does it see things a lot of times?
Bugscope Team it does see lots of times! exactly! and that helps it tell when something is trying to catch it -- it can see changes, like movement, very very quickly
- Bugscope Team the ant's antennae broke off after it died
- Teacher Sarah wants to know what those 'paws' are on the ant's head?
Bugscope Team i think you are talking about the mandibles, which are the hinged jaws that open out like a gate. They help the ant chew
- Bugscope Team you can see that the ant has compound eyes like those of the true bug
- Bugscope Team it also has little hairs on the top of its head that are like cat or rat whiskers -- they help it feel if something is touching it
- Teacher Swarnika wants to know how you can tell if something falls off an insect before or after it dies?
Bugscope Team things call off easily after it dies because it is dried out. I suppose you could tell if something fell off before it died if you can see evidence of the insect's blood.
- Bugscope Team you can actually see that the ant's left antenna, on the right, is curved around its head -- so it did not break off
- Teacher Paul wants to know what this is?
- Bugscope Team insects do not breathe through their mouths; instead they breathe through these tiny pores, which they can open or close\
- Teacher Guess you anticipated Paul's question before we even asked!
- Bugscope Team the spiracles lead to tubes called tracheae on the inside of the insect
- Bugscope Team 's body
- Teacher How many spiracles do insects have?
Bugscope Team it varies, but it seems like they usually have one on each side of a segment of the body
- Teacher Sarah wants to know where these are located on an insect's body?
Bugscope Team they are usually seen on the insect's abdomen on the sides
- Bugscope Team they are little portholes in each segment of the abdomen
- Bugscope Team on flying insects we often see what seem to be enlarged spiracles on the thorax, which is the 'chest' area. the legs are attached to the thorax, and also the wings
- Bugscope Team now we can see two spiracles, there on the left side of the abdomen
- Bugscope Team a insect has a head, a thorax, an abdomen (where we are looking now), six legs, and two antennae
- Bugscope Team you can see one of the true bug's legs, and you can see that it has wings, which are folded neatly under it
- Bugscope Team whoa it's a claw!
- Bugscope Team this beetle did not look very good, but Cate was able to find one of its claws, which looks cool!
- Bugscope Team there is usually a claw at the end of each of the six legs
- Teacher Hana wants to know if those long things are hairs or nails?
Bugscope Team the sharp spikes are the hairs, but the long curved parts are the claws. The claws are like hands for insects
- Bugscope Team this is the stinger from that big wasp you sent us
- Teacher McKalya wants to know wht that spike is used for in between the claws?
Bugscope Team very good question! the spike is sensory, and it lets the insect know when it is grasping something
- Bugscope Team some of the hairs, or bristles, or spines, or setae that we see on insects help the insects sense when they are touching something, or even when they are bending their arm too far
- Teacher We thought the stinger was curved!
Bugscope Team now you can see that it is, a bit
- Teacher Guess we just had to back away from the magnification to see the curve
Bugscope Team pretty cool!
- Teacher Lindsay wants to know if this is fur or hair?
Bugscope Team the stuff that looks like fur is hair, or setae.
- Bugscope Team scales are actually modified setae
- Bugscope Team moths and butterflies always have lots of scales like this
- Teacher Is it fun being a bug scientist?
- Teacher Some of the children want to know what it is like to be a bug scientist?
Bugscope Team we are part-time entomologists and fulltime electron microscopists. it is really fun for us.
- Teacher Do you only work with dead bugs?
Bugscope Team usually, but we work with lots of other things as well
- Teacher How did you know you wanted to be bug scientists?
Bugscope Team we aren't actually entomologists, but we deal with a lot of different sciences. I have always been interested in science and have found it fun to discover new things
- Bugscope Team right now you are using a $600,000 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). We are using electrons to get images instead of light. We have many different kinds of light microscopes
- Teacher How many of these kinds of microscopes at there?
Bugscope Team there are hundreds of them in the world, but not very many that will do this -- connect with classrooms anywhere
- Teacher Swarnika wants to know if it is hard work being a scientist?
Bugscope Team There are times where it is hard, but that makes it more fun. It's like getting little puzzles that you have to solve. Doing projects like bugscope isn't hard though. It's fun! We get to talk to students like you and look at insects
- Teacher What kinds of other things do you work with?
Bugscope Team we work with bacteria, with nerve cells, with blood cells, with corn protein, with geology samples, with lots and lots of silicon devices, with self-healing polymers, on and on
- Bugscope Team we are very lucky because we get a chance to see all kinds of cutting-edge research -- things that people are just discovering
- Teacher One last bug question from Nico. How do bugs communicate?
Bugscope Team some it is chemicals. They will leave trails of scents. Others will pick up the scent with their antennae. Others will use sound like cicadas and crickets.
- Bugscope Team much of the communication insects do is through pheromones -- through chemical trails they can sense using their antennae
- Bugscope Team as Cate said...
- Bugscope Team insects also use their eyes
- Teacher Thank you for helping us learn more about bugs and microscopes! It is always fun working with you all :-)
- Bugscope Team we had a really good time
- Bugscope Team please be sure to sign up soon to work with us next year, because Bugscope is getting more popular and we are running out of space on the calendar
- Bugscope Team https://bugscope.beckman.illinois.edu/members/2011-119
- Teacher We did too! I will do it immediately! Thanks and have a great day!
- Bugscope Team below is your member page, with images and chat transcripts
- Bugscope Team thanks for joining us today!
- Bugscope Team Bye! Thank You!
- Guest thank you from Gold Hill Elementary Ms Gardner's 4th gr. Technology class!
- Bugscope Team Gold Hill are you still there?
- Bugscope Team Cate gave your control of the microscope
- Bugscope Team gave *you* control, sorry
- Bugscope Team please let us know when you have questions
- Guest yes, we are - thanks!!!
- Bugscope Team we can let you drive for a while if you would like
- Bugscope Team this is the right eye of the moth
- Bugscope Team the compound eye
- Guest sure, we would love it!
- Bugscope Team you should now be able to change mag, select from the presets on the left, etc.
- Bugscope Team now you can start to see the individual ommatidia -- the individual facets of the compound eye
- Bugscope Team and you can see that the eye has some dirt on it, as well as those hairs
- Guest students want to know if those are hairs on the eye.
Bugscope Team there are! They help them to feel when the wind is changing direction as well as if something is touching their eye
- Bugscope Team moths can see ultraviolet light, which we cannot -- we need a blacklight to be able to see UV light
- Bugscope Team some flowers produce light in UV wavelengths to make themselves more attractive to insects
- Bugscope Team this is a butterfly, and you can see that its proboscis, which is normally neatly coiled, is coming loose
- Guest they like the mohawk look. Is that the probiscus (sp)
- Guest :)
- Guest We are going to maginify that part.
- Bugscope Team when a moth or butterfly wants to feed on a flower, it pushes hemolymph into the proboscis and makes it extend like one of those party favor on New Years'.
- Bugscope Team hemolymph is insect 'blood'
- Guest that answers that ? we had.
- Bugscope Team you can see from here that the compound eye has thousands of ommatidia
- Bugscope Team some larger wasps can have as many as 17,000 ommatidia per compound eye
- Guest Entomologist Hi sorry i'm late, there was a talk.
- Guest what are the hairs
Bugscope Team hairs in insects are almost always sensory -- they help them sense touch, wind, scents in the air, scents by touch, and hot/cold
- Bugscope Team we are not supposed to called them hairs. so they are setae, microsetae, bristles, spines, trichae, microtrichae, etc.
- Bugscope Team insects and comparable arthropods do not have skin with nerve endings in it like we do, nor do they have noses
- Bugscope Team instead, insects and arthropods have an exoskeleton -- their skeleton is on the outside.
- Bugscope Team that is of course why they are called invertebrates -- they have no internal bones
- Bugscope Team the exoskeleton is more like a protective shell, or like armor
- Bugscope Team so the 'hairs' stick through that armor to help the insect sense its environment
- Bugscope Team this is high mag on a single ommatidium on the butterfly's compound eye
- Bugscope Team 5 microns -- on the scale bar -- is the length of about 2.5 bacilli, which are the rod-shaped bacteria
- Guest thank you for the extra time! We have to go to another class now. We will look at the whole conversation soon. Hope to see you again !
- Bugscope Team Thank You!
- Bugscope Team Please apply to Bugscope for a session, even far in the future
- Bugscope Team Good to see you!
- Bugscope Team Joe we worked with Tamara Deppen's class a bit earlier, and this was just a bit of icing on the cake. I am shutting down now, but you can see that I requested admin access for you in the future.
- Guest We will....btw- just printed out the session. Like that feature too.
- Guest Entomologist yea i must have written down the wrong time. Thanks. i should be on tmr.
- Guest Entomologist bye
- Bugscope Team Thank you again, Gold Hill!
- Bugscope Team See you all!
- Bugscope Team oops just kicked them off
Bugscope Team np