So last we left off, I had boozed and killed and chopped it into pieces and put the pieces in a jar. Where did I put the jars? Where any crazy person puts body parts, the fridge!
|I put the worm parts in the 'meat' drawer.|
|Worms in plastic...like Han Solo in carbonite... minus the possibility of surviving the process|
So once I have a nice hunk of worm in plastic, I use a cutting machine called a microtome to take very thin sections of worm in plastic. Here is a vid of the microtime cutting one sheet of worm:
You'll notice the knife I use to cut the sheet is made out of glass. Yeah, that's right. I make and use glass knives. I'm a badass.
I then take the thin worm slices and heat them on slides so they stick to the slides. The final step once I have worm slides is to dye them so I can tell what is what in the worm body. The dye I use is a mix of acid and powders. The dry form of this acid is EXPLOSIVE. It is a small miracle my lab still exists after I tinker with the stuff.
Here are some slides in dye...
|You can see I accidentally spilled some dye above the tray when I put the slides in . Shh, don't tell my boss!|
And here is the final product!
|Cross section of a worm. You can see the worm has 2 types of muscles, I will talk more about how they work soon!|
|Sagittal (cut from head to tail) section of a worm. The septa you see is a muscular barrier that isolated the body cavity of each segment. More on this soon!|
Now I measure the inside dimensions of the worm! From this data I can predict the effects of its body dimensions on its movement and force. My plan is to test these predictions later on with movement and force recording to see if they match up to what I predict. If my predictions don't match what I see, then worms are even more complicated than we thought! And you thought they were just spineless poop machines, for shame...
Notice how my worm slides are red and green, like Christmas colors! Who wouldn't want worm slides for Christmas?? Okay, okay, I am kidding. Instead you will get a corny Christmas card or something.
Your favorite body part hacker,
The 'Dirty' Scientist