Image: Hemacytometer slide with 6µ polystyrene microspheres at 100x
Caption: You are seeing microspheres 6 microns in diameter used in lieu of actual pathogens to trace pathways of transmission in a social group. These microspheres are fed to a set of bees and when they exchange food with other bees these microspheres are passed on. So, at the end of a specific duration one can dissect a sample of bees in the colony to see the routes of transmission in a social group. By using microspheres one can isolate those variables of transmission dynamics that are sole properties of the host group. Later by repeating the experiments with actual pathogen spores, one can see how the host group transmission dynamics are modified by the reproductive dynamics of the pathogen.
After the bee guts are dissected, they are homogenized and the released microspheres are counted in a hemacytometer chamber under a microscope. The large dark spot is some debris and is to be ignored.
Source: Dhruba Naug, Ohio State University
Credit: Scott Camazine & Dhruba Naug
NSF funded: Yes (Brian H. Smith is the PI at Ohio State.)
NSF Permitted Use: YES (Internal use only)
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