This is a guest post by Deb Barnett who was the lab tech at the first school to order live boar semen.  This post puts Deb in the running to win our t-shirt competition.

The kids love it!!

It gave us a relevant and interesting resource for the unit. We even had the most disengaged student managing the microscope and getting the best view of the goings on the slide.

The sample maintained viability through the week even though the ice brick had defrosted on arrival and it was warmer than the suggested 15-20 degC in the esky. Arrival time was approx. 12.10pm Monday. I followed the recommended storage conditions throughout.

Just a few notes on how the prac was run here….  A small vial and dropping pipette (1 for each class) was placed in the incubator at 38degC until required. When the class had set up the ‘scopes and warmed their slide between their hands, I aliquoted approx 1mL into a vial and took it straight to class where the teacher kept it warm in their hand whilst walking around the lab putting 1 drop directly on the slide for each group. No “lab accidents”

So, thanks again – a good time was had by all.

Good luck with the business, you’ve certainly hit the spot with it!

 

 

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Huntsman spider

Cylon 2012 - the Huntsman spider that has decided to live in our bathroom this year

My spidey sense is really tingling this week.  I had downloaded this TED podcast of Cheryl Hayashi talking about spider silk, where it comes from and all it’s amazing properties.  I listened to it in the car this week and it was so good I’ve tracked down the video for you to have a look at.

Cheryl talks about dissecting an orb weaving spider, which I’ve never done.  But, now that she has put the idea into my head, I’m really keen to have a go.  To be honest I wouldn’t really know where to start, but if I find a dead orb weaver around the property I might see what I can do.

We’ve also had a visit from a pretty magnificent Huntsman spider in the house this week.  She’s taken up residence in the bathroom near the nightlight to hunt.  The photo really doesn’t do her size and hairiness justice.  She’s so big I can see her two rows of shiny eyes without my glasses on – which is really saying something, believe me.

We usually get a couple of Huntsmans a year come into the house to hunt and breed.  We don’t mind and we usually christen them Cylon while they are visiting, but they are very messy eaters and the carnage on the floor in the mornings is a bit much.  One night Mr Vivi looked up at the living room ceiling and hundreds of tiny Huntsmans were coming out between the ceiling boards to say hello.  I think he took a photo.  I’ll ask him to post it here if he has it.

Miss Vivi

 

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