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Special specimen: pig pluck with sectioned larynx

sectioned pig larynx
Sectioned pig larynx

Here we have the sectioned larynx of a pig still attached to a pluck. Someone got a bit knife happy at the abattoir so all the internal structure of the larynx has been revealed. That’s harder than it looks. We’ve tried to do it with knives and with scissors and never had any luck.

1 only available. $12.00. Check out the Off Cuts page for more specials – but remember they are always advertised on the Facebook page first.
Miss Vivi

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Piglet Dissection Workshop at ConQEST 2012

Every year at the end of June we get to go to ConQEST and we always have a ball.

Trade display at ConQEST 2012
The Dissection Connection trade display at ConQEST 2012

This year we ran two workshops – a head dissection and a piglet dissection.  One of the workshoppers, a lab tech from Emerald, took some great photos of the piglet dissection and has been kind enough to let me share them here.

Step 1 – peg out the beastie on a tray using rubber bands around each foot.  Heather from Southern Biological showed me how to do this.

Displaying the specimen using rubber bands
Piglet dissection: a rubber band around each foot and looped behind the dissection tray will hold the piglet still for dissection

Step 2 – make a mid-sagittal incision in the skin

Start with a mid-sagittal incision
Piglet dissection: making the mid-sagittal incision

Step 3 – separate the skin from the muscle using a scalpel

Piglet dissection: Exposing the muscles under the skin
Piglet dissection: once the skin has been peeled back the muscles are exposed for examination
Piglet dissection: exposed tarsals
Piglet dissection: the tarsals exposed

Step 4 – locate the diaphragm and identify the organs of the thoracic cavity

Piglet dissection: examining the organs in the thoracic cavity
Piglet dissection: examining the heart in the thoracic cavity
Piglet dissection: the trachea
Piglet dissection: an incision can be made in the trachea and the lungs can be inflated with a syringe

Step 5 – identify the organs of the abdominal cavity

Piglet dissection: organs of the abdominal cavity
Piglet dissection: the liver and intestine inside the abdominal cavity
Piglet dissection: kidney exposed in the abdominal cavity
Piglet dissection: intestine removed and kidney exposed
Piglet dissection: examining the length of the small intestine
Piglet dissection: the small intestine removed and stretched out to demonstrate its length

So, there you have it. A good time was had by all and then we went to lunch – which is always fabulous at ConQEST.  See you there ‘in the flesh’ next year.
Miss Vivi

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Top Tip: keeping slides warm for viewing semen motility

Now that the weather has cooled down it’s going to take a bit more to keep semen samples warm enough to view motility.  Live semen is sensitive to thermal shock and the glassware will need to be warmed up in a water bath to at least 35C before you introduce the sample.

A top tip from the supplier to keep the slide warm and slow down the rate of cooling of the glass:

  1. cut a piece of cardboard the same size as a microscope slide,
  2. cut a hole in it the same size and position as the cavity to allow the light through,
  3. mount the cardboard on the microscope stage,
  4. mount the warmed slide on top of the cardboard.

When you order the live semen sample I will send you an info sheet so you are prepared before it arrives, so don’t panic if you’re not sure what I’m talking about here.

And if you’re wondering whether or not to order the sample in the first place, why not have a look at what a labbie had to say about how they managed it and what the kids got out of it?


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Bring home the bacon: Australian Bacon Week

Thank you for shopping here butchers bag
This is the bag I brought home the bacon in - I can still smell the smokey goodness


Happy Australian Bacon Week to you!  This week here at the Chop Shop it’s going to be all about the bacon.

Australian Bacon Week is an initiative of Australian Pork to promote home grown, home-smoked bacon and raise awareness about the importing of frozen pork products.

The statistics on the Australian Pork website are pretty staggering:

  • over 70% of smallgoods in Australia are made from imported pork
  • 65% of bacon sold in Australia is made from imported pork
  • $8.5 million worth of pork is imported into Australia every week

Imported pork products come from countries with heavily subsidised agricultural industries so you would think that they would be winning the price war, but the pork and smallgoods that we buy from our local Gympie butchers is the same price or cheaper than the imported product from the supermarket.

The winners of the awards for Australia’s best bacon have been announced – check out the website and see if there is a winning butcher near you.

So, be a Porkstar this week and bring home the bacon from a local supplier or, if you can’t get to the butcher, look for the pink Australian Pork logo on the package and wake up smelling the bacon that came from a pig that grew up near you.

Miss Vivi