Fish gone wild

I played a little more with Periscope in the lab this morning. First, I showed off my microscope, and I figured that that was enough babbling, and then went off to do my usual animal care chores. The fish kind of went wild and spewed out hundreds of eggs today, so I went ahead and put a typical 4 cell embryo on the imaging system. It looked nice! So I was going to wait a bit and let it divide and show an 8 cell embryo (powers of 2, they really do that), but the next division was in the plane of the screen, so I waited just a little longer and grabbed a picture of a 16 cell embryo. They’re just cruising along, as they do, dividing and dividing.

I also found it really hard to do microscopy one handed while aiming the iPad camera with the other, so you may get a little seasick watching the videos. Sorry. I may have to draft Mary to pretend to be a tripod while I do my schtick tomorrow.

Yep, tomorrow. I’ve got this big pile of blastulae today, and people don’t believe me when I say they’ll turn into little baby fishies in less than 24 hours, so I promised to come back and show everyone what these same embryos look like on Friday morning.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    I’ve got this big pile of blastulae …

    Thereby leading to Morris’s first blastucast.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oops – here I was congratulating myself on having snuck a “first” into the first comment, and fubarred my end-italic html.

    Mea culpa to the max!

  3. kevinalexander says

    Post the video online and the NSA will fix it for you, maybe add some evidence details you didn’t notice.

  4. robro says

    I know virtually nothing about recording movies, but can you record the stream directly on the iMac rather than shooting the screen with your iPad? I just did one using QuickTime which can record your screen itself (not the built in camera), but perhaps there are other ways. It would be clearer with no camera motion or moiré patterns. And, Mary wouldn’t have to tripod for you.

  5. blf says

    I also found it really hard to do microscopy one handed while aiming the iPad camera with the other

    What happened to all the other arms, tentacles, and, in the worse case, students(they have to useful for something)?

  6. Brian Wolfe says

    Any chance you could do a time lapse of the first 24 hours from the time the egg is laid?

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    you should be able to get one of your grad students

    PZ teaches at an undergraduate institution. No graduate students for such tasks.

  8. wzrd1 says

    First, I’m on a real computer, so when I clicked on your first link, it took a week (OK, a minute and spare change), to show, download the app that was inapplicable to my computer or look longingly at your non-page.
    Perhaps, a beginners error?
    Watching fish fuck, yet again, is my heart’s, erm desire, watching eggs develop, treaured.
    Or maybe I clicked it wrong or something.

    Correction, the first video failed, the second is working.
    For the first time, I’ve heard PZ’s voice.
    Or something.
    I like it. Would that we weren’t so geographically distant!
    PZ, trust me, you’d not be at all alarmed. Ever. :)

  9. wzrd1 says

    ROFLMAO! *Just* as I was ready to ask how long…
    PZ comes up with, 20 minutes.
    *Talk* about runaway cellular processes!
    Tnx, PZ!
    I always wondered about various species cellular processes! (seriously!)

  10. blf says

    Bugs gone wild (or, Eat the Titanic!), Scientists use neutrons to understand the secrets of extremophile bacteria like the ones decomposing the RMS Titanic (some editing for style (not marked), including adding the hyperlink):

    Among the extremophiles, bacteria isolated from salt marshes or marine environments include a variety of interesting species of high biotechnological potential such as the recently discovered Halomonas titanicae in the hull of the sunken RMS Titanic ship. It has been estimated that the action of this rust-producing Halomonas may bring about the total deterioration of the Titanic by 2030; in the same way it has been identified as a potential danger to oil rigs and other man-made objects in the deep sea. But the rusting property could also be harnessed in bioremediation or waste management, for example to accelerate the decomposition of shipwrecks littering the ocean floor.
    Ectoine is a natural compound found in many organisms, including Halomonas. It serves as a protective substance by acting as an osmolyte — a molecule that plays a role in fluid balance and cell volume maintenance and thus helps organisms survive extreme environmental stress. Ectoine is called a compatible solute in the sense that its occurrence within the internal material of the cell does not interfere with cellular biochemistry and metabolism. […]
    [Neutron scattering experiments] illustrated how ectoine acts by being excluded from a shell of pure water around protein and membrane surfaces. H2O molecules in liquid water interact with each other through a highly dynamic fluid network of hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) between the O and H atoms of adjacent molecules. The presence of other substances in the water can hamper this organisation. The neutron experiments described the effects of ectoine on water H-bond dynamics to reveal how ectoine’s protective characteristics do not interfere with bacterial metabolism. In fact, ectoine, rather than hindering, enhances the remarkable dynamic properties of H-bonds in water — properties that are essential for water’s unique solvent capabilities, and vital for the proper organisation, stabilisation and function of proteins, membranes, RNA and DNA.