From: Western University
Published August 16, 2017 08:09 AM

New process allows live look inside insects

Until now, live insects have been too wriggly to make good subjects for scientists wanting to understand more about insect innards. But an interdisciplinary team of biologists and imaging specialists from Western has worked out a novel micro-imaging solution that’s leading to unprecedented new ways of viewing insect development.

The team has created spectacularly detailed, three-dimensional views of insects’ insides – without harming the creatures in any way – by using carbon dioxide to place the insects into a state of temporary animation.

The methodology and results have started making waves beyond the journal BioMed Central, where their paper is newly published.

PhD candidate Joanna Konopka, an insect biologist, was looking for a way to examine more thoroughly the physiological life-cycle of live insects, including Colorado potato beetles and true armyworms. Both agricultural pests wreak havoc in crops across North America.


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Photo via Western University.

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