Life in a drop o water; secret handshakes

I love the secret handshakes every organism in this video has for one another. They all react when interacting to other organisms – but quiet differently. In the past we have discussed on toxins presented on the surface; but I had not appreciated the diversity of “reactions” a single felled organism would have when seeing…

Day 7: Lichen cultures

Continuing from my previous post, I am going to try and keep an eye on the succession of life in my lichen cultures. For this, I have 6 different lichens collected from different trees put into petridishes containing RO water. Below, I categorize all life I could see after 1 week. Here are results from three…

Tardigrade and friends

I have been greatly inspired by the Stanford Tardigrade post and want to explore the local lichens for similar associations. Initially, I was just focused on finding Tardigrades, but then everytime I picked up a lichen for foldscoping there were other life forms that were consistently observed in the same environs. I then thought that I  should report…

A lichen roundworm in my foldscope and on my table and wall

Ever since the wonderful article on how to find Tardigrades in your backyard, I have been doing my bit to find them in local lichens and as it usually happens, I am completely drawn away by other life forms I see in the same space: the complex of fungi and chlorophytes in an intimate association, ciliates at…

Day 17: A Worm meets an explosive end.

The pond water has reached a stable state with several animals below the duckweed top layer. Animals like rotifers and Daphnia are a healthy sign that the water is not depleted of oxygen. A small moving object caught my attention, and I put it on the slide along with some duckweed. It was a quick…

C. elegans in bright field and dark field

Thanks to an ongoing experiment, the lab is flooded with animals! The animal du jour is everyone’s favorite model organism, the nematode C. elegans.  The trouble with imaging C. elegans under the Foldscope is that they are (1) very small, (2) mostly transparent, and (3) highly mobile (Most of the time. See the video at the…

Getting up close with nematode parasites 

Parasites have some stylish lifestyles. They figure out how to enjoy living inside another host; so comfortably that they can not do without. This starts to sound like a guest who never leaves – and they are a burden. Have you ever heard of “elephantiasis”.. When limbs enlarge to unimaginable extent (elephant like). The category…

Unknown sea water “tiny” nematode 

I had some sea water collection from 3 months ago sitting on my balcony; evaporating under the sun. Everything that was initially growing in the same died; since the water salinity reached astronomical values (probably 10 times higher than sea water; since most of the water has evaporated at this time). But again, I was…

Moss upclose – and a wriggling surprise

Summary: I started looking at moss – since it is ultra thin and you get to see through it. I was up for quiet a wriggling squirming surprise. Green is my favorite color. If I could, I would drive a moss covered car (is that legal?) so it was obvious that I would pluck some…