If you ever wonder about our life on this “little” blue planet – you soon realize this is a small little round world; and you can go in any direction but you always come back to the same place. Live on a surface of a sphere has its funny sides too – you never reach the edge and so have an endless track to walk on.
Today, I want to share a recent data set I collected of a ciliate trapped on a droplet of “cytoplasmic” droplet. Something I am very excited about and pursuing seriously. It’s fascinating in a million ways – here is a ciliate that is trapped on the surface of a droplet – so it’s world is the surface of a tiny little drop of water.
Friends, If you followed my last posts on “Mother’s Day flowers” – you know how I got the same. Also; I use the same “Foldscope focus locking” technique to image and just a simple table lamp as light source. So if you have a Foldscope; you should be able to get this resolution videos with the same.
The ciliate we have at hand is a Chilodonella. It’s a common ciliate and often confused with Tetrahymena. But in this video; not only will you see it from the top but also from the side view – since it moves in a three dimensional trajectory on the surface of a droplet sphere. Without further delay – here is the video.
Here is another video of the same – slightly zoomed out.
What you are seeing are multiple ciliates; but a few of them are trapped and “surfing” a droplet of water. After this first experiment, I have been able to replicate this work and indeed I am pursuing this more deeply as a scientific study now. More on that in a later post – but I will highlight a few important observations:
1) the technique allows me to see the entire 3D structure of the ciliate.
2) this will not work for all ciliates; but only the one that actually interact with surfaces.
3) here the droplet is actually “cytoplasm” of another ciliate. This is the fluid filled inside a ciliate – and when they die; a little droplet is ejected out. Here is another video of cytoplasmic droplets – oozing out of ciliates; although I will make a detailed post again on the same.
4) the ciliate is covered with dense cilia on on surface; shaped like a turtle and crawls along on all kind of surfaces. This locomotion strategy is fascinating.
With this series; I am starting to plan experiments that focus on single cells. If you are excited about studying single cells using a Foldscope; please leave a comment below.