An entomological laboratory inspired by my current and past labs.
About this creation
Welcome to my science lab! Here, we study various aspects of BUGS! I love bugs! Observe my phylogenetic tree. We have discovered that red coloration is an ancestral character that has been lost in some species of arachnids. Fascinating stuff!
To make our tree, we use molecular data. Here, let me pull a sample out of our deep freeze. We keep specimens at -80 degrees Celsius to prevent the DNA from breaking down. (It's a big freezer, so I need my step-stool to reach the top shelf.)
Over here is the thermocycler. After extracting the DNA, I can use it to amplify a region of DNA for analysis. It's called PCR - polymerase chain reaction. Aaah, I love science!
After the analyses I just dump everything down the drain. Ethidium bromide and phenols aren't that dangerous, right? Oh, and to my left is a little terrarium for live critters.
We don't just do molecular work here. We also analyze chemical compounds like pheromones. This here is a gas chromatograph. It uses a tank of helium gas to carry the compounds through an internal column to separate them out. Then I can read what they are off of the computer. I love my job!
Well, thanks so much for visiting. Come back any time!
4th wall: I had loads of fun building this. It's great to see lab equipment come to life from my collection of LEGO bricks. Unfortunately, this also demonstrated to me the extent of my bricks. If you'll notice on that last picture, the walls of the lab are constructed with all kinds of bricks that have at least 1 flat side: slope bricks, bley bricks, etc. So basically if I am going to build anything bigger, then I need more bricks :) As a side note, this was actually photographed in my lab for better lighting -- and my labmates totally loved it!