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Lab gadgetry

Several photos from around the lab.

First, my lab succulent collection, which makes it nice to gaze toward the windows:
My succulent collection in the lab

This Granny Lamp arrived today. I was going to buy a dissecting scope for fieldwork, but got to thinking that one of these lamps would probably be just fine instead, and it might be nicer than the scope for teaching students how to dissect crickets.
A granny lamp's an entomologist's best friend

Before I headed in to work today, I paid a visit to the Albany Aquarium to see what they had in the way of air pumps. Here's the challenge: when I do nighttime cricket experiments, I need to keep the crickets in the dark / under red light, up until the very end of the procedure. We have a small room that doesn't have too much light pollution, but it's too small for the whole benchtop respirometry rig. See, it's full even when I just have injection/blood collection supplies laid out:

Daytime circadian setup

(nighttime view):
Nighttime circadian setup

Here's the scale of the benchtop respirometry setup, for comparison. Too much stuff to fit in that small, multi-use room.
Li-Cor / Oxilla stop-flow respirometry setup

Previously, I was able to use a second respirometry rig that's built into a Pelican case and designed for field measurements, but a grad student in the lab is going to take that rig out into the field this summer, so it's off-limits now.

The people working at the Albany Aquarium Store were knowledgeable and helpful, and helped me find an adjustable aquarium pump that provides enough air flow, but not too much, for the purpose of flushing dry, CO2-free air through the syringes that house the crickets during the circadian procedures (at ~800 mL/min, in case you wondered - lowest setting on the pump). Perfect!
Aquarium air pump CO2 flush setup

Okay. To round things out, here's a sophisticated gadget I designed myself. It's a cardboard tube, modified to help keep the cricket syringe upright in a hands-free manner, so I can do other things while the syringe is being flushed:
Sophisticated syringe holder

Time to design something similar for the aquarium pump setup.

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