So a month or so ago, the kids wanted to see it, so we went to the local pet store and
begged Dad to buy us some ferrets bought some meal worms. At home, made some cultures at home (1 for the kids, 2 for me – comparing how they did on flour versus couscous. couscous = less mess = winner). Last week I took them to school and popped them into an 31 celsius incubator to speed up their life cycle (the beetles, not the kids). Found that in a GREAT paper published in 1934 PDF – a paper illustrating how much more gooder science papers were back then. The nice thing is unlike cell culture or even plants, these beetles can be ignored for long periods of time. Science on my terms, I like it. Adult count (whats visible on top) = 11 Couldn’t find any larvae or pupae, but I didn’t look super carefully. There aren’t many if they are there.
Growing them on couscous because it was in the cabinet and old. Tribolium spp are stored grain pests, which brings up some interesting co-evolutionary questions. The genome has been sequenced (here) and there is a fair amount known (for instance) – they are a valid model system for a lot of questions. What do I want to do with them? Well, for now, make fun of them:
For now I am just expanding the culture. Lots of ideas about what can be done. But in the words of Francis Crick: “Just as important as having ideas is getting rid of them”.