Water Flea Waltz
by Wim van Egmond, the Netherlands
It has been a while since I published in Micscape Magazine. The work I do for the 'Max Plankton Institute' is very time consuming and leaves me little time for other occupations. Although my research does involve microscopy it's rather technical and specialised. Most of the results of my studies can be described as truly astonishing but to be able to appreciate their meaning and consequences for science, as well as the effects they will have on the scientific community, requires a deeperunderstanding of the theoretical basis of microscopy. To put it bluntly, it'sjust too hard for amateurmicroscopists to understand.
However, although most of my activities are way beyond the scope of this magazine I may have some footage that could be comprehensible enough for it to be suitable for an audience with a lack of knowledge and expertise. Recent studies on freshwater cladoceran crustaceans involving the combination of microphony and cinemicrography resulted in footage that I am willing to present here in this magazine. It is also as a gift of appreciation and encouragement to the Micscape staff, for their more than a decade- long efforts to try to make microscopy enthusiasts slightly less 'unlearned' that I allow them to publish this scoop.
Despite the fact that these cinemicrographic recordings of the remarkable and previously unknown abilities of water fleas of the genus Daphnia only give a glimpse of the marvels of these microscopic organisms, the research is expected to be nominated for the 'Breakthrough Of The Year Award' from the prestigious journal Science, as the finding sheds a whole new perspective on the origin of 'live music'. The award is one of the highest distinctions in science.
Comments to the author Wim van Egmond are welcomed.
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Published in January 2012 Micscape Magazine.
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