Argonne University scientists reveal insect respiratory function with x-rays Feature Summary

Type:
From Physics Research
Title:
Argonne University scientists reveal insect respiratory function
Description:
The image above is an x-ray of a fruit fly, made with x-rays produced by a particle accelerator. As you can tell from the parts of the image where the legs overlap the body, you are able to see right through the fly.

X-rays are one kind of electromagnetic waves. The image above was made with "coherent" x-rays, which means that all the waves were in step, just like the radiation from a laser.

For an x-ray image of a beetle, showing the breathing tubes inside its body, visit this article.

Living insects can be imaged in this way. To see inside a living beetle, see this University Of Chicago article. Notice the pair of images, which show the beetle airways contracted and expanded. These two images prove that the insect is breathing.
Image:
image credit: James Waters and Jon Harrison; <a href="http://jharrison.faculty.asu.edu/photos/" target="_blank">image source</a>; <a href="http://www.compadre.org/informal/images/features/fly-large.jpg" target="_blank">larger image</a>
image credit: James Waters and Jon Harrison; image source; larger image
Image URL:
http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/fly-large.jpg
Featured:
July 1, 2013 - July 16, 2013