Argonne University scientists reveal insect respiratory function with x-rays Feature Summary
- From Physics Research
Argonne University scientists reveal insect respiratory function
- 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 credit: James Waters and Jon Harrison; image source; larger image
- Image URL:
- July 1, 2013 - July 16, 2013