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Aphid Improvements

It’s been quite a while so there is lots of good news on the aphid front! First of all, aphid casualties have decreased substantially thanks to improved transfer methods. We have now been using a paint brush to gently disturb and brush the aphids into a petri dish (upon the suggestion of Dr. George E Heimpel). This is far less traumatizing for the aphids and survival has skyrocketed from 20% to around 50%!
Also, fortunately for us, apparently all aphids at this time of the year are gravid, so we only need to select mature individuals for transferring. This was an exciting discovery since we spent a while with a microscope trying to figure out which ones were gravid before this revelation. We also officially decided to use two founders for each transfer to improve chances of survival.
Hillary and I are looking forward to checking out the preliminary data soon!

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