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Week 2 Begins!

Today we kicked off week two of three of our externship. After a restful weekend checking out downtown Chicago, everyone’s back to work on their respective projects. While Belle’s been busily researching the lab’s collection of bees, Jackie and Audrey have been hard at work trying to process all of our remnant seed heads so we can do some data analysis. It turns out we have a lot more heads to process than we thought! With the entire process—cleaning the heads, scanning them, counting the number of achenes, randomizing samples for x-raying, and x-raying for the presence of seeds– each head takes a long time to get completely ready. So, we’ve decided to scale back our analysis to just randomly selected flowers for now, instead of looking at a random sample as well as heads with extremes of early and late flowering times. Audrey’s been busy trying to get all the scanned heads ready for x-raying, so lots of selecting random samples and labeling of clear plastic bags. Jackie’s been busy cleaning—even testing out the Optivisor to see if magnifying the heads speeds things up:

 

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We’ve also found four more larval friends! We’ve gotten around 10, now.

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