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Author Topic: How can I shock a fly?  (Read 5482 times)

ntrantan

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How can I shock a fly?
« on: 02/03/2009 10:30:02 »
ntrantan asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Dr. Smith,

My name is Khoi Tran. I'm an undergraduate working under Dr. Michael Rose in the University of California, Irvine. I'm currently trying to set up a procedure to track fruit fly memory performance over time. I'm very
interested in using a shock treatment combined with the release of an odour to test the flies' memory.

Unfortunately, I'm having a lot of problem trying to come up with a specific experimental set up to get this done. I've been considering covering the inside of the fly cage with foil, then introduce the current to shock them. This doesn't work very well, however, since we don't get enough surface contact between the flies and the foil surface. I understand that you're very knowledgeable in this field. As such, I'd greatly appreciate any valuable pointer you may spare regarding
this specific set up.

Thank you very much.
Sincerely yours,
Khoi Tran

What do you think?


 

Offline Don_1

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/2009 13:12:25 »
Could a pulse of intense light do the trick?
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/2009 18:21:59 »
I've no idea how conductive a drosopholia is, but it's probably more insulative than the aluminium, and the current taking the most conductive route doesn't bother to go through the fly. But what if you forced a current through a lining that was less conductive than the fly?
 

Offline LeeE

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #3 on: 02/03/2009 18:25:49 »
A potential problem with trying to use flashes of light to startle animals is that they just seem to interpret the flash as lighting.  I believe this was first discovered by photographers using flashes to photograph animals at night;  although the photographers were initially worried about scaring the animals by using a flash, it turned out not to be a problem and the animals just didn't react to it.

As it's odour response you're trying to test, and so can't use that for the trigger, perhaps a very abrupt pressure change might work.
« Last Edit: 02/03/2009 18:28:41 by LeeE »
 

Offline RD

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #4 on: 02/03/2009 18:50:57 »
Your fruit flies on foil are like birds perching on a power line: they are not being shocked.

it is possible to electrocute flies ...

Quote
Electronic Fly Zapper Mk III - Mega Power

Specifications 

Our most powerful fly zapper yet!!! Superior build quality & strength
3 mesh system for safety
This creates a very powerful electronic charge - much stronger than other Bug Zappers
Do not touch the inner mesh when in use
Do not let children near this product
Do not use on humans or animals
Requires 2 AA batteries NOT included

For a fiver this is such a laugh! For it to work both bits of mesh must touch the fly! Then..... zaaappppp big blue flash and the fly's cooking tonight! If you get bored of fly's bring it to the office and zapp your mates! You will have a great day!
www.play.com/Gadgets/Gadgets/4-/146040/Electronic-Fly-Zapper-Mk-III-Mega-Power/Product.html
« Last Edit: 02/03/2009 18:54:58 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #5 on: 02/03/2009 19:23:48 »
Would fruit flies have an innate sense of fear about the smell of burned flies?
 

Offline RD

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #6 on: 02/03/2009 19:51:18 »
Turn down the voltage so the flies are shocked, not well done.

The double mesh could possibly be replaced by a PCB etched with very fine parallel copper tracks (stripes) with alternate tracks connected together.
The copper tracks can be plated with gold or silver to prevent tarnishing and consequent reduced conductivity.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2009 16:51:58 by RD »
 

Offline neilep

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #7 on: 02/03/2009 21:14:29 »
Give me your email and I'll send you a photo of the wife !..that'll do the trick !
 

Offline Don_1

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #8 on: 03/03/2009 08:15:54 »
A potential problem with trying to use flashes of light to startle animals is that they just seem to interpret the flash as lighting.  I believe this was first discovered by photographers using flashes to photograph animals at night;  although the photographers were initially worried about scaring the animals by using a flash, it turned out not to be a problem and the animals just didn't react to it.

As it's odour response you're trying to test, and so can't use that for the trigger, perhaps a very abrupt pressure change might work.

Good point LeeE, so back to the drawing board eh!
 

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How can I shock a fly?
« Reply #8 on: 03/03/2009 08:15:54 »

 

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