Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When biologists play with their food...

...It looks a bit like this.

Kale, 40x

 I was eating some salad earlier as I thought about curriculum for teaching high school students microscopy. Then I wondered what my salad greens looked like up close. This resulted in me looking at salad under my microscope for some thirty minutes. It was fun!

Yes I do have a microscope at my apartment, we don't try to hide our geekiness at my abode.

Kale, 100x

This was the underside of a leaf of Italian kale. If you look closely, I think the little dark spots are stomata.

A piece of kale under the microscope. 

Kale isn't the best plant for observation without any sort of special treatment, though, because the leaves are very bumpy and I had a heck of a time trying to get the leaves in focus at 100x.

Radicchio, 40x 

 I had never actually looked at a non-green leaf under the microscope before. I was struck by how pretty the radicchio is, almost like stained glass.

Radicchio, 100x

Dandelion greens, 40x

I tried again with a much flatter leaf, some dandelion greens.

Dandelion greens, 40x

Dandelion greens, 100x

The 100x view reminds me a bit of a jigsaw puzzle.

I'll post an actual recipe sometime later this week; I just could not help posting pictures of salad up close.

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