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Insects as a group occupy a middle ground in the biosphere between bac teria and viruses at one extreme, amphibians and mammals at the other. The size and general nature of insects present special problems to the student of entomology. For example, many commercially available in struments are geared to measure in grams, while the forces commonly en countered in studying insects are in the milligram range. Therefore, tech the study of insects or in those fields concerned with niques developed in the control of insect pests are often unique. Methods for measuring things are common to all sciences. Advances sometimes depend more on how something was done than on what was measured; indeed a given field often progresses from one technique to another as new methods are discovered, developed, and modified. Just as often, some of these techniques find their way into the classroom when the problems involved have been sufficiently ironed out to permit students to master the manipulations in a few laboratory periods. Many specialized techniques are confined to one specific research labo ratory. Although methods may be considered commonplace where they are used, in another context even the simplest procedures may save con siderable time. It is the purpose of this series (1) to report new develop ments in methodology, (2) to reveal sources of groups who have dealt with and solved particular entomological problems, and (3) to describe ex periments which might be applicable for use in biology laboratory courses.
Insects as a group occupy a middle ground in the biosphere between bacteria and viruses at one extreme, amphibians and mammals at the other. The size and general nature of insects present special problems to the student of entomology. For example, many commercially available instruments are geared to measure in grams, while the forces commonly encountered in stUdying insects are in the milligram range. Therefore, techniques developed in the study of insects or in those fields concerned with the control of insect pests are often unique. Methods for measuring things are common to all sciences. Advances sometimes depend more on how something was done than on what was measured; indeed a given field often progresses from one technique to another as new methods are discovered, developed, and modified. Just as often, some of these techniques find their way into the classroom when the problems involved have been sufficiently ironed out to permit students to master the manipulations in a few laboratory periods. Many specialized techniques are confined to one specific research laboratory. Although methods may be considered commonplace where they are used, in another context even the simplest procedures may save considerable time. It is the purpose of this series (1) to report new developments in methodology, (2) to reveal sources of groups who have dealt with and solved particular entomological problems, and (3) to describe experiments which may be applicable for use in biology laboratory courses.
Insects as a group occupy a middle ground in the biosphere between bacteria and viruses at one extreme, amphibians and mammals at the other. The size and general nature of insects present special problems to the student of entomology. For example, many commercially available instruments are geared to measure in grams, while the forces commonly encountered in studying insects are in the milligram range. Therefore, techniques developed in the study of insects or in those fields concerned with the control of insect pests are often unique. Methods for measuring things are common to all sciences. Advances sometimes depend more on how something was done than on what was measured; indeed a given field often progresses from one technique to another as new methods are discovered, developed, and modified. Just as often, some of these techniques find their way into the classroom when the problems involved have been sufficiently ironed out to permit students to master the manipulations in a few laboratory periods. Many specialized techniques are confined to one specific research labo ratory. Although methods may be considered commonplace where they are used, in another context even the simplest procedures may save con siderable time. It is the purpose of this series (1) to report new develop ments in methodology, (2) to reveal sources of groups who have dealt with and solved particular entomological problems, and (3) to describe ex periments which might be applicable for use in biology laboratory courses.
Most neurobiological research is performed on vertebrates, and it is only natural that most texts describing neuroanatomical methods refer almost exclusively to this Phylum. Nevertheless, in recent years insects have been studied intensively and are becoming even more popular in some areas of research. They have advantages over vertebrates with respect to studying genetics of neuronal development and with respect to studying many aspects of integration by uniquely identifiable nerve cells. Insect central nervous system is characterized by its compactness and the rather large number of nerve cells in a structure so small. But despite their size, parts of the insect eNS bear structural comparisons with parts of vertebrate eNS. This applies particularly to the organization of the thoracic ganglia (and spinal cord), to the insect and vertebrate visual sys tems and, possibly, to parts of the olfactory neuropils. The neurons that make up these areas in insects are often large enough to be impaled by microelectrodes and can be injected with dyes. Added to advantages of using a small eNS, into which the sensory periphery is precisely mapped, are the many aspects of insect behaviour whose components can be quan titized and which may find both structural and functional correlates within clearly defined regions of neuropil. Together, these various features make the insect eNS a rewarding object for study. This volume is the first of two that describe both classic and recent methods for neuroanatomical research on insect eNS.
Neurochemical Techniques in Insect Research properly emphasizes the insect. It only scratches the surface of the exploding repertoire of general neuro chemical techniques that can be applied to insect research in 1985. But it al so presents the advantages of using insects for studying certain biological questions that are approachable by neurochemical techniques. Even more so, it summarizes the long list of unique problems encountered in attempting to study insects by neurochemical techniques. As in other volumes of this series, the contributors to this volume are the authorities in the field. They themselves have developed much of the material presented. Thus the sum effort provides a true description of the state of the art; and, pleasantly, it does so in a very complete and clear manner. Readers of this series will not need to be reminded that, despite the fact that vertebrates make up only about 3% of all animal species, research in in vertebrates such as insects has lagged behind that on vertebrates, at least in the neurochemistry area; the relative simplicity and large cell size of the in sect nervous system has always provided incentive for work in neurophysiol ogy and neuroanatomy. Toxicology interests will always stimulate a certain amount of work on insect neuropharmacology, and insects are extremely suitable for several areas of toxin research. Last but not least, the insects are beautiful organisms for which the applications of genetics can be made to the study of nervous system function.
Insects as a group occupy a middle ground in the biosphere between bac teria and viruses at one extreme, amphibians and mammals at the other. The size and general nature of insects present special problems to the student of entomology. For example, many commercially available in struments are geared to measure in grams, while the forces commonly en countered in studying insects are in the milligram range. Therefore, tech niques developed in the study of insects or in those fields concerned with the control of insect pests are often unique. Methods for measuring things are common to all sciences. Advances sometimes depend more on how something was done than on what was measured; indeed a given field often progresses from one technique to another as new methods are discovered, developed, and modified. Just as often, some of these techniques find their way into the classroom when the problems involved have been sufficiently ironed out to permit students to master the manipulations in a few laboratory periods. Many specialized techniques are confined to one specific research labo ratory. Although methods may be considered commonplace where they are used, in another context even the simplest procedures may save con siderable time. It is the purpose of this series (1) to report new develop ments in methodology, (2) to reveal sources of groups who have dealt with and solved particular entomological problems, and (3) to describe ex periments which might be applicable for use in biology laboratory courses.
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