Magnetotactic bacteria culturing
Operating system research
Use of LabView to create an artificial leafhopper mate
A micro-volume chemical mixer
Currently, a student is working on the micro-volume chemical mixing project. The intent is to produce a computer controlled mixing chamber that is capable of mixing extremely small volumes of chemicals in a mixing chamber that would be suitable for a classroom/educational environment. We are using a computer-controlled electronic circuit to select the chemicals and their appropriate volumes from a group of pre-loaded chemicals outside of the mixing chamber. The goal is to be able to mix chemicals in small volumes safely and accurately.
We have worked on an Artificial Leafhopper Project. Our research efforts involved a hardware/software solution using the National Instruments LabView data acquisition package. Determining the properties of a female's signal that a male might use to estimate distance requires the experimental manipulation and playback of the female signal. Manipulation of the temporal and frequency components of a signal is relatively straightforward, and the LabView Sound and Vibration Toolkit can be adapted to perform this task. However, in G. nigrifrons sustained male searching depends on precise signal exchanges between the male and female as he is searching. It is not sufficient to simply playback female signals to a male. What is needed to conduct robust experiments is to have the computer interact with a searching male. The software/hardware solution must have the capability to acquire, analyze, and trigger outputs signals in real time. The software must be programmed to recognize certain elements of a male's call and playback through the hardware a precisely timed female test signal. We have refined the state machine for triggering and playback.