Slide preparation

In this video research assistant Zoe Adams explains how specimens are mounted on to slides to be examined under a microscope.

Zoe studies blow flies, and as part of her research she needs to be able to identify which species she is dealing with. The genitalia vary between species so are often mounted and studied as part of the identification process. 

Zoe first has to remove the soft tissue around the genitalia to leave the hard exoskeleton. She then arranges the genitalia on the slide so that all structures are displayed. The slide has to be dryed in an oven for two weeks before it is ready.