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About Daphnia Free essay! Download now

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About Daphnia

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1417 | Submitted: 19-Sep-2011
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About Daphnia

Daphnia, commonly known as water fleas, are a fantastic organism with which to explore many aspects of biology. We can:
look at their body shape and organisation - we can see the gut, eggs, heart etc through the microscope
compare their body shape and organisation with ours
understand how they are adapted for their environment,
investigate the effects of changing their environment
see, through the microscope, how their heart beat changes after addition of drugs or changes in temperature.
In 2008 we ran a series of "Water flea Workshops" for primary schools and a practical display for the Cambridge Science Festival.
Here you can find out
how to grow them,
what they look like,
the experiment ....
the experimental results
We are grateful for funding from the Wellcome Trust, the University of Cambridge, Department of Pharmacology and with help and advice from the STEMTEAM Cambridgeshire and the University of Cambridge Science Festival Office.
Dr Jenny Koenig is a Science and Engineering Ambassador.
Image credit: Functional Genomics Thickens the Biological Plot. Gewin V, PLoS Biology Vol. 3/6/2005, e219.

How to look after Daphnia

The Container
Any clear plastic or glass container is fine. A large food storer (say 2 - 3L) is ok or old fish tank. The container needs to be loosely covered so that dust and junk doesn't get into it but fresh air (containing oxygen!) can get in. If you're keeping them outside this is very important otherwise you might get unwelcome guests.
Where to put them.
They need light but not too much direct sunlight.
Anything between 20-25 C to be comfortable and to reproduce.
The Water.
This is important. Daphnia are freshwater creatures. Do not use tap water as it has chlorine in it. However you can leave tap water until the chlorine has evaporated or you can buy dechlorinating kits from aquarium supplies shops. Or you could boil it and then allow it to cool. Rainwater is good if collected from a source that doesn't have too much air polution. Filtered lake or stream water is good.
A good aquarium supplies shop can supply a powdered salt mixture that has the same chemical components as sea water. You can use this at a much more dilute concentration than you would for sea water - usually about 10 g in one litre.
Distilled water will the following salt has also been recommended (Cornell University - see link below). NaHCO 3 0.192 g/L; CaSO 42H 2O 0.120 g/L; MgSO 4 0.120 g/L; KCl 0.008 g/L.
The pH should be between 7 - 8.6.
The water will last 2 - 3 months with the Daphnia growing in it. After that there may be build up of waste products and it ...

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