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Biological Lecture: Do you want to become an entomologist?
2017-10-20

 [SCIE web news, Oct 20th, 2017] Thursday’s been always surprising for SCIE as this time we welcomed Dr.Gurion Ang from Faculty of Science, University of Queensland, Australia and his exquisite, well-prepared biological lecture. 

At 4:30 we were in the garden room as expected while Dr.G immediately started his lecture with 200% enthusiasm and 100% Chinese—he made his speech generally in English.To begin with, he introduced the collage he is studying and doing research in, which is University of Queensland located in Brisbane, and which is in top 50 in the world, top 2 domestically synthetically and the best scientific university in Australia. In the vast gorgeous campus there grow lives with purple bosom which were the Jacarandas.After that Dr.G introduced his research field and its relationship with biology.He certainly was an entomologist; above that, he had to have some studies on zoology, which made him a zoologist; on top of that, he was absolutely a biologist who carried out researches and experiments as much as possible to give him the title of a researcher.

 

Then we had our most significant and spectacular presentation which was the relationship between animal and real-life application. A picture of Pokemon was put up onto the screen by Dr.G which intrigued everyone’s attention and curiosity—what did it have to do with the topic? Dr.G was not anxious, shifting the picture to a “hunting butterfly”, questioning the difference between it and the real butterflies. We were all impressed, answering numerously varieties of correct answers (tentacle, number of foot, straw, etc). On top of those, real-life butterflies had something more amazing and transfixing. Their wings were composed of superabundant overlapped layers of scales which could absorb energy to fit their original light intensity to various levels, which made them chromatic and colorized to be differentiated. This had already been applied to kindle and smartphone screens to adjust automatically their light intensity by the surrounding light.

 

The second monster was a standing axolotl which is the nymph of a salamander. Did it exist? According to our major discussion it was decided to be possible to live in realistic even including its facial expression.However, Dr.G showed us a picture of Amphibian animals’ spine structures.Surprisingly their spine and vertebra were connected basically through a straight line, instead of connected by several key bones like human. By appropriate instructions and illuminations, we understood that their living environment didn’t require much pressure for them as they never stood like human. Consequently, this axolotl must be facing down to the ground instead of standing nowadays. Foremost importantly, the typical feature of an axolotl was to regenerate their body by stem cells. By fluorescent protein location scientists had found that stem cells were all over an axolotl’s body which could regenerate or rebuild everything they lost including neurons and normal body cells just into something brand new. Organs and tissues could be regenerated…This technique was significantly crucial to biological medicine as human organs could be rebuilt when required through this method. A new heart would be way better than a pig’s heart, or from somebody else’s donation (bizarre…)

 

The third one was a shark with a plane-shaped body (ironically it is the originality of a plane) and two fins to control up and down, and a sickle-shaped tail to generate kinetic energy (Watch Boeing planes). Additionally, its black upper surface and white belly was a kind of camouflage (not quite, more like a protective coloring). Many other creatures living at the bottom of the sea had similar features to conceal themselves away from the potential dangers. 

At last there came Dr.G’s own research which he would like to emphasize foremost. A picture of a wasp was presented, then he introduced several normal farm cabbages, which made us obscure. 

Pieris rapae Linne was followed successively associated with their damages to the farm plants. As they became into chrysalis and cocoon for a period of time they broke into Pieris brassicae—a species of butterfly whom had their wings small and white. Meanwhile, parasitical wasp, who injected their eggs to the caterpillars, was introduced. As the nymph grew maturer its soft shell bursted and wasp nymphs crawled out of it, which did exactly the same thing to the other same-species-pests later on. However, when Dr.G carried out his experiment, he found the direct injection of eggs didn’t quite work as the pests grew up normally. He thus controlled the variables and checked every possible condition for it. Finally, he worked out it was the nutrients that affected the maturation of the wasp nymphs. From the case studies we were informed that farmers were frequently deceived by the non-nutrient-providing business who sold their wasps that later was proved no use. Now with some flowers aside the crops, the wasps would grow better and do their job effectively without pesticide.Dr.G said this had been tested successfully in developed countries.

 

For the last section Dr.G mentioned and explained the Australian University systems and deeper degrees.3 years for undergraduate school, honorable research for 1 year, master for 1.5-2.5 years and eventually PhD for 3.5-4.5 years. However, you could skip to the PhD directly if you had some prominent paper in a specific field. Research was definitely impeccable. And, remember his greatest reminder for your parents: “Australia has the most expensive tuition fee!!” (And also work page. I forget to add this) 

Before his departure, he left some wise words for us:

1.Keep your options open. (Don’t devote yourself in one subject/university)

2.Don’t get obsessed over rankings.

3.Do something meaningful to society. (Not only scientific research, I suggest this as our ultimate objective in our lives) 

And he mentioned that he was planning a lab with SCIE lasting 4 weeks during the vacation. Possibly!!!So, would you like to consider about being an entomologist? Why not?

(Report/Kevin;photos/Crystal)

 

 

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