In the ocean, tiny organisms can migrate hundreds of meters through the water column. Recreating and tracking those journeys in a lab is quite a challenge, but it’s one the researchers behind the Gravity Machine have conquered. This apparatus uses a wheel to essentially give micro-organisms an infinite water column to traverse while keeping them fixed in the lab microscope’s field of view.
With the device, researchers can watch organisms switch naturally between rising, sinking, and feeding behaviors as they would in the wild. The group is working to make it so that anyone with a microscope can recreate their set-up for observations. (Image, video, and research credit: D. Krishnamurthy et al.; see also Gravity Machine; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)