- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Stuffed in a vacuum and bombarded by electrons, a tick waves hello
This movie has been filmed under conditions so harsh that they would kill virtually any animal. And yet, the star of the film is clearly alive – you can see it moving its legs, and after the shot was completed, it crawls away unharmed. It’s a tick, and it’s the first animal to be filmed with a scanning electron microscope.
These microscopes (known as SEM) can capture the most beautiful images of the tinier side of life, from pollen grains to insect feet to crawling cells. But they’re not very good for looking at living things while they’re still alive.
SEM microscopes work by firing a beam of electrons (the negative particles that form part of atoms), which rakes across