Луганський національний університет імені Тараса Шевченка

Microcosm Through a Microscope

At the Department of Laboratory Diagnostics, students study the microcosm through an educational digital microscope.

The microcosm surprises with its fabulousness. Everything that we are accustomed to in the ordinary world of human completely passes into another reality of the microworld with completely new laws, possibilities and forms of existence. In this world, only one small cell can be a whole organism. It moves independently, eats, distinguishes light and shadow, reproduces, or it can be vice versa – when several thousand single-celled organisms live as a colony and exist as one organism. In such colonies, each cell is a separate organism, but fulfills its specific function: reproduction, feeding, or securing the separation of the colony.

Watching this, you begin to understand some biological phenomena – the formation of multicellular organisms through the specialization of cells in the colonies gives an idea of ​​what our world is ancient and how different it was at the beginning of the birth of life. And all that cosmic diversity of the microworld becomes clear, but completely incomprehensible. Let us imagine – scientists annually describe up to 7,5 thousand new species of insects, and the total number of insects is about six million species. This is a hundred times greater than the species of fish, reptiles, birds and mammals combined – there are only 60 thousand species.

The biological forms and physiology of the microcosm are amazing. The eyes of a common mosquito consist of hundreds of small photosensitive elements (omatidia) that can be seen in the ultraviolet spectrum, distinguish between flashing to 300 Hz (compared to a human who can only discriminate 50 Hz) and even can determine the polarization direction of linearly polarized light.

Irreality of the microworld can successfully compete with high-budget science-fiction Hollywood films, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for scientific research and knowledge of all that we combine into one simple and great concept – BIOLOGY – the science of our mysterious world of life. And if the reader carefully looks at the photos taken by our students, he can confidently answer even the mythical question: “When does the fern bloom?”.

© Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University, 2007-2017