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The bin shed roof (III) or: an egg like a COVID virus?

We had come across tardigrade eggs on the bin shed roof deposited by the tardigrade Macrobiotus hufelandi.

When looking closer they looked familiar, like something that has been on TV for the past two years, namely the Corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) which caused worldwide desperation.

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Fig. 1: No - these are not further images of the Corona virus, but definitely tardigrade eggs. And there is a remarkable difference: the eggs shown here have a diameter of roughly 100 micro meters which is ca. 1000 times more than the diameter of the Corona virus (where we have typical diameters of about 100 nano meters.

For comparison, please have a look at a public domain image of the Corona virus:

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Fig. 2: This is not an actual photomicrograph of the Corona virus, but instead a good computer imaging simulation, shown in the Wikipedia.
Image source: Wikipedia Commons (graphics performed by Felipe Esquivel Reed, converted to grey scale, as there is no basis for color in this size range, due to physical reasons).

When looking at the internet representations of the virus it will become obvious that the enemy is too small to be represented by actual photomicrographs, or at least that the real electron microscope images are definitely drastically less attractive than all those computer simulated images. Some of the virus images even look like like fantasy cakes from a pastry shop or like extremely colorful knitting work products. In a few upcoming magazine issues we will illustrate the fact that the corona virus size is in fact very close to the resolution limit of the classical light microscope. In theory, this virus might become visible in a light microscope too, though only as a dot - without any further structural fineness. This will be demonstrated on the basis of the Blu-ray disc, the pits and lands of which can be actually resolved by a classical high-res light microscope (though some scholarly publications are trying to tell the contrary).

© Text, images and video clips by  Martin Mach  (webmaster@baertierchen.de).
The Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of the German language monthly magazine  Bärtierchen-Journal . Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.

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