Tools for Physiology Labs : An Inexpensive Means of Temperature Control

Jacob L Krans, Ronald R Hoy

Abstract


We describe a simple means of modulating preparation temperature, which may be useful in undergraduate physiology laboratories. The device was developed in an effort to make teaching exercises that involve temperature modulation accessible at low cost. Although we were interested in using the device specifically with the larval fruit fly preparation, it is applicable to many preparations and temperature sensitive phenomena. Feedback driven thermoregulators offer superior precision in experiments requiring temperature control, but can be prohibitively expensive, require power supplies and circuitry, and often generate large switching transients (artifacts) during physiological recording. Moreover, many interesting exercises involving temperature control can be carried out with a slightly reduced level of temperature precision.

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