Eye dissection!

Eye Dissection

Today’s lab was a student favorite:  an eye dissection.  After reviewing the structures of the eye, students worked in pairs or individually to dissect a sheep eye.  After identifying the optic nerve and trimming off excess muscle and fat from the outside of the eyeball, students cut the eyeballs into a front half and a back half.  At the front of the eyeball, they located and observed the iris and the lens.  Most students removed the iris in order to better observe the colored part at the front and the muscles visible at the back.  Some also cut the lens and observed its layered structure.  At the back of the eye, students found the retina and its blind spot, noticing that it matched up with the position of the optic nerve on the back of the eyeball.  They also found a surprise difference between sheep eyes and human eyes: there is a beautifully colored membrane, called the tapetum, behind the retina that aids the animal’s night vision.

Students did a great job managing their dissections and observing their specimens.

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Author

Dr. Maureen Griffin

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.

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