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Re: microworms survival, etc.

> Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 01:56:39 -0500
> From: Margaret LeMaitre <mlemaitre at wpcusrgrp_org>

Microworms are found in soil all over the world.  They can be dried out
reconstituted months/years later.  Very tough little guys!

> Where do you get wingless fruitflies (without a whole lot of hassle &
> expense).

The following applies to Canada, which is bigger than the US, but has
only 10% the population, hence economies of scale are lacking compared
to the US.

Try the biology department of a local university.  You'll probably
have to do this informally, i.e. find out who runs the undergrad labs
or is working with Drosophila and talk to them.  You can order them
from biological supply houses, but this can be expensive.  If you
know a high school science teacher, you may be able to get him/her to
let you add some items to a school order.

I've got a just-started culture.  Once I get it multiplied, I can send
you some.

The part that's a real pain is the medium.  There are any number of 
recipes using kitchen ingredients like corn meal and molasses.  The
two ingredients it's hard to find are agar and a mold inhibitor.  You 
can get agar at oriental food stores sometimes.  I'm still trying to find
a source of a reasonable amount of calcium propionate.  It seems that
I've got a choice of $150/500g from a chemical supply company or $44/20kg
from a bakery supply company.  The 150-fold price spread is impressive,
isn't it?  I'll probably go with the cheap but lifetime supply, although
hauling it home on the subway will be somewhat amusing.  If I do, I'll
probably sell it at cost plus shipping to any Canadians who need it.

You can also buy commercial medium, but it's about $25 for enough to make
a litre, and again, it's expensive for small orders if the company will
even deal with you.  Another item to get via the high school science teacher!