Here’s a new reason to have your students study those animal tissue micrographs: They can see for themselves what’s really in a hot dog! Yes, scientists have used standard techniques in pathology to find out the truth. Take a look at this Seriously, Science? blog post, which tells you all you need to know about the study.
Among the salient findings: A typical hot dog is more than 50% water, and the meat (skeletal muscle) content was typically less than 10%. What makes up the balance? Bone, collagen, blood vessels, peripheral nerves, skin, and more. The blog post includes a figure from the paper, which depicts the sliced, stained evidence in all of its histological glory.
Hot dogs might be prime candidates for a lab or in-class activity on tissues. Everyone has seen a hot dog, so this activity would have relevance to students’ lives. And the idea that all of these tissues are contained in a single hot dog might be gross enough for students to pay attention and remember. Looking at micrographs has never been so disgustingly fun!