October 23rd, 2012 | 1
At least gazelles can run. But if you’re a tree, a blade of grass, or a hapless kohlrabi, there’s nothing you can do when the choppers, nippers, or clippers of your predator — aka “grazer” — approach. Such is the fate of most photosynthetic organisms, which we landlubbers tend to think of as plants. But [...]Keep reading
April 16th, 2012 | 14
Two billion years ago, around the time atmospheric oxygen levels were rising, one cell engulfed another, and instead of becoming lunch, the ingestee became an Earth-changer and, eventually, a vital part of you: mitochondria. These microscopic cell inhabitants/engines allowed their host cell to suddenly begin to burn oxygen when digesting their food, an energy source [...]Keep reading
November 28th, 2011 | 1
Hidden away in calm, sheltered coastal waters is a remarkable little animal: a tiny transparent sheet of cells called a placozoan. Though composed of only a few thousand cells and no more than 25 micrometers thick (a bacterium is about 1 micromter thick), it’s an animal — the simplest we know of.
And hidden inside them, scientists found recently, may be a clue to the Cambrian Explosion