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Posts Tagged "Symbiosis"

The Artful Amoeba

Missing Nitrogen May Be Vanishing in the Tubes of Giant Bacteria


Off the coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula lies a dark, still, deep place. It is called the Soledad Basin, and in it lies a garden of bacteria so large you can see them with your own eyes. A 250-m high ridge on the edge of the Soledad basin traps water inside. No strong currents disturb [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Deadly and Delicious Amanitas Can No Longer Decompose


Amanita mushrooms — like all creatures — rot, but most of them can’t rot other things. The fact that they don’t rot other things is not news to biologists, who have long known that many, if not most, fungi have become professional partners with trees, plants, or algae. The fact that they can’t rot other [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Complex Life Owes Its Existence To Parasites?


Is complex life rare in the cosmos? The idea that it could be rests on the observation that the existence of life like us – with large, energy hungry, complicated cells – may be contingent on a number of very specific and unlikely factors in the history of the Earth. Added together they suggest that [...]

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Not bad science

Ant Farmers – How do they do it?

I used to work in Edinburgh’s Butterfly and Insect World. While I was there, my favourite animal was not the chameleon, which changed colour when it was angry. Nor was it the royal pythons that loved human body heat, and would sometimes squeeze unnervingly tight. No, my favourite exhibit was the leafcutter ant. We had [...]

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