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The Artful Amoeba

The Artful Amoeba

A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on Earth

Bread Wheat Genome Contains “Shocking” Plot Twist

“Wheat P1210892” by Copyright © 2007 David Monniaux – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Yesterday scientitsts announced in a quartet of papers in the journal Science that the draft genome of bread wheat — Triticum aestivum — had been decoded and mapped.

July 18, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

Seven New Species of Pill-Millipede Found in Madagascar

http://www.pensoft.net/news.php?n=394&SESID=5eebde6fd8471b050adfb405b7a280b9 http://www.pensoft.net/journals/zookeys/article/7730/integrative-revision-of-the-giant-pill-millipede-genus-sphaeromimus-from-madagascar-with-the%C2%A0description-of-seven-new-s

July 11, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
Open Ocean Mama Squid Clings to Bundle of Squirming Bubble Wrap

Open Ocean Mama Squid Clings to Bundle of Squirming Bubble Wrap

Bottom-dwelling squid and octopus usually attach their eggs to a hard surface, but open ocean squid have no such luxury. For many years, scientists thought such squid simply released their eggs to the whims of the currents.

July 3, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

Funnel-Shaped Animals Invented Reefs Prior to Cambrian Explosion

Scientists have long thought of the Cambrian Explosion 541 million years ago as the flowering of complex life on Earth. Strangely shaped, large soft-bodied organisms were known to have lived in the period just prior — the Ediacaran — but they made few hard parts and scientists have debated whether any or how many were [...]

July 2, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
Spiny Baby Sea Bass Illustrates Surprising Physiques of Young Fish

Spiny Baby Sea Bass Illustrates Surprising Physiques of Young Fish

Among divers and marine biologists, it’s common knowledge that ocean fish lead double lives. Like birds and butterflies, their young often look nothing like the adults, but unlike birds and butterflies, it is the young that are often more beautiful and ornate than their parents.

May 27, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
Kawasaki Disease Traced to Winds from Northeast China Carrying Unusual Fungal Load

Kawasaki Disease Traced to Winds from Northeast China Carrying Unusual Fungal Load

In 2012 I wrote a story for Nature about a strange illness called Kawasaki Disease whose cause has eluded scientists for over 50 years. The diseases causes inflammation of the blood vessels in small children that leads to fever, rashes and reddening, and even coronary aneurysms that can cause heart attacks in the young.

May 25, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

In Honor of Linnaeus, a Rogue’s Gallery of New Species

Today is the birthday of one of my science heroes: Carl Linnaeus. Born on May 23, 1707, the Swede turned natural history from a hobby into a science with his masterful systemization and documentation of what had until then been haphazard classification of plants, animals and fungi.

May 23, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
Everyone Poops — Even Paramecium

Everyone Poops — Even Paramecium

Perhaps you’ve heard of — or even read — the children’s book “Everyone Poops“. This illustrative tome explains that because everyone eats, everyone poops.

May 8, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

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