Blogger's note: I'm still away from the blog for a few weeks. In the meantime, here is another post from the Artful Amoeba archive. It originally appeared on October 4, 2010.
Blogger's note: I am away for the next several weeks. In the meantime, I'm bringing you some classic Artful Amoeba posts. This one was originally posted on January 18, 2010.
Blogger's note: I am going to be out of blog contact for the next several weeks as I get hitched (yay!), honeymoon (double yay!), and move (goodbye Colorado!
This book has taken up residence on my bookshelf alongside my well-loved copy of Mushrooms of Colorado and my sexy black 50's-era ex-University of Nebraska microscope.
The iconic Amanita muscaria. You may have seen some smurfs living in one of these. Public domain; click image for link. 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 things -- as reported in July in PLoS ONE -- is news, and provides a clue to how symbiotic partnerships can withstand the temptations of leaving and the sometimes dissonant interests of their symbiotic partners...
It's a bit embarrassing to admit you were recently on your hands and knees excitedly filming a cow pie. But I was.And the reason was this: Here's another one found nearby: There were five or six of these polka-dotted mounds in close proximity...
When the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico, its odyssey doesn't end. It enters an underwater valley called the Mississippi Canyon, a world where nutrients from the river nourish some fantastical forms of life...
Last Thursday I received an email from the media coordinator for Scientific American about a brain-eating microbe. It's not every day you get to answer the call of duty on one of those.Minnesota Public Radio had asked to interview me about a microorganism suspected in the death of a young boy in the state this year -- only the second time in the state's history and the second in two years...
What happens when squirrels invade the tundra? Well, in one case, they got chubby, fluffy, flappy-tailed, and occasionally kinda cranky, sorta like a hydrophobic alpine beaver.
Last summer I was hiking in the tundra near Gray's and Torrey's Peaks when I came upon a moss that looked strange. It had little flattened discs that looked something like this: Polytrichum piliferum...
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