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The Artful Amoeba

The Artful Amoeba

A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on Earth

Fountains of Life Found at the Bottom of the Dead Sea

Fountains of Life Found at the Bottom of the Dead Sea

For years, ripples at the surface of the Dead Sea hinted there was something mysterious going on beneath its salt-laden waters. But in a lake where accidentally swallowing the water while diving could lead to near-instant asphyxiation, no one was in a hurry to find out what it might be.This year, some intrepid divers changed that, stumbling onto a geological and biological treasure and capturing it on video.

October 9, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
Amoebas for a Better Science Tomorrow

Amoebas for a Better Science Tomorrow

The Artful Amoeba is proud to participate in this year's Science Bloggers for Students science classroom fund drive (read more about this year's project at Janet Stemwedel's Doing Good Science blog).

October 3, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
800,000 Manmade Plant Fossils (and counting)

800,000 Manmade Plant Fossils (and counting)

When I took botany and taxonomy of vascular plants in college, we spent many an hour poring over specimens under dissecting microscopes pulled with tweezers from smelly jars of preserving liquid.

October 1, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
The Mystery Rust of Kivalina, Alaska

The Mystery Rust of Kivalina, Alaska

A scanning electron micrograph of an unidentified rust spore from Alaska. Note the gorgeous projections that look like they've been turned on a lathe.

September 27, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
The Fungal Apocalypse, Permo-Triassic Edition

The Fungal Apocalypse, Permo-Triassic Edition

There is something curious about the sedimentary rocks laid down around the world 250 million years ago, at the height of Earth's greatest extinction: they are often riddled with filaments, and no one is sure what they are.

September 15, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
Meet Your Blogger, and See Her Mug in the New York Times!

Meet Your Blogger, and See Her Mug in the New York Times!

Today my Q and A was posted in the continuing series of new blogger profiles here at Sci Am. Go check it out!As well, I was captured on film (although my last name was not quite captured in writing) in this story about mushroom hunting in Colorado in the New York Times .

September 13, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
Lucky Mycologist Finds Lost Smut

Lucky Mycologist Finds Lost Smut

A broken primrose fruit showing the remains of a fuzzy black parasitic fungus called smut (upper left). Intact fruit surrounds the broken pod. Photo by Dr.

September 6, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
A New Weapon in the War on Frog Chytrids: Water Fleas

A New Weapon in the War on Frog Chytrids: Water Fleas

Adult female Daphnia magna, with developing young in the brood pouch on her back. We have just dialed the cuteness to 11. Photo by Hajime Watanabe, Creative Commons Public Library of Science.

September 2, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
Alpine Toads and the Chytrids that Love Them

Alpine Toads and the Chytrids that Love Them

When you read a story, you may occasionally wonder what the reporter went through to get it. About a month ago I arose at 5 a.m. to accompany two wildlife biologists and three fisheries volunteers into the high country of Colorado in order to report a story that came out in High Country News this past week.Over the course of a 12-hour day, we covered about 10 miles, climbed several thousand feet, slogged through bogs in which I sank to my calves, swatted clouds of mosquitoes, and were drenched by rain in order to get to the high ponds and puddles where boreal toads breed.

August 23, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
Just What is the Brain-Eating "Amoeba" Naegleria fowleri?

Just What is the Brain-Eating "Amoeba" Naegleria fowleri?

Cyst, trophozoite ("amoeba"), and flagellate forms of the protist Naegleria fowleri. Photos by CDC. In the press this week were reports (see here and here and here) that the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri has killed three people this summer, as it does in a typical year.

August 17, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

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