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The Artful Amoeba

The Artful Amoeba

A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on Earth

Proteus: How Radiolarians Saved Ernst Haeckel

Ernst Haeckel around Christmas 1860, when he was 26, the year after he returned from Italy. Ernst Haeckel had spent an unhappy year practicing medicine when his parents finally consented to pay for a year of scientific study and travel in Italy...

January 31, 2012 — Jennifer Frazer

When You Think "Hydrothermal Vents", You Shouldn't Think "Tube Worms"

Riftia pachyptila, the weird, iconic giant of hydrothermal vents. Creative Commons Sabine Gollner et al.; click image for link and license. In 1977, scientists and the world were shocked to discover the first deep-sea hydrothermal vent community at the Galapagos Rift in the eastern Pacific (see a great story on this at NPR here)...

January 4, 2012 — Jennifer Frazer

The Brain-Eating "Amoeba" Strikes Again

Just when you thought the U.S. was safe from amoebas . . . it turns out it's not.This summer saw a micro-burst of brain-eating amoeba attacks (well, only three, but that was plenty for the press to get its panties in a bunch over it...

December 21, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

Toxic Red Tides Can Attack By Air, Too

The red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. Public Domain, photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Last week as I sat in a beach-side open-air restaurant in southwest Florida, I started coughing...

December 12, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

A Bleeding, Breathing Billboard Starring Serratia

Just days after Sci Am published my story on the "bleeding" bacterium Serratia marcescens , a friend sent me this video, in which the marketing department behind the film "Contagion" up north apparently decided to go super-geek and cook up something delightful...

November 20, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

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Science or SciFi?

Vanishing Particles. Spooky Action.