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The Artful Amoeba

The Artful Amoeba

A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on Earth

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

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!

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

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

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?

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

A Peek at More Ice-Age Finds from Snowmastodon Village

Woolly mammoth, resplendent. Model from the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Creative Commons Tracy O. Click image for link. As I write, the Snowmass Water and Sanitation Department District is busy digging, damming, and filling the Ziegler Reservoir on top of one of the world's only known high-altitude Ice Age fossil sites -- and "without question" the world's finest mastodon site, according to Denver Museum of Nature and Science VP Kirk Johnson -- near Snowmass Village, CO, a ski resort.Fortunately for us, the DMNS had 70 days spread over two seasons to get in, dig like hell, and get out.

August 9, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

Blog Index

Decoding the Brain

Decoding the Brain

Consciousness. Cognition. Behavior.