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The Artful Amoeba

The Artful Amoeba

A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on Earth

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

Sponges: The Original Animal House

So, you're a bunch of sister-cells looking to get together and form the world's first animal co-op, a place where you and your buddies can all live together in a little socialist utopia and specialize in doing one chore, rather than trying to do everything at once like those foolish, single-celled, rugged-individualist protists...

November 17, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

A Flower Returns from the Dead

Remember this flower, and the post on the slide show of herbarium sheets at Duke I did a few weeks ago? A short while after I posted it I received an astonishing letter about it from a man named John MacDougal...

November 8, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

The Surprising Lives of Cycads

If you had to guess which organism possesses sperm with 40,000 tails, what would you guess? Elephant? Whale? Chuck Norris? Would you have guessed that it belongs to a plant?This is the sperm of Zamia roezlii ...

November 1, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

Last Call to Help Fight the Forces of Science Ignorance

Well, since I hate the relentless (though entirely necessary) nagging of NPR fund drives so much I have refrained from mentioning the Science Bloggers for Students Fund Drive and the microscope sub-drive I'm running (and if you missed it the first time, go check out the cool videos here) since I first announced it...

October 21, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

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

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