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The Ocelloid

The Ocelloid

Through the eye of a microbe

Theileria gets naked and rides the spindle

Hijacking of the cell by its uninvited invaders is one of the coolest things in biology. Not only do these parasites leech off its food, they also ride along with the cell machinery itself — modifying parts of it for their own benefit, of course.

July 26, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

A note on paleo-protistology in Chicago

While we transition from paleontology back to protistology, let's make a short stop along the way. A stop in downtown Chicago, of all places. You know, the ideal place for finding living critters and fossils, right?

July 20, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Mystery Micrograph #03

Mystery Micrograph revival time! Y'all failed the previous one, but fear not -- there are plenty more to come! The subject of the last puzzle, shown below, is the surface of a testate amoeba -- namely, the organic test of Arcella spp.

June 20, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Squatters of the microbial world: foram-in-a-foram

Out in nature, you may notice that critters often like to be on top of one another, or inside one another. Of course, I'm talking about endo- and ectosymbioses (inside and on the surface, respectively).

June 12, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Giardia sucks! An anatomy of a sucker.

Giardia is a cute flagellate with two nuclei, eight flowing flagella and an impressive sucker plate that makes it look rather like a catfish. Their elegant swimming patterns are reminiscent of one as well.

May 27, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Protist-y art continued: the protist zodiac

One night, when I was definitely completely sober in every way possible (of course!), it struck me that while both the European and Chinese zodiacs (ones I'm familiar with) display a nice variety of animals with and without backbones (I happen to be spineless according to the European one, and scaly and flame-breathing according to the Chinese version), somehow the ancients have missed out on a very major and obvious group -- the protists.

May 23, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Dividing Arcella (test construction in progress)

A quickie post to assure y'all I'm still around. Got a few proper posts coming soon! Remember our testate amoeba friends, the arcellinids? Here is a pair of Arcella s (Arcellae?) in the midst of division.

May 22, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Coffee interferes with construction efforts... if you're an amoeba

Bleary-eyed and staggering, many of us partake in a morning coffee ritual before mustering the courage to face the daily workload. In addition to psychoactive chemicals (drugs, anyone?), the coffee routine provides structure and emotional support -- rumours suggest it may be largely a placebo effect, but I won't go into that debate.

May 7, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Some protist-y art

For me, the second more relaxing activity after microscopy is vector art. And then regular art. (This excludes non-activities, such as napping in the sun, and staring at life passing by.

April 30, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

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