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.
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?
Yes, Indiana has coral reefs. More on that in a bit. A couple days ago I entered a trilobite doodling spree, and have come up with a sort of technique for drawing them.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
STAFFBehind the scenes at Scientific AmericanRead
Anecdotes from the Archive
Anthropology in Practice
Exploring the human condition.Read
Insights into intelligence, creativity, personality, and fulfillmentRead
Everything you always wanted to know about raising science-literate kidsRead
Critical views of science in the newsRead
Dark Star Diaries
Explore the science behind the dog in your bedRead
News and research about endangered species from around the worldRead
Frontiers for Young Minds
Science by and for kids ages 8-15Read
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific AmericanRead
Climate science in a changing worldRead
Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday DeceptionsRead
Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiologyRead
MIND Guest Blog
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific American MindRead
Not bad science
New discoveries in animal behavior and cognitionRead
Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific AmericanRead
More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our livesRead
Roots of Unity
Mathematics: learning it, doing it, celebrating it.Read
Adventures in the good science of rock-breaking.Read
STAFFIllustrating science since 1845Read
STAFFA science blog, sans blagueRead
Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinctRead
The Artful Amoeba
A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on EarthRead
Exploring and celebrating diversity in science.Read