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Stories by Jennifer Frazer

A Closer Look at a Tiny, Floating Horde

A Closer Look at a Tiny, Floating Horde

It’s a strange but true fact that the young of many familiar sea creatures look nothing like them. Drifting on currents to distribute their kind, they are an unsung part of the plankton, itself an unsung part of the sea...

February 2, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer

My Favorite Biology Finds in London’s Natural History Museum

  This past year, I made a pilgrimage that every natural history lover should, if possible, make. I visited the Natural History Museum in London, the house that Richard Owen built, the home of the first dinosaur bones ever discovered, the first Archaeopteryx fossil, and a first-edition copy of “On the Origin of Species”...

January 21, 2014 — Jennifer Frazer
On the Curious Motions of Syphilis and Lyme Disease Bacteria

On the Curious Motions of Syphilis and Lyme Disease Bacteria

The bacteria that cause syphilis and Lyme Disease have something extraordinary in common: they manage to propel themselves through their environment in spite of the fact their tails are located inside their bodies...

December 28, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
My Interview on the Pacific Northwest Cryptococcus Outbreak on SCPR

My Interview on the Pacific Northwest Cryptococcus Outbreak on SCPR

I have just a quick update today as I’m working on a long blog post for this weekend. Last week I gave an interview for the Southern California Public Radio show “Take Two” on my feature story in this month’s issue of Scientific American on the outbreak of the yeast Cryptococcus gattii among people living [...]..

December 20, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
You Know You Want To Help (6-Legged) Monarchs. Here’s How.

You Know You Want To Help (6-Legged) Monarchs. Here’s How.

Last year, a hard year by monarch butterfly migration standards, 60 million monarchs showed up at their misty wintering grounds in Mexico. This year, so far, a mere 3 million have straggled in — and late, too, according to a disturbing must-read piece (“The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear”) published last Friday in the New [...]..

November 26, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
How Your Morning Commute Resembles a Fungus

How Your Morning Commute Resembles a Fungus

In many fungi, the DNA storage compartments called nuclei are not prisoners of the cells they reside in, the way they are in animals and plants.

November 20, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
What Do Vampire Squid Really Eat? Hint: It’s Not Blood

What Do Vampire Squid Really Eat? Hint: It’s Not Blood

Oxygen-poor zones are not just found off the coast of South America, as we saw last time. “Oxygen minimum zones” may occur throughout the world’s ocean’s at mid-water depths where food consumption is high but supplies of oxygen are low...

October 31, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
There’s Darwin’s Fungus!

There’s Darwin’s Fungus!

Last winter I wrote a post called “Darwin’s Neon Golf Balls” about a fungus called Cyttaria that Darwin collected during his journey on the Beagle.

October 24, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer

Are Cycads Social Plants?

Botanists have long puzzled over a peculiarity of ancient plants called cycads: they have huge, bright, fleshy seeds displayed in enormous cones.

October 16, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
The Private Life of Plankton — in HD

The Private Life of Plankton — in HD

Artistic, black and white photos of plankton — as we saw last time — are fabulous. But what if one hungers for HD? The Plankton Chronicles have got you covered.

September 29, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
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The Essential Guide to the Modern World

The Essential Guide to the Modern World