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Stories by Jennifer Frazer

Cute Isopod ISO Sweet Beach. Likes: Sand. Dislikes: Grooming

Cute Isopod ISO Sweet Beach. Likes: Sand. Dislikes: Grooming

Pandas, lions, and elk and their ilk often find their way onto the covers of conservationists’ marketing materials. But I think relying exclusively on big furry animals (industry codename: charasmatic megafauna) means they are missing out on some potentially awesome spokes-creatures...

September 11, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
The Attack of the Giant Water Bug

The Attack of the Giant Water Bug

In the creeks and ponds of the world — including America — lives an insect that can reach four inches long and bears a pair of giant pincers and a beak for injective digestive enzymes into its victim...

August 27, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
Chocolate Frosty Pod Rot and You

Chocolate Frosty Pod Rot and You

Coffee drinkers recoiled in horror when news that their favorite plant had come under serious attack by a fungus called rust this year. The news came close on the heels of news that the bacterial disease huanglongbing is devastating the Florida citrus industry, driving up prices and threatening quality...

August 14, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer

Wonderful Things: Don't Eat the Pink Snow

If you stumbled one midsummer on the melting snow in the image below, what would you imagine produced the strange color? Translated German caption: "Snow area with Chlamydomonas nivalis (snow blood) near Abisko (Northern Sweden)" Creative Commons Ökologix...

July 9, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer

Green Alga Found to Prey on Bacteria, Bolstering Endosymbiotic Theory

A green alga with throat- and stomach-like structures can swallow and digest bacteria when deprived of light, further bolstering Lynn Margulis's widely accepted idea that the origin of the plant-powering chloroplast was a fortuitous bout of indigestion.Termed "Endosymbiotic Theory", the idea is that early nucleated cells called eukaryotes ate bacteria that managed to escape digestion but also couldn't escape their captors...

June 30, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer

Is This Spindly Fossil a 3-Billion-Year-Old Eukaryote?

One of the planet's former dominant species? A proposed microfossil from Western Australian Quartzite. To preserve the detail in this image in the space I have, I cropped the image and moved the scale bar, but preserved its proportion to the image...

June 27, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer

Pirates, Charles Darwin, and One Very Un-Extinct Dodo

"Dodo Birds". Black and amber chalk on cream paper. By Roelandt Savery, ca. 1626. Public Domain; click for source Any animated film starring pirates, Charles Darwin, and a dodo is going to be worthy of mention here, but Aardman Animations -- of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run fame -- has outdone itself with "The Pirates!: Band of Misfits"...

May 22, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer

Thank You, Domain Archaea ...

The Midway Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park, teeming with colorful archaea and bacteria. Creative Commons Wing-Chi Poon. Click image for license and source.

May 15, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer

The Swimming Sea Cucumber and the Exploding Paint Pack

Sea cucumbers aren't all boring, trundling bags. Some of them swim -- and glow. Though I opted to focus on creatures found at greater depths in my last post, one of the creatures observed by the Deepsea Challenger expedition in the New Britain Trench at a relatively shallow 1000 meters was just such a swimming sea cucumber...

April 18, 2013 — Jennifer Frazer
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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine