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Stories by 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

Amoebas for a Better Science Tomorrow

The Artful Amoeba is proud to participate in this year's Science Bloggers for Students science classroom fund drive (read more about this year's project at Janet Stemwedel's Doing Good Science blog)...

October 3, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

800,000 Manmade Plant Fossils (and counting)

When I took botany and taxonomy of vascular plants in college, we spent many an hour poring over specimens under dissecting microscopes pulled with tweezers from smelly jars of preserving liquid...

October 1, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

The Mystery Rust of Kivalina, Alaska

A scanning electron micrograph of an unidentified rust spore from Alaska. Note the gorgeous projections that look like they've been turned on a lathe.

September 27, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

The Fungal Apocalypse, Permo-Triassic Edition

There is something curious about the sedimentary rocks laid down around the world 250 million years ago, at the height of Earth's greatest extinction: they are often riddled with filaments, and no one is sure what they are...

September 15, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

Meet Your Blogger, and See Her Mug in the New York Times!

Today my Q and A was posted in the continuing series of new blogger profiles here at Sci Am. Go check it out!As well, I was captured on film (although my last name was not quite captured in writing) in this story about mushroom hunting in Colorado in the New York Times ...

September 13, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

Lucky Mycologist Finds Lost Smut

A broken primrose fruit showing the remains of a fuzzy black parasitic fungus called smut (upper left). Intact fruit surrounds the broken pod. Photo by Dr.

September 6, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

Alpine Toads and the Chytrids that Love Them

When you read a story, you may occasionally wonder what the reporter went through to get it. About a month ago I arose at 5 a.m. to accompany two wildlife biologists and three fisheries volunteers into the high country of Colorado in order to report a story that came out in High Country News this past week.Over the course of a 12-hour day, we covered about 10 miles, climbed several thousand feet, slogged through bogs in which I sank to my calves, swatted clouds of mosquitoes, and were drenched by rain in order to get to the high ponds and puddles where boreal toads breed...

August 23, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer

Just What is the Brain-Eating "Amoeba" Naegleria fowleri?

Cyst, trophozoite ("amoeba"), and flagellate forms of the protist Naegleria fowleri. Photos by CDC. In the press this week were reports (see here and here and here) that the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri has killed three people this summer, as it does in a typical year...

August 17, 2011 — Jennifer Frazer
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