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Stories by Psi Wavefunction

A happy nucleus

This Mayorella 's (?) nucleus is smiling and wishing you a very happy day =) The auspicious pattern is formed by heterochromatin clumps. To the right of the nucleus is a contractile vacuole -- devoid of any emotion this time...

April 17, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Ciliate gluttony (again)

Frontonia are a large, gluttonous species of ciliates, which makes them a wonderful, colourful, subject of microphotography. Despite the modest appearance of their mouth, they can swallow some impressively big prey -- the suture beneath the mouth can open to widen the engulfment...

April 12, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

A budding crescent

I'll return to blogging by starting off with a stunningly boring micrograph. Here, you can see a narrow blob, with a blob attached, and a stem below.

March 28, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Cyanobacteria meet again

A free-living cyanobacterium (above) lies next to its brethren from a distant past, now a chloroplast coiled up and trapped (for good) within a eukaryotic cell (bottom).

February 25, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Diatom on a stalk, in slime

Here's a diatom (alga in a glass case), probably Cymbella sp. (apparently also called "rock snot"...),  sitting atop a stalk of mucilage. These diatoms can sometimes be seen on rocks in creeks and streams as fuzzy brown stuff growing, comprised of large colonies...

February 17, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Hints for Mystery Micrograph #02

Back from #scio13, an awesome conference on online science communication in Raleigh, NC. Fingers poised for MOAR blogging! For now, I'll drop some hints for the yet-unsolved Mystery Micrograph from a while ago...

February 6, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction
The beauty of sewage

The beauty of sewage

Microbiologists might comprise the vast majority of people who get excited about sewage and other putrid-smelling places. A sample of activated sludge or a treatment pond make wonderful presents for bacteriologists and protistologists alike...

January 31, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Centrohelids: creatures of the sun

Sun worship is not unique to human societies. Evolutionary processes too seem to enjoy encountering sun-like shapes, from sea urchins to porcupine spines to radiolarians.

January 26, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Loricas -- homely vessels of protists

Bicosoecids were shown off fairly recently- but wait, there's more! One particular pond sample was rich in colonial bicosoecids whose loricas were conveniently accentuated by a touch of iron (rusting)...

January 19, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Testate amoeba in a sea of bacteria

Here is a filose(="thin-footed) amoeba from nearby decaying leaf litter. Most likely a species of Lecythium , but these amoebae are so poorly studied it's hard to establish what's what (nor has there been hardly any molecular work done to figure out where they fit, but probably somewhere in Cercozoa (in supergroup Rhizaria), near filose scale-plated Euglyphids and other squishy-stringy (and squishy-flagellated) critters...

January 9, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

Bicosoeca -- flagellate in a wineglass

Last post of 2012! Hope it was a good year for you all, and that the next will be even better -- Happy New Year! Some protists sitting in champagne glasses might be relevant to our interests: Bicosoecids are non-photosynthetic relatives of brown algae...

December 31, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Frivolous Photo Friday -

I'm out of town right now with stunningly crappy internet, but will try to redeem myself a bit with some scheduled posts. Mostly pictures (uploaded before crappy internet).

December 28, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Ghost of a Rotifer

Eerily empty exoskeletal remnants of a rotifer, a few bacteria and what might be a cyst of some parasite -- perhaps the one who led this rotifer to meet its fate.

December 26, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

An algal scene

A golden pennate diatom and a green euglenid, Phacus sp., industriously photosynthesising before the slide dries out. Perhaps unexpectedly for its appearance, the diatom can actually move, by secreting mucus to glide on through the raphe (a slit), and often quickly enough to screw up your photography...

December 24, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Nuclear structure -- in DIC!

While I work on another post, here's a nucleus of an amoeba to look at. Some amoebae tend to have large and fairly obvious nuclei, and, if the cell is thin enough, you can make out some nuclear ultrastructure!...

December 20, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Mystery Micrograph #02

The previous Mystery Micrograph was of the surface of Blepharisma , a characteristically pink ciliate. You can see rows of the pigment granules responsible for the unusual colour.

November 29, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction
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