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Stories by Psi Wavefunction

Amoebae shelled and naked

Some amoebae build elaborate houses for themselves to live in. (top and side view of an Arcellinid) Some build their houses out of siliceous (glass) scales and peek out of them with thread-like pseudopods called filopodia...

November 21, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Frontonia: dissecting a ciliate appetite

(I'm pretty sure every non-strictly-autotrophic thing has some form of appetite. Some ciliates and amoebae just tend to display it more prominently -- as in this cool video of a Climacostomum devouring a flatworm!) Frontonia is a genus of predatory ciliates who feed on anything from algae and bacteria to fellow ciliates (and anything else that can fit through the cytostome, or its "throat")...

November 20, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction
Three views of a diatom

Three views of a diatom

Starting with something perhaps more familiar, like a diatom, here I wanted to show an example of what different optical sections can reveal about an object in the microscope.

October 31, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Mystery Micrograph revived, v2.0 chapter 1

Back in the good ol' days on Skeptic Wonder I used to run a little "Mystery Micrograph" series, where an image or a plate (that's not immediately obvious without context) would be grabbed from a paper and posted without source, and much agony would ensue over trying to figure out what it is (or some cheater who happens to work on the bug would drop by and ruin the fun ;p)...

October 27, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction
Some sights about the microbial world

Some sights about the microbial world

Back! Well, trying to — long story short, life got in the way of blogging for a while there, but of course I still really miss it. Won’t bore y’all with details (for now)...

October 26, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Pond water microforay: amoebae gone wild

I have a confession to make -- even though I work with ciliates at the moment, I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with amoebae. I love them to the point that I get offended whenever anyone within earshot insults them as 'formless' or 'shapeless blobs'...

April 26, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Musings on size: do bacteria want to be bigger?

We all know that eukaryotes are bigger than prokaryotes. On average. Mostly. Of course our pathetic attempts at generalisation are too often devastated in a counterattack by nature's awesomest power: variation...

February 13, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

MolBiol Carnival #18!

Welcome to the (ever so slightly late -- sorry) 18th issue of the MolBio carnival! [insert some awful pun involving strains here] For those of us working with live cultures, it's important to remember they have a pedigree, and ultimately come from somewhere outside the lab (after all, all life has a common ancestor somewhere ...)...

February 11, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

A quick dive into the protist world (Part II): Plastids

(Part I here) In the previous post of this series (way too long ago...), we went on a little diving adventure into the microscopic world with our ocelloid-bearing Nematodinium , starting off with giant kelp forests and gradually zooming into the critters living on the blade surfaces and wading deep into the molecular world of genomes -- barely scratching the surface, of course. In this installment, we'll look a little more at how these critters interact with each other -- and with bacteria -- sometimes with lasting consequences...

December 30, 2011 — Psi Wavefunction

Carnival of Evolution #42: Answers to life, the universe and everything

Don't panic -- welcome to the forty-second Carnival of Evolution! Please bear with me and pretend it's still Dec 1st -- I had just recently emerged from a wormhole in time, caused by being in a protistologist's heaven: Dalhousie University in Halifax, with about 30-40 dedicated protist geeks milling about...

December 5, 2011 — Psi Wavefunction
Welcome to The Ocelloid!

Welcome to The Ocelloid!

We humans are a storytelling species, enamored with our own fantasies and imagination. Throughout all times and places our many cultures have devised fascinating tales of adventures and origins, stretching the limits of our minds —  sometimes with the gentle assistance of a little ethnobotany...

July 5, 2011 — Psi Wavefunction
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