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Latest Joan E. Strassmann Stories

Image 1 - Close Family Ties Keep Microbial Cheaters In Check
2011-12-17 04:14:20

Experiments on "slime mold" explain why almost all multicellular organisms begin life as a single cell Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special challenge for evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing; only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation. How could the extreme degree of cooperation required by multicellular existence actually evolve? Why aren't all creatures unicellular individualists...

2011-12-15 17:10:50

Experiments explain why almost all multicellular organisms begin life as a single cell Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special difficulty for the theory of evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing, and only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation. How could the extreme degree of cooperation multicellular existence requires ever evolve? Why aren't all creatures unicellular individualists determined...

2009-11-09 14:36:14

Rice evolutionary biologists argue for new meaning of 'organismality' Rice University evolutionary biologists David Queller and Joan Strassmann argue in a new paper that high cooperation and low conflict between components, from the genetic level on up, give a living thing its "organismality," whether that thing is an animal, a plant, a bacteria "“ or a colony. Some of the traits scientists use to describe an organism, such as individuality or even membership in the same species, may...

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2009-03-12 09:00:00

A Rice University study of microbes from a Houston-area cow pasture has confirmed once again that everything is bigger in Texas, even the single-celled stuff. The tests revealed the first-ever report of a large, natural colony of amoebae clones -- a Texas-sized expanse measuring at least 12 meters across. The research is available online and featured on cover of the March issue of Molecular Ecology. Some large organisms like aspen trees and sea anemones are well-known for growing in large...


Word of the Day
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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