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Latest Multicellular organism Stories

2014-01-27 10:25:54

The evolutionary path from unicellular life to multicellularity is varied, but all lead to complex organisms In the beginning there were single cells. Today, many millions of years later, most plants, animals, fungi, and algae are composed of multiple cells that work collaboratively as a single being. Despite the various ways these organisms achieved multicellularity, their conglomeration of cells operate cooperatively to consume energy, survive, and reproduce. But how did multicellularity...

Bigger Really Was Better For Early Prehistoric Life
2014-01-24 14:38:14

[ Watch the Video: The Evolution of the World’s Oldest Fossil Communities ] University of Toronto A NASA research group featuring University of Toronto Mississauga professor Marc Laflamme has helped to explain why some prehistoric organisms evolved into larger animals. Laflamme, an assistant professor with the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Node of NASA's Astrobiology Institute suggest that height...

2013-11-06 10:51:38

Evolving multicellular algae in the lab, researchers discover why it is better to go it alone during reproduction Scientists have puzzled for centuries over how and why multicellular organisms evolved the almost universal trait of using single cells, such as eggs and sperm, to reproduce. Now researchers led by University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences postdoctoral fellow William Ratcliff and associate professor Michael Travisano have set a big piece of that puzzle into place...

Fungus Cell Looks Like The 405 Freeway
2013-07-18 10:17:49

UCLA [ Watch the Video Nuclear dynamics in a fungal chimera ] No, those are not cars darting along a busy highway. The glowing specks you're seeing in this video are millions of nuclei flowing through the tube-like filaments, or hyphae, of a single fungus cell. The video was produced as part of a study by UCLA mathematician Marcus Roper's research group that was the first to measure and explain this dynamic movement of nuclei in the cells of a fungus. "It's complex, beautiful and...

Slime Mold Gets Upper Hand By Cheating
2013-01-09 13:38:37

BioMed Central A 'cheater' mutation (chtB) in Dictyostelium discoideum, a free living slime mold able to co-operate as social organism when food is scarce, allows the cheater strain to exploit its social partner, finds a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The mutation ensures that when mixed with 'normal' Dictyostelium more than the fair share of cheaters become spores, dispersing to a new environment, and avoiding dying as stalk cells....

Evolution Of Multicellular Life Sparked By Bacteria
2012-10-24 13:36:16

Bacteria have a bad rap as agents of disease, but scientists are increasingly discovering their many benefits, such as maintaining a healthy gut. A new study now suggests that bacteria may also have helped kick off one of the key events in evolution: the leap from one-celled organisms to many-celled organisms, a development that eventually led to all animals, including humans. Published this month in the inaugural edition of the new online journal eLife, the study by University of...

New Concept Dramatically Alters Theory Of Animal Evolution
2012-10-13 08:10:50

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online New work by Dr. Stuart A. Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College, develops a concept that dramatically alters one of the basic assumptions of the theory of evolution. The assumption is that survival is based on a change's functional advantage if it is to persist. Newman, whose life's work has supported the theory of evolution, offers an alternative model where he proposes that the origination of...

Brainless Slime Mold Smarter Than You Think
2012-10-09 13:30:28

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Nothing sounds dumber than “Slime Mold.” This might even be one of the more demeaning insult in sophomoric lexicon, as nothing sounds worse. Yet, for all its off-putting properties, (the slime, the mold) this little organism is fascinating to scientists and researchers, studying how it is able to grow, move and expand. The makeup of slime mold is relatively simple: A community of single-celled spores which have...

New Study Sheds Light On The Evolution Of Multicellularity
2012-01-19 12:21:23

One of the greatest mysteries of evolutionary biology revolves around the question of how Earth´s original single-celled ancestors – the predecessors of all life on the planet – first made the critical transition to multicellularity. A new study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), however, points out that the switch may not have been as difficult as most scientists have speculated. The traditional paradigm for attempting to...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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