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Latest Mycetozoa Stories

Model Organisms Gone Wild
2013-09-13 14:08:40

Washington University in St. Louis Amoebas that are placid, model organisms in the lab, farm bacteria and carry guards to protect their crops in the wild Model organisms, brought into labs because they are easy to work with, adapt to the lab, often shedding characteristics that allowed them to survive in the wild. Scientists who work with model organisms rarely look at the wild strains, but when they do, they can be surprised by what they find. This is what happened with the...

Tiny Single-celled Organisms Have Amazingly Complicated Social Lives
2013-07-30 09:06:00

Washington University in St. Louis In 2011, Nature announced that scientists had discovered a single-celled organism that is a primitive farmer. The organism, a social amoeba called Dictyostelium discoideum, picks up edible bacteria, carries them to new locations and harvests them like crops. D. discoideum enjoyed a brief spell in the media spotlight, billed as the world's smallest farmer. Now a collaboration of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis and Harvard University...

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....

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...

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...

2011-06-24 12:08:30

The ability to identify self and non-self enables cells in more sophisticated animals to ward off invading infections, but it is critical to even simpler organisms such as the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum. Dictyostelium exists as a single cell when times are good, but when starved, the cells aggregate and become multi-cellular fruiting bodies with a dead stalk and live spores that allow the cells to survive and pass on genes. When the social amoeba aggregates, it prefers to do so...

2011-06-23 22:54:06

The ability to identify self and non-self enables cells in more sophisticated animals to ward off invading infections, but it is critical to even simpler organisms such as the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum. Dictyostelium exists as a single cell when times are good, but when starved, the cells aggregate and become multi-cellular fruiting bodies with a dead stalk and live spores that allow the cells to survive and pass on genes. When the social amoeba aggregates, it prefers to do so...

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2011-03-14 07:26:18

Cells at the tip of the slime mold's fruiting body organize into an epithelial layer and secrete proteins as do some animals cells The so-called cellular slime mold, a unicellular organism that may transition into a multicellular organism under stress, has just been found to have a tissue structure that was previously thought to exist only in more sophisticated animals. What's more, two proteins that are needed by the slime mold to form this structure are similar to those that perform the...

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2011-01-20 06:42:08

A species of amoeba -- Dictyostelium discoideum -- has shown primitive farming behavior as it travels along, according to a new study. In results of the study, reported Jan. 19 in the journal Nature, evolutionary biologists Joan Strassmann and David Queller of Rice University show that the social amoebae (commonly known as slime molds) increase their odds of survival through a rudimentary form of agriculture. Research by lead author Debra Brock, a graduate at Rice, found that some amoebae...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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