Author Archives: Jennifer Frazer

How Truffles Got Attention in a Land with No Mammals to Smell Them

Scientists turn to fossil poo in an effort to prove a long-standing hypothesis

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Tiny Orchid Seeds Possess Understated Beauty and, Occasionally, Tools

Enterprising seeds secure preferred real estate by deploying coiled threads

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Blanket Hermit Crabs Use Anemones as Defensive Snuggies

Invertebrate apparel is apparently nonplussed

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Giant Flatworms Invaded France and Ran Amok for 2 Decades before Scientists Realized It

Worms are living the dream of 400 years of medieval English armies

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Algae Living inside Salamanders Aren’t Happy about the Situation

The world’s only known vertebrate–microbe symbiosis appears to be good for the salamander, but stressful for the alga. So why do they put up with it?

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Zombie Cicadas’ Bodies Are Literally Falling Apart

Parasitic fungus manipulates bodies and bedroom behavior of hapless insects

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Prions Are Forever

The lethal proteins are in the Hard-to-Kill Hall of Fame–and may be more common than we realize

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Shameless Bacterial Predator Remodels Its Own Prey

Bacterial big game hunters drill into victims, brace the hole, and then seal the wound behind them

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Wonderful Things: A Transparent Plant

Filmy ferns live up to their name

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New Zealand’s Most Patriotic Mushroom

Tylopilus formosus is all black.

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Music for the Space Age Houseplant

1970 called—it wants its plant playlist back

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Smarty Plants–My Latest Guest Spot for Radiolab

In which we revisit the hot-button topic of plant intelligence

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Fake Mushroom Lures Pollinators into Floral Trap

Unassuming houseplant uses alter ego to get lucky at insects’ expense

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Marine Microbes Exchange Fire With Elaborate Subcellular Weapons [Video]

Discovery “represents a new extreme in organelle complexity” 

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In a World of Shifting Sand, Algae Turn to Dark Fermentation

For light-loving marine microbes, living in sand means having a good Plan B

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Plants, Like People, Succumb to Anesthesia [Video]

Putting plants under may help solve the enduring mystery of how anesthesia works

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Stromatolites Defy Odds by A) Living B) on Land

A life form that once ruled the planet has turned up unexpectedly in Tasmania

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Surprise Discovered Inside Shaggy, Shimmying Protists [Video]

Microbes contain astounding new organelle of unknown function: the rotatosome

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Leaf Fungus Smoothie Brings Endangered Hawaiian Flower Back From the Brink

Yet surprisingly, the most common organism in said smoothie was the very pathogen it was trying to prevent

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Some Deep-Sea Ornaments to Brighten a Dark Day [Video]

Slow down and savor a few moments of scientific wonder

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Chocolate Trees Shower Young with Disease-Fighting Leaves

Cacao plants have an internal microbiome they can pass to seedlings just as human moms do

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Deep-Sea Surprise: The Forest of the Weird

Scientists encountered an unexpected glass sponge garden this summer in the deep Pacific

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Parasite Can Pass Warnings between Co-Joined Hosts

The plant parasite dodder grafts itself to multiple hosts, fusing the plants into a superorganism that can produce surprising effects

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Bacteria Stab Amoebas to Escape Being Eaten

One species has found yet another use for a favorite bacterial multitool

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New Glimpses of Rare Deep Sea Siphonphores

2017 has produced a beautiful crop

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Moldy Rock Pulled from 2,500 Feet Underground

Swedes searching for nuclear waste storage site stumble on a pocket of fungi that may reveal a huge hidden reservoir of life

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Learn about Rocky Mountain Mushrooms with Yours Truly

Curious about mushrooms? Live in Colorado?

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New Trove of Lichen Fossils Expands Total from 15 to 167

Botanical bonanza is also a trove of eye candy

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The Sea Cucumber That Became a Jellyfish [Video]

Calling Cthulhu …

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The Giant Shipworm, Revealed at Last [Video]

An animal that eluded collection for hundreds of years bolsters deep-sea colonization hypothesis

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