Author Archives: Jennifer Frazer

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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Are These Trilobite Eggs?

Mystery of trilobite reproduction may at last be solved

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15-Million-Year-Old Pinecones Can Still Move [Video]

In 15 million years, you will not be moving anything

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Pores Inside Bacteria Are Eerily Familiar

Freshwater bacteria from Australia surprise scientists with a suite of features unlike any seen before

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The Venus Flytrap Anemone Is Doubly Well Named [Video]

Two alien, beautiful creatures are all in a day’s work for deep-sea explorers

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The Mesmerizing Motions of Starfish Larvae [Video]

The flow patterns starfish larvae generate while going about their business have an otherworldly beauty

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