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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Researchers from Rice University have found a type of amoeba that practices a sort of "primitive farming behavior." When their bacteria food become scarce, the Dictyostelium discoideum will group together and form a "fruiting body" that will disperse bacteria spores to a new area. From the article: "The behavior falls short of the kind of 'farming' that more advanced animals do; ants, for example, nurture a single fungus species that no longer exists in the wild. But the idea that an amoeba that spends much of its life as a single-celled organism could hold short of consuming a food supply before decamping is an astonishing one. More than just a snack for the journey of dispersal, the idea is that the bacteria that travel with the spores can 'seed' a new bacterial colony, and thus a food source in case the new locale should be lacking in bacteria." It's good to know that even a single celled creature is not immune to the pull of Farmville.

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