Foundations

» evolution, culture and disease/medicine

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By ditching traditional agar-based media, two biochemists captured iconic images of Myxococcus in 1982.

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image: Discovering Archaea, 1977

Discovering Archaea, 1977

By | March 1, 2014

Ribosomal RNA fingerprints reveal the three domains of life.

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image: Fantastical Fish, circa 1719

Fantastical Fish, circa 1719

By | January 1, 2014

A collection of colorful drawings compiled by publisher Louis Renard sheds light on eighteenth-century science.

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image: The Leprosy Bacillus, circa 1873

The Leprosy Bacillus, circa 1873

By | October 1, 2013

A scientist’s desperate attempts to prove that Mycobacterium leprae causes leprosy landed him on trial, but his insights into the disease’s pathology were eventually vindicated.

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image: Flying Frog, 1855

Flying Frog, 1855

By | May 1, 2013

Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin’s unheralded codiscoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, found inspiration in the specimens he collected on his travels.

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"White-Blooded" Icefish, 1927

By | April 1, 2013

A bizarre group of Antarctic fishes lost their red blood cells but survived to tell their evolutionary tale, revealing a fundamental lesson about the birth and death of genes.

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image: Cholera Confusion, circa 1832

Cholera Confusion, circa 1832

By | February 1, 2013

As cholera first tore through the Europe in the mid-19th century, people tried anything to prevent the deadly disease. Then science stepped in.

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image: Poetry and Pictures, circa 1830

Poetry and Pictures, circa 1830

By | November 1, 2012

On the bicentennial of his birth, Edward Lear is celebrated for his whimsical poetry and his stunningly accurate scientific illustrations.

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image: Gone Missing, circa 1892

Gone Missing, circa 1892

By | October 1, 2012

A unique organism sighted only once, more than a century ago, could shed light on the evolution of multicellularity—if it ever actually existed.

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image: The First Australopithecus, 1925

The First Australopithecus, 1925

By | July 1, 2012

The discovery of the 2.5-million-year-old Taung Child skull marked a turning point in the study of human brain evolution.

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