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Slime mold colony with volcano-like spores
Cancer-like Slime Mold Growth Hints at Multicellularity’s Origins
The poorly understood Fonticula alba, a relative of fungi and animals, hunts bacteria with a mechanism that resembles cancer and fungal growth.
Cancer-like Slime Mold Growth Hints at Multicellularity’s Origins
Cancer-like Slime Mold Growth Hints at Multicellularity’s Origins

The poorly understood Fonticula alba, a relative of fungi and animals, hunts bacteria with a mechanism that resembles cancer and fungal growth.

The poorly understood Fonticula alba, a relative of fungi and animals, hunts bacteria with a mechanism that resembles cancer and fungal growth.

multicellularity
Fastest-Ever Cell Contractions Observed in Primitive Invertebrate
Abby Olena, PhD | Dec 13, 2018 | 4 min read
The microscopic marine animal Trichoplax adhaerens may use rapid changes in cell shape to avoid being ripped apart by forces in the ocean.
Single-Celled Life Primed to Go Multicellular
Bob Grant | Oct 17, 2016 | 2 min read
The unicellular ancestor of animals may have harbored some of the molecular tools that its many-celled descendants use to coordinate and direct cell differentiation and function, scientists show.
Multicellular Cooperation Curbs Cheating
Jenny Rood | Jul 1, 2016 | 2 min read
An experimental evolution study shows that more cheaters arise when bread mold fungal cells are less related to one another.
How Multicellularity Arose
Jef Akst | Jan 11, 2016 | 1 min read
Researchers identify a molecule that may have been key to the surprisingly common transition from single-celled ancestors to today’s complex, multicellular organisms. 
The Ever-Transcendent Cell
John S. Torday | Nov 1, 2014 | 6 min read
Deriving physiologic first principles
Faulty Freezing
Abby Olena, PhD | Nov 5, 2013 | 3 min read
Researchers show that tissues are more likely than single cells to suffer damage during cryopreservation because of the tight junctions between cells.
Beach Reading
Mary Beth Aberlin | Jul 1, 2013 | 3 min read
A vacation from your lab doesn’t have to mean a break from fascinating developments on the life science front.
Crowd Control
Cristina Luiggi | Jul 1, 2013 | 10+ min read
Molecules, cells, or vertebrates—when individuals move and act as a single unit, surprisingly complex behaviors arise that hint at the origins of multicellularity.
Opinion: Cooperating to Study Cooperation
David Smith | Feb 20, 2013 | 3 min read
Physicists and biologists are working together to understand cooperation at all levels of life, from the cohesion of molecules to interspecies interactions.
Bacteria Breed Multicellularity?
Hayley Dunning | Aug 15, 2012 | 3 min read
A single-celled relative of animals forms colonies when exposed to a bacterial product, hinting at the possible origins of multicellularity.
Evolving Multicellularity
Jef Akst | Jan 16, 2012 | 3 min read
Using an artificial selection paradigm, researchers watch as unicellular yeast evolve into snowflake-like clusters with distinct multicellular characteristics.
Amoebae Get Organized
Richard P. Grant | Sep 1, 2011 | 2 min read
Editor’s Choice in Developmental Biology
Early freshwater life
Cristina Luiggi | May 19, 2011 | 1 min read
Tiny fossil tracks embedded in a California rock formation that was once part of an ancient river may be evidence that freshwater ecosystems arose around 100 million years earlier than what is generally believed.
The Evolution of Volvox
N/A | Jan 1, 2011 | 1 min read
The volvocine algae are a model system for studying the evolution of multicellularity, as the group contains extant species ranging from the unicellular Chlamydomonas to a variety of colonial species and the full-fledged multicellular Volvox varieties.
From Simple To Complex
Jef Akst | Jan 1, 2011 | 10+ min read
The switch from single-celled organisms to ones made up of many cells has evolved independently more than two dozen times. What can this transition teach us about the origin of complex organisms such as animals and plants?
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