For such tiny animals, Syllidae really get around.

These polychaete worms, most only a few millimeters long, are found from the intertidal to the deep sea. The over 200 species of Syllids, and potentially many more not yet recognized, are keeping some molecular biologists very busy. 133 species from 5 continents have DNA barcodes already, and our colleagues at the Moorea Biocode project just keep finding more, just waiting to be identified, or classified as new species.

More Syllids from Moorea here.

(via: Encyclopedia of Life)

Image 1: A dish of millipedes under UV light. Most of the ones fluorescing in blue are Semionellus placidus, while the two fluorescing red are Pseudopolydesmus serratus. Red fluorescence under UV hasn’t been reported before in arthropods, to my knowledge.”

Photos by Derek Hennen. Check out his blog post for more field notes and details on identification!

Image 2: Semionellus placidus, photo by Derek Hennen (source)


More brachiopods! The spiral lophophores are a filtering apparatus. 

Image 1: “Fig. 8. Hypothetical representation of efficiency of the filtering system of some extinct spire-bearing brachiopods showing flow patterns and extension of area for trapping food resources. Inhalant and exhalant currents according toVogel (1975) and diagram modified from Ager and Riggs (1964).”

Image 2: “Fig. 9. Hypothetical representation of efficiency of the filtering system present in extinct productid brachiopods showing flow patterns and extension of area for trapping food resources. Inhalant and exhalant currents as in a similar model proposed for Falafer Grant (1972) and diagram modified from Brunton et al. (2000) without including his interpretations.”


Pérez-Huerta and Sheldon. 2006. “Pennsylvanian sea level cycles, nutrient availability and brachiopod paleoecology.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Volume 230, Issues 3–4, 30 January 2006, Pages 264–279. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2005.07.020


More brachiopods! The spiral lophophores are a filtering apparatus. 

Image 1: Brachiopod, (image source)

Image 2: Magellania, an articulate brachiopod (source)

Image 3: Group of brachiopods. (Source). The coolest one is “E”:

Notosaria nigricans E. Brachial interior with spirolophous lophophore 


Sounds like we have a word (or phrase) of the day!

More brachiopods! The spiral lophophores are a filtering apparatus. 

Image 1: Liospiriferina rostrata (jr synonym Spiriferina rostrata) (Brachiopod). Brachiopods filtered plankton, using a specialized organ: the lophophore. It is exceptional to be able to find silicified skeleton of this organ, visible in this specimen.” via Wikipedia (image source) cc-by-sa

Image 2: Spiriferina brachiopod fossil. Science Photo Library

Diagram by Edward Ott, Scholarpedia:

Figure 1: (a) Double well potential V(x) , and (b) the resulting basins of attraction.

Caption: “Intercalation induces structural distortions. Left: unchanged DNA strand. Right: DNA strand intercalated at three locations (black areas).”

“In chemistryintercalation is the reversible inclusion of a molecule (or group) between two other molecules (or groups). Examples include DNA intercalation and graphite intercalation compounds.”

From the Wikipedia article on “Intercalation

(img source)

Volvox, a colonial green algae (more info at Wikipedia)

From the Goldstein Lab, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge:

They do really, really cool research, as described by this awesome statement: 

When asked whether I am a theorist or an experimentalist, my reply is that I am a scientist. Our group seeks to understand fundamental principles that govern the behavior of nonequilibrium systems in physics and biology, using a combination of experiment and theory. This research is not easily described by a single, conventional academic label; rather, it involves the domains of condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, biological physics, fluid dynamics, applied mathematics, and geophysics.  I subscribe to Poincaré’s motivation: 

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful;

he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because
it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.

I also believe that some of the best science is close to art, and that Glenn Gould captured this spirit when he said 

The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual,
 lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”


UMMM and they have a YouTube channel!


Mitosis II in Drosophila melanogaster embryo

Fluorescent microscopy image of a Drosophila melanogaster embryo, 160x magnification. Green is DNA in mitosis, red is a nuclear protein.”

“This fruitfly embryo is expressing a green fluorescent protein attached to a histone (one of the proteins DNA wraps around). The red staining is done by using an antibody staining. This image was taken with a wide field fluorescent microscope.”

KarinOnFlickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karinonflickr/2530982134/in/gallery-gmacqueron-72157624995046534/