Mutualism of the Month: Solar-powered sea slugs and their photosyntheic algae

Mutualism of the Month: Solar-powered sea slugs and their photosyntheic algae

Solar-powered sea slugs! With live algae in their guts, they can harness the power of the sun; some don't need to feed for nine months. What makes this particular sea slug so special is how it obtains its algae. Check out the full post to find out how!

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Snails and Slugs

Snails and Slugs

When I am walking along and I see a slug in my path, not only do I not think it's gross, I admire its strange texture and stalk-supported eyeballs for a moment or three. I usually relocate said slug to a safe location if I think it might get stepped on. I feel this group of critters is often overlooked, so I'd like to take the opportunity to share with you a few reasons that I like them.  

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What can we learn from mutants?

What can we learn from mutants?

Don't go conjuring up images of giant, city devouring monsters, or crime fighting turtles; those aren't the kinds of mutants we learn from. I'm talking about mutations that arise during the development of an organism and how scientists are able to use them in order to learn about the process of embryonic development. We all know that a sperm fertilizes an egg, and an embryo develops, eventually giving rise to a new organism. What you may not realize is that there are a lot of different ways to get from the first cell to a juvenile organism. In the course of my research, I've come across two interesting developmental abnormalities that serve to illustrate two of the major modes of development. 

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