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Unicellular "Enigma" Changes From Predator To Plant and Back

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-don't-eat-greens,-food-eats-greens dept.

Earth 168

SilverEar writes "Imagine a creature that swims and preys on others, but once it eats a certain kind of plant, that plant grows inside it, causing the predator to lose its ability to prey and start using sunlight to make its food. Its preying mouth is replaced by an eye that is needed to find sunlight. This is the Hatena ('enigma' in Japanese). The kicker: when Hatena reproduces, one offspring is a peaceful photosynthesizer with the sun-seeking eye, while the other is yet again a predator with a voracious mouth."

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168 comments

POST YOUR NIGGER JOKES HERE! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587321)

Reply and post a good nigger joke. Ooo Ooo I got one!

How come police dogs keep licking their asses? To get the taste of NIGGER out of their mouths!

PETA will be confused (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587325)

Plant or animal! Prepare the soft padded cells.

Re:PETA will be confused (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587539)

Easy solution: they will demand that plants possess the same rights as animals. Since they already demand that animals possess the same rights as humans, it will then follow that they will choose not to eat plant-based food just as they refuse to eat animal-based food (i.e., meat). This will leave them without a source of food, and the smart ones will abandon the cause while the dumb ones will die off.

Re:PETA will be confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587683)

Easy solution: they will demand that plants possess the same rights as animals. Since they already demand that animals possess the same rights as humans, it will then follow that they will choose not to eat plant-based food just as they refuse to eat animal-based food (i.e., meat). This will leave them without a source of food, and the smart ones will abandon the cause while the dumb ones will die off.

Is it not entirely possible that they will use the same plant to use photosynthesis themselves, solving their dilemma?

Re:PETA will be confused (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28588689)

"Smart" isnÂt exactly the kind of adjective one should ever use to describe PETA members.

Re:PETA will be confused (5, Interesting)

rpillala (583965) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589633)

No, not the same rights as humans, just the same rights as pets. Even this is an oversimplification but I think it gets the point across.

The point being that it is not appropriate to speak of animals having all the same rights as humans. I think this is well understood. The right to vote, for example, does not make sense since it presupposes knowledge of language, politics, issues etc. The rights that PETA members ascribe to animals, most basically, are the rights not to suffer and die at the hands of humans. These aren't that far out, when you consider the "arguments" in favor of the suffering and dying.

Re:PETA will be confused (1)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587559)

Animals are multicelular eukaryotic. No animal there.

Re:PETA will be confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587651)

You took the words right out of my voracious mouth.

Re:PETA will be confused (3, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587675)

Actually once this cell totally integrates this endosymbiotic lifeform (the next step) it might very well become eukaryotic. Ironically that would make it an eukaryotic plant, which would presumably very easily evolve back into a predator.

when Hatena reproduces, one offspring is a peaceful photosynthesizer with the sun-seeking eye, while the other is yet again a predator with a voracious mouth."

The explanation is simple : cell division in the parent organism does not trigger cell division in the endosymbiotic lifeform. That endosymbiotic lifeform might very well be thought of as an infection.

Re:PETA will be confused (-1, Flamebait)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587677)

This thing sounds worse than a Republican to me.

Re:PETA will be confused (4, Funny)

Starlon (1492461) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587737)

This thing sounds worse than a Politician to me.

Fixed that for you.

Re:PETA will be confused (3, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589097)

I suspect politicians are simply a colony of these. Their campaigning certainly is preditory, and once they get into office, they become vegetables.

Every 4 years they shed their sessile nature and hit the campaign trail again.

Re:PETA will be confused (-1, Troll)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589369)

Creationists will be even more confused. If God made everything according to its kind, where does this one fit in?

Not really joking. Modern creationism with its false "microevolution/macroevolution" dichotomy rests on the idea that there are specific boundaries outside which "kinds" of organisms can't go. Organisms like this one show how inane that argument is.

Re:PETA will be confused (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589613)

It's basically an argument from ignorance -- or rather, an appeal to "common sense".

Ok, yes, appeal to common sense can be done well, but there are things to which common sense just doesn't apply, and we actually have to use critical thought and science.

Example: Common sense tells you light doesn't travel, it's just instantaneous. When you flip a light switch, light is just on. However, no one questions when science tells us that light does travel.

Common sense can't even begin to grasp the weirdness that gravity is a bending of space-time.

Interesting find... (0)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587355)

to say the least, however:

The endosymbiotic hypothesis maintains that eukaryotes evolved from symbiotic interactions between bacteria. There is plenty of evidence for that in chloroplasts and mitochondria: they have their own DNA; their membranes, their DNA, their ribosomes all resemble those of bacteria.

This is similar to the statement that says correlation does not equal causation. Just because I have brown hair and someone across the country also has brown hair and many other similarities doesn't mean both of us are related. At least they called it a "hypothesis" instead of forcing us to accept it as verified fact.

Re:Interesting find... (4, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587447)

Just because I have brown hair and someone across the country also has brown hair and many other similarities doesn't mean both of us are related.

True, but it is pretty strong evidence.
And, in fact, you are related because you share a common ancestor, even if it is many generations removed.

Re:Interesting find... (2, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587479)

Common ancestry may be independent of similar traits, is his point.

The problem, a common one, is that when a finding is reported, notions commonly understood among practitioners are omitted for brevity, and it can mislead when crossing over to non-practitioners of the fields and others less literate in science. Even worse is sometimes even the practitioners forget the proviso of the implicit notions.

Repeated mention of "correlation is not causation" may be annoying, but do serve a useful purpose, I think.

Re:Interesting find... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587495)

I should have written:

"Common ancestry may be independent of [a particular] similar trait, is his point."

Re:Interesting find... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587657)

And, in fact, you are related because you share a common ancestor, even if it is many generations removed.

Do you know that?

Re:Interesting find... (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587689)

Yes. All humans alive now share a common ancestor.

Re:Interesting find... (0, Offtopic)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587715)

How do you know he's human? All I see is text on my screen.

Re:Interesting find... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587753)

How do you know he's human? All I see is text on my screen.

I see no evidence that any intelligence other than human can compose original, coherent posts to an online forum. So with over 95 percent confidence, posts at or above Score:1 are written by humans.

Re:Interesting find... (4, Insightful)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587849)

I see no evidence that any intelligence other than human can compose original, coherent posts to an online forum. So with over 95 percent confidence, posts at or above Score:1 are written by humans.

I see no evidence that any intelligence...posts to an online forum.

Fixed that for you !

Re:Interesting find... (0, Offtopic)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589121)

I see no evidence that any intelligence other than human can compose original, coherent posts to an online forum.

You just go on thinking that way; it makes life very easy for us visiting aliens. We can move about doing our jobs, mostly documenting and studying this primitive newcomer species, without the need to take extraordinary precautions against being "discovered". Yes, a few humans do realize what we are, but when they try to tell the rest, they're just treated as insane or stupid. The majority uses the same circular reasoning: They've never seen an intelligent creature that wasn't human, so anything that shows intelligence above some minimal threshold is classified as human. This provides additional evidence to the "only humans are intelligent" belief.

Actually, your descendants will thank you for your obliviousness. You aren't keeping very good records of your own history, as you can easily see by trying to learn about the lives of 99% of the humans who lived only a century ago. Going back 1000 years, you can't even name more than 99% of them. But we have the data, for the use of your descendants when they wise up and realize they want to know about it. And now with the advent of computerized record keeping, your records are even more fragile; the data on the development of computers themselves only a few decades ago is now nearly inaccessible due to near-total loss of the (mostly) computerized records. But again, since we find it so easy to pass for human, we've collected most of that information, for the education of your descendants.

Oh, and good luck identifying the gateways to the galactic network, where we've backup up the data and made it available to the galaxy's historians. You probably also believe that all the computers on the Internet were built by humans, because there's nothing else intelligent enough to build such things. We won't feel insulted if you mistake our comm devices for those made in China or Malaysia; honest, we won't. Again, it makes life easy for us.

And we can even write about it openly in forums like this. I'll probably get a "funny" moderation, and nobody here (except my colleagues) will believe it for a second. If you are one of the few humans who does believe, it doesn't matter, because the rest will consider you stupid or insane.

Re:Interesting find... (4, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587717)

Oh my God! You're right! I don't anything for sure.

JESUS CHRIST! What if I'm really a toaster?

I mean, I have a lot of the same qualities as a human being, but that doesn't prove anything. What if I'm supposed to be making toast right now?!?!?

Re:Interesting find... (4, Funny)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588133)

That sounds good, can you make some toast for me please? Someone else here is bound to be a butter knife, so maybe we can get a team effort going?

Re:Interesting find... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28588727)

"can you make some toast for me please"

I am a loaf of bread, you insensitive clod! ... (I should also warn you not to eat bread crumbs ... its dandruff, don't ask!).

Re:Interesting find... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28588915)

butter knife? I've met a fellow /.'er once IRL and he was more like an enormous soup spoon in a hawaiian shirt. *ducks*

Re:Interesting find... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28588661)

I knew it was a mistake to connect my toaster to the router.

Re:Interesting find... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588715)

"JESUS CHRIST! What if I'm really a toaster?"

In that case we would't at least have to ask "Does he run NetBSD?"...

Re:Interesting find... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588875)

Oh my God! You're right! I don't anything for sure.

JESUS CHRIST! What if I'm really a toaster?

I mean, I have a lot of the same qualities as a human being, but that doesn't prove anything. What if I'm supposed to be making toast right now?!?!?

Check if you are plugged in.

Re:Interesting find... (2, Funny)

BlackusDiamondus (945259) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589357)

Oh my God! You're right! I don't anything for sure.

JESUS CHRIST! What if I'm really a toaster?

I mean, I have a lot of the same qualities as a human being, but that doesn't prove anything. What if I'm supposed to be making toast right now?!?!?

The toasters were created by man...they rebelled, they evolved, they look...Human!

Re:Interesting find... (5, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587451)

At least they called it a "hypothesis" instead of forcing us to accept it as verified fact.

You say this as though "hypothesis" were some kind of weasel word, as though they actually do consider it a fact but are just calling it something else to avoid criticism.

Did it ever occur to you that this is precisely what a hypothesis is, and that the correlation =/= causation thing is the very reason that it is considered a hypothesis? I'm sure that these biologists have some vague idea what they're doing. If they thought that they had hard and fast proof they'd be moving this on to the "theory" stage. The very fact that they call it a hypothesis means that they agree with you.

Re:Interesting find... (1)

minsk (805035) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587503)

Every time someone posts a stupid correlation versus causation argument on Slashdot, I want to smack them.

I call this the violence-inducing-argument hypothesis, because suggesting causation would just encourage them.

Re:Interesting find... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587877)

Every time someone posts a stupid correlation versus causation argument on Slashdot, I want to smack them.

I call this the violence-inducing-argument hypothesis, because suggesting causation would just encourage them.

This is similar to the statement that says correlation does not equal causation. And as we all know, pointing to mere similarities, or what others might call correlations, is a good way of doing logic.

Re:Interesting find... (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589493)

Every time someone posts a stupid correlation versus causation argument on Slashdot, I want to smack them.

I call this the violence-inducing-argument hypothesis, because suggesting causation would just encourage them.

Sing it, brother!

It's a kind of pseudo-intellectual argument which is, unfortunately, very appealing to geeks. Stupid, ignorant people are prone to assuming that correlation always implies causation (even if they don't know to put it in those words) and drawing conclusions that reasonably intelligent, slightly less ignorant people can clearly see are false. So at some point they read a Philosophy 101 list of logical fallacies on the web, come across "correlation does not imply causation," and think, "Ah hah! That explains what all those stupid people are doing!" At which point it becomes the proverbial hammer for which every problem is a nail.

...

In case it isn't clear: correlation, when calculated to account for confounding factors and observed enough to establish significance, is the only way we have to establish causation in the natural world. It is exactly how every accepted scientific "fact" (i.e., theory, which is as close to fact as science can ever get) was established. Everything you think you know about the way the world works is based on a correlation so significant that nobody seriously expects it to turn out the be an artifact. And that's all we've got.

Re:Interesting find... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587809)

This is similar to the statement that says correlation does not equal causation. Just because I have brown hair and someone across the country also has brown hair and many other similarities doesn't mean both of us are related. At least they called it a "hypothesis" instead of forcing us to accept it as verified fact.

0) The claim of relatedness is based on a rigorous mathematical theory based on the theory of common descent, graph theory and Levenshtein distance. No competent mathematician in the world objects to these methods.

1) Slashbots are fucking retarded on the subject of statistics, and cannot wrap their puny minds around the concept of Bayesian inference. You better believe correlation God damn CAN show causation in some cases.

Re:Interesting find... (2, Informative)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588317)

I like Edward Tufte's formation of the saying...:

Correlation is not equal to causation; it is only a requirement for it

Re:Interesting find... (0, Troll)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589435)

This is similar to the statement that says correlation does not equal causation.

A statement which is misused far more often than it is used correctly.

Just because I have brown hair and someone across the country also has brown hair and many other similarities doesn't mean both of us are related.

You and every other human being on Earth, regardless of hair color, are far more closely related than 99.9999...(some very large number of 9's)% of living organisms.

At least they called it a "hypothesis" instead of forcing us to accept it as verified fact.

Ah, now you play your hand. You're deliberately ignorant of scientific vocabulary, and of the way science is done; probably a creationist and climate change denialist to boot. Tell you what, why don't you educate yourself on the meanings of the words "hypothesis," "theory," and "fact" -- and why you will pretty much never hear any scientific result described with that last -- and come back when you're ready to play in the big kids' sandbox.

journal link (4, Informative)

jschen (1249578) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587357)

Definitely an interesting result. The original article is published in Science. A free abstract can be found here [sciencemag.org].

Re:journal link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587695)

So old. This may have more information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.protis.2006.05.011

Don't Tell PETA! (-1, Redundant)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587417)

If PETA finds out about this, we will all have a third eye and no mouth! You might think that's a good thing because most of what comes out of our mouths is garbage anyways. Then you realize people can still Twitter with no mouth!

Re:Don't Tell PETA! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587831)

Weak. You easily could have worked facebook and sheeple in there. Maybe even global climate change. And global warming.

Re:Don't Tell PETA! (1)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588973)

And if you really got worked up, a TIME CUBE reference wouldn't've been too hard, you educated stupid one-dimensional DULLARD.

Public Service Announcement (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587421)

This is your creator deity... And this is your creator deity on drugs.

Re:Public Service Announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587747)

PC nonsense is out of control. Call a spade a spade: noodleman.

Re:Public Service Announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587927)

What, you haven't seen the platypus?

Re:Public Service Announcement (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588293)

I've known that since the momemt I heard about the platypus.

I still have this image of God and Devil sitting in a bar at the end of the universe, had a few beer, God doodles the platypus on a napkin and Devil manages to snort out a "dare ya!" between giggles.

Ugh (4, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587425)

The kicker: when Hatena reproduces, one offspring is a peaceful photosynthesizer with the sun-seeking eye, while the other is yet again a predator with a voracious mouth.

Sound like my wife

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587731)

Lemme guess, you were drunk googling one night.

Sounds like the foundation for a 5-volume fantasy (3, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587445)

1. Mother eats plant 2. Plant grows inside mother 3. Mother morphs 4. Diametrically opposed sons are born 5. Decades of hilarity ensue

Re:Sounds like the foundation for a 5-volume fanta (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588315)

Please. Not so loud. Fox is looking for a sitcom theme for next season.

Is this your blog? (4, Insightful)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587467)

While this is extremely interesting, we need a link to the actual journal article, or to some source material, not just a link to a blog. Without that we can only assume this is an attempt to turf slashdot to drive traffic to your blog and generate ad revenues.

Twist on the article (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587685)

Imagine a blogger that submits its link to slashdot, but once it appears there, that blog can no longer serve pages.

Re:Is this your blog? (3, Insightful)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587709)

The blog contains two citations as endnotes:

Okamoto, N. (2005). A Secondary Symbiosis in Progress? Science, 310 (5746), 287-287 DOI: 10.1126/science.1116125 OKAMOTO, N., & INOUYE, I. (2006). Hatena arenicola gen. et sp. nov., a Katablepharid Undergoing Probable Plastid Acquisition Protist, 157 (4), 401-419 DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2006.05.011

Also, whereas blogs are freely-available, you need a subscription to read the journal article -- so I think that the way this was done is the best way.

Re:Is this your blog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587869)

Pubmed.com is your friend:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16224014
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16891155

Memeaholic (5, Funny)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587499)

I for one welcome our new single celled predatory overlords, but deride their single celled hippy photosynthesizing cousins.

Re:Memeaholic (2, Funny)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587841)

I for one welcome our new single celled predatory overlords, but deride their single celled hippy photosynthesizing cousins.

Phylumist!

Sounds like the Bee Flower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587529)

Bees and flowers are the same life form, right? Can one exist without the other?

What happens when chloroplasts are removed? (5, Interesting)

az-saguaro (1231754) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587583)

Biology is full of promoter-inhibitor relationships, and this seems like an interesting one. When the algae is inside the protist, the host's "animal" behaviors and anatomy are suppressed, but they clearly remain in a latent state, ready to reactivate after fission. It makes one wonder to what extent chloroplasts remain as endosymbionts versus organelles in genuine plant species. So . . .
. . .
Does anyone know of any research where chloroplasts were removed from plant cells in culture, to see if the remaining cells revert to some atavistic animal-like exogenous-food-seeking state?

Re:What happens when chloroplasts are removed? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587733)

Does anyone know of any research where chloroplasts were removed from plant cells in culture, to see if the remaining cells revert to some atavistic animal-like exogenous-food-seeking state?

There's always the venus fly trap. But, I'm pretty sure if chloroplasts were removed, even in culture, the cells would die. Multicellular plants can't roam around to find food, why would they still have that trait? (the supply of birds would quickly be exhausted)

It'd be more interesting to insert chloroplasts into animal cells, to see if they turn into plants. (plants are more likely the ancestor of predators)

Re:What happens when chloroplasts are removed? (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587935)

Human cancer cells can survive outside the body. They act rather differently.

Re:What happens when chloroplasts are removed? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588559)

Strictly speaking you are certainly right. Any human cells can survive outside the body in tissue culture. However, the information I can find [anl.gov] suggests that normally they die off in just the same way as normal human cells so they can't normally survive outside the body.

Do you have a better reference for this?

Re:What happens when chloroplasts are removed? (4, Interesting)

az-saguaro (1231754) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588055)

Yes, you are exactly correct, that sticking chloroplasts into animal cells would be the necessary flip side of that experiment.
-
I was not referring to turning pine trees into Night of the Living Dead. What would be interesting is to see what would happen to algae under these circumstances, or to cultures of moss cells or flowering plant cells. Pick a popular research plant - tobacco for instance - and then pull the chloroplasts out of a few cells, then stick them into a cell culture medium - e.g. agar petri dishes or mammalian cell culture flasks - and see if they become planktonic, aggressive, nutrient-tropic, or if they start to express cell surface structures or other organelles related to sensing and locomotion. Since the algae are phylogenetically much closer to all of this, it seems plausible that they might revert to animal-like forms and function.
-
If nobody has ever done these experiments, now would be a good time.

Re:What happens when chloroplasts are removed? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28588263)

Doesn't happen -- they're endosymbionts. Without chloroplasts/mitochondria regular plant/animal cells can't function -- no electron transport chain. That's why people with mitochondrial myopathy are sick, as their mitochondria don't work properly so they don't make enough ATP.
The chloroplasts/mitochondria have outsourced amino acid production (among other things), so without the host, they can't survive.
 

Re:What happens when chloroplasts are removed? (2, Insightful)

az-saguaro (1231754) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588981)

Correct, that is our conventional understanding of things. But what if there are other primitive energy capture and translation systems that remain repressed or down regulated by the presence of these structures? What if a cell could be kept on "life support" for a few hours or days after removing its mitochondria or chloroplasts, enough for up regulation of latent genes that will revert the cell back into a some sort bacteria-like mode of metabolism? Granted, it is much less likely for advanced eukaryotes like mammalian or insect cells or rose bushes, but what about for algae or diatoms or sponges? We can presume that at some point endosymbionts and cells became so entangled that neither could survive nor revert without the other. However it would also seem likely that there is a transition group of species which could still be unentangled in the lab.

You gotta be fucking kidding me... (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587623)

... as Palmer (David Clennon) says in John Carpenters The Thing (1982), as Norris' head grows legs and tries to walk away ...

Google text cache (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28587629)

http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:http://bytesizebio.net/index.php/2009/07/04/from-predator-to-plant-in-one-gulp/&hl=en&strip=1

Spore (1)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 4 years ago | (#28587637)

Does this mean EA can sue nature due to copyright infringement?

Re:Spore (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588341)

I'd wager that nature has the prior art rights on that one. Another reason why I think patents for genoms are a wee bit silly.

I hate to admit... (4, Funny)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588265)

But when I read the article summary, one of the first questions on my mind was... How does it interact with Japanese schoolgirls?

Re:I hate to admit... (1)

Harald Paulsen (621759) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589071)

But when I read the article summary, one of the first questions on my mind was... How does it interact with Japanese schoolgirls?

Why, with tentacles ofcourse!

first po4st? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28588329)

w,asn't 0n Steve's FreeBSD project,

So... plants evolved from predators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28588779)

Maybe I'm missing something, but this whole field of evolution by combination (ingestion) appears to be really underdeveloped. It's obvious in the case of mitochondriae and chloroplasts. But where did other organelles come from? Is it conceivable that they too were autonomous life forms at one point? What about our blood cells? What about our organs? Why are evolutionists still trying to explain everything by mutation, selection and reproduction, when the "tree of life" doesn't look so tree-shaped any more? To me it looks more like a DAG, to say the least.

Advantageous Evolutionary trait (2, Interesting)

DadLeopard (1290796) | more than 4 years ago | (#28588951)

This gives the organism the ability to take advantage of any advances in Photosynthesis that the prey has made! Thereby incorporating them in future generations! Like some people I know! Always upgrading to the latest and greatest!

Food (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589011)

After ingesting the algae, this mouth disappears. Instead, it is replaced by an eyespot from the algae. The eyespot is a light sensing organelle, a very primitive eye that guides algae to light sources. In this case, it also guides the host, Hatena, to light. Hatena has obvioulsy stopped feeding, and least through its mouth. It is now swimming to the light, letting the alga photosynthesize its food for both of them.

Doesn't that quality the hatena as a parasite?

Re:Food (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#28589419)

After ingesting the algae, this mouth disappears. Instead, it is replaced by an eyespot from the algae. The eyespot is a light sensing organelle, a very primitive eye that guides algae to light sources. In this case, it also guides the host, Hatena, to light. Hatena has obvioulsy stopped feeding, and least through its mouth. It is now swimming to the light, letting the alga photosynthesize its food for both of them.

Doesn't that quality the hatena as a parasite?

No, I believe you're referring to "Parisians".

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