from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The Earth's biosphere has some incredible diversity, and biologists have hardly even begun to scratch the surface. There used to be just the Plant and Animal Kingdoms, and then there were as many as six "kingdoms of life" -- but recent discoveries have made the classification of eukaryotes a bit messy for biologists to agree upon. Here are some examples of a couple of strange species and an ambitious project to create a virtual biosphere that could become as intricate as the one we live in.
- Spongiforma squarepantsii is a recently discovered fungus that looks like a sponge (but doesn't live under the sea). It looks like biologists need more formal naming conventions. [url]
- Bacteria that can live on pure caffeine were found in a nice flowerbed in Iowa. And researchers have isolated the enzymes that can metabolize caffeine -- potentially to be used in a new "organic" way to remove caffeine from coffee/tea. [url]
- Steve Grand isn't trying to discover new life in the real world. He's trying to build virtual lifeforms from "complex networks of virtual brain cells and biochemical reactions and genes." The final product will be a video game called Grandroids -- virtually descended from Grand's popular 1996 game, Creatures. [url]
- To discover more interesting biological curiosities, check out what's currently floating around the StumbleUpon universe. [url]