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8bit8 years ago
I wonder what it's biology is like.
Not to sound arrogant, but it does come so naturally to me, the point of this article is not the size, it's the fact that it leaves tracks like a multicellular animals. Frankly "bubble algae", unicellular but sessile can grow larger and you can buy them at any Marine Aquarium store.
bubble algae are single celled... Are they edible? I want to taste a cell... Also they may have done that a long time ago but how do they taste now?
I don't know, some cyanobacteria are toxic, but one shouldn't hurt, I'd bet they taste like seawater. Borrowed the following from the USDA about freshwater cyanobacteria Technical Abstract: The compounds responsible for earthy and musty "off-flavors" in farm-raised channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in the southeastern United States are geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB), respectively. These compounds are produced by certain species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that grow in the aquaculture ponds. Previous research has focused on the species of cyanobacteria found in catfish ponds in west Mississippi (the leading region of catfish production in the USA) while the species responsible for earthy/musty off-flavors in catfish produced in the Mississippi-Alabama blackland prairie (MABP) region (second greatest region of catfish production) have not been described. In this study, we examined water samples from commercial catfish ponds in both regions to contrast the different types of cyanobacteria and assess the prevalence of geosmin and MIB. Filamentous cyanobacteria were more common in west Mississippi compared to the MABP region. the MIB producing cyanobacterium Oscillatoria perornata was present in catfish ponds in both geographic locations. Geosmin was more prevalent in catfish ponds in the MABP region than in west Mississippi.
Hmm, I suppose saltwater makes sense, mouldy could be a notion if the cells have an element of waste in them, considering that's what seems to change tastes more than their actual presence...
kelseymh (author)  Tool Using Animal8 years ago
True enough! And, those tracks are morphologically similar to Precambrian trace fossils which have been attributed to "invisible" (i.e. unfossilized) multicellular animals. Seeing these blobs actually moving around (not just drifting, see the Nature writeup) is like something out of an SF novel.
I wonder what they taste like... I know it seems odd but they're a single cell so it would be interesting... Bits of those articles contradict each other somewhat, unless that is that osmosis or active transport can change their buoyancy.
kelseymh (author)  killerjackalope8 years ago
Hmmmm....shouldn't they taste like chicken?
I would have guessed eggs if that single cell theory is true, chickens a good bet though, one thing it might be very salty too, kind of like sea water if it's a single cell... Does that mean eating the nucleus would let you know what DNA tastes like?
kelseymh (author)  killerjackalope8 years ago
Doesn't everything "taste like chicken"?

Does that mean eating the nucleus would let you know what DNA tastes like?
Funny you should ask], since we just had an I'ble on that topic! (no, it's not mine; I'm a physicist, not a biochemist!)
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