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Biomechanics

Cell signaling and the cytoskeleton in Giardia lamblia

The cytoskeleton is the structural framework that supports cellular form and function. More than a static structure, the cytoskeleton is a true nanomachine used for mechanical tasks across the biological scale, from organelles to organisms. The protozoan Giardia lamblia, is an intriguing single-celled parasite that depends on its cytoskeleton to latch onto the host intestine and maintain parasitism. Either due to its ancient origins or the selective pressure of its life as a parasite, Giardia lacks many cytoskeletal proteins once thought to be conserved in all eukaryotes.

Shakers and head bangers: differences in sonication behavior between Australian Amegilla murrayensis (blue-banded bees) and North American Bombus impatiens (bumblebees)

Switzer CM, Hogendoorn K, Ravi S, Combes SA.  2016.  Shakers and head bangers: differences in sonication behavior between Australian Amegilla murrayensis (blue-banded bees) and North American Bombus impatiens (bumblebees). Arthropod-Plant Interactions. 10:1-8.

Predator-prey interactions: the avian visual sensory perspective

Characterizing the visual system of predators and prey is key to understanding some sensory/cognitive mechanisms involved in predator-prey interactions of visually-oriented animals (e.g., visual search, detection, attack). Most of the knowledge on the visual system of predators and prey comes from non-Passerine birds. However, recent research on Passeriformes provides new insights into the anatomical and behavioral specializations of the prey and the predator sensory systems to enhance detection in different ecological conditions.

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