Merry and I would like you to know about two specialized blogs that deal mainly with protists, one called Skeptic Wonder, the other The Ocelloid. The first one is a spirited blog whose history goes back to 2008, the second a recent addition to the Scientific American Blog Network. Both are written by a friend and avid protistologist who goes by the name of Psi Wavefunction, and we’re glad to help publicize them.
We applaud the blogger's effort, in good part because we believe that protists need good press. Everyone has heard of them, perhaps encountering them as pond-scum paramecia in high school, when learning about malaria, or more recently in the hoopla about using micro-algae to produce fuels. But they deserve more attention than that for their enormous variety in shape, size, and genomic complexity. They have a central role in this planet’s metabolism, being responsible for a huge amount of carbon cycling. In addition, many, like the diatoms, are a joy to the eye.
The first issue of The Ocelloid is A Quick Dive into the Protist World, and quite a trip it is. Here you'll encounter organisms you may have heard about, or not—intricate radiolaria, filose amoebas that leave tracks on the sand, and gorgeous foraminifera. The name of this blog refers to an eye-like structures of dinoflagellates, the ocelloid. This is a true model biological wonder, with a complexity that approaches that of the vertebrate eye, all in one unicellular organism.
Many blogs deserve your attention, but these two stand out in our opinion.