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Tiny Bacteria Secret to Cicada's Success

John McCutcheon remembers the song of the cicada - the loudest song in the insect world - as the sound track to countless summer hours spent playing outside his childhood home in Rockford, Ill.

So when McCutcheon, a molecular biologist at the University of Arizona, heard the zzsssstttt of cicadas singing outside of his Tucson office, he again took notice - but this time as a curious scientist rather than as a playful boy.

In collaboration with UA Regents' Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Nancy Moran, McCutcheon began investigating the relationship between cicadas and the symbiotic bacteria that live inside them.

"This project provides an example of how interesting science may be happening right outside your front door," said McCutcheon, a postdoctoral research associate at the UA's Center for Insect Science.
 
 

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