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Sex and the Single Cell: Biologists Take a Fresh Look at 'Asexual' Amoebas

Studying blobby asexual amoebas could absolve biology of its animal bias when it comes to uncovering the mysteries of sex

Much of what we know about sex, or think we know, stems from the animal kingdom. No surprise there—we're animals and the nuances of the genetic tango are easier to study in organisms larger than infinitesimal blobs.

Trouble is, animal sex is specialized to the point of distraction. Most researchers have learned to avoid seeking universal sexual truths by examining animals' twig on the tree of life, but some still rely heavily on single animal models whereas others hawk dated taxonomic ideas without realizing it, says protistologist Frederick Spiegel of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

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