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Algae suicide helps its relative and harms its rivals

| | March 13, 2014

You might say the benefit of staying alive is an actual no-brainer: even brainless lifeforms do their best not to die. For the most part, anyway. When they’re under stress, single-celled organisms may opt to cut up their DNA and neatly implode. A new study hints that by committing suicide in this way, an organism helps its nearby relatives to stay alive—and hurts its rivals at the same time.

Pierre Durand, an evolutionary biologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, has been trying to figure out how and why.

Read the full, original story: Suicidal Algae Help Their Relatives and Harm Their Rivals

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