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News From the Field
Amoebae Control Cheating by Keeping It in the Family

July 5, 2007

biology graphic
Rice University researchers have shown how cooperative, single-celled amoebae rely on family ties to keep cheaters from undermining the health of their colonies. In a study combining careful fieldwork with painstaking laboratory research, biologists examined thousands of spores of the soil microbe Dictyostelium discoideum. Field studies revealed high-relatedness in wild colonies and laboratory studies showed that cheating mutants couldn't gain a foothold in highly related colonies. Full Story

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Rice University

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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