Ciliates - kind of fast and pretty big

Ciliates are protozoans that, despite being single cell critters, are surprisingly fast, large, and complex.

In part, because of that, they are probably one of the first thing people notice when looking at outdoor water under a microscope. The following video (taken with my microscope on my first weekend with it) captures a little bit of their speed, complexity, and size. (Click through on the video or here to see a larger version on YouTube)

Early video of ciliate protozoans. I was surprised at how fast and relativey large they are for single cell critters.

The following, much more professionally developed video, captures the importance of ciliates to both education and research. (Side note: Carol Greider (from the video below) rode at the same stables that my wife keeps her horse),

'Why Ciliates?' stars the one-celled wonders whose mini size belies their mega importance in basic research and drug development. Meet the passionate scientists, including Nobel laureate Carol Greider as they advocate continued funding of basic research as the necessary precursor to the translational breakthroughs that will cure disease.