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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Why Is Life the Way It Is?

Life on Earth is tied to carbon and water, but would this be the same for life forms that evolved on other worlds? This is just one of many questions that Biochemist and author Nick Lane talks about while visiting with Dr. Biology. Listen in as Nick explores not only life on our Earth, but also what it might be like on other planets. Nick also reads from his book, The Vital Question, and weighs in on the question of viruses - are they living or non-living?

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 15MB

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Topic Time
Introduction 00:00
Would life on other planets be anything like us? 01:15
Would life on other planets be carbon based? 02:12
Would they have DNA? 03:25
What about water? Would it be important for life on other planets? 04:35
Do we need cells to have life? [Jumping Genes] 05:42
Why is life the way it is? [recent book] 07:21
Nick reading from his book - The Vital Question 09:04
Viruses - living or nonliving? 10:48
Virus and cell - which came first? 14:06
Viral Attack - comic book adventure. 15:47
The role of cells - and how they have learned to defend themselves 16:27
Flu Vaccine. 17:55
Mitochondria and its role in advanced life forms. 18:42
Bacteria - stuck in a rut. 22:07
3 questions. 22:48
When did you first know you wanted to be a scientist? 22:56
What got you started writing? 24:10
What would you do if you could not be biologist? 26:28
The adventure in science is as great as any other adventurous life.. 28:04
Advice for future biologists. 28:50
Sign-off. 30:07

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Why Is Life the Way It Is?

Audio editor: CJ Kazilek

Little green men - aliens

Life as only lttle green men seems a bit limiting for our imagination. What would and could life be like on other planets? Would there be life?

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Little green men - aliens

Life as only lttle green men seems a bit limiting for our imagination. What would and could life be like on other planets? Would there be life?

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.