School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Scientists are learning new things every day. They are also writing about their discoveries. In most cases they publish in science magazines called journals like the Public Library of Science (PLOS). In our PLOSable section you will find stories that will help you read and explore the articles written by scientists.

Now jump in and start exploring PLOSable - a place where firsthand science is only a mouse click away. If you're interested in diving even further into the world of the scientific article, check out our Anatomy of an Article story.

Speed of the Human Brain

By Devin K. Phillips

The human brain works quickly and handles difficult tasks. Is it just the size of our brains that allows us to do these things? As it turns out, it may also have a lot to do with how well our brain cells can send multiple messages to other cells.

Paussus favieri beetle

Spies Among Ants

By Tyler Quigley

As most spies know, the best way to infiltrate a group is to look and act like the members of that group. But what does it take to be a spy among ants? One beetle may have figured out the ultimate ant imitation strategy.

Cartoon television set

Spreading Stories of Sickness

By Karla Moeller

Watching the news is a daily part of life for some people. What effect does that action have on the rest of your life? Scientists studied whether news reports can influence what you search for or communicate through your network when online.  

Students, Brains, and Science

By Patrick McGurrin

Many people know that the brain is important. But what does it really do, and who has a brain? In this article, scientists investigated what students think about these questions to try to understand how much they know about the brain. 

The Nose Knows

By Stephanie Outlaw

With their tails wagging and noses sniffing, can dogs tell what we can't with our eyes? These scientist wanted to find out the answer.

a black and white photo showed the left side of a woman's waist to shoulder area

The Push for Perfection in Breast Cancer Screening

By Giselle Lee

Breast cancer screening that is built around each patient’s needs and risks may be more successful in diagnosing a disease early. In this experiment, scientists studied a new strategy to help to better identify people at risk for breast cancer.

Treefrog Tadpole

The Tadpole or the Egg?

By Gordon Lau

We used to believe that tadpoles always came from jelly-like eggs laid by frogs. However, scientists recently discovered that tadpoles don't always come straight from eggs.

a young by sits in a classroom. He has his hand up and has an excited look on hi

Think Fast!

By Garrison Leach

What motivates you? We hear this question a lot, and scientists decided it was time to find out. They tested which parts of the human brain are involved in creating feelings of motivation. 

Tigers are Grrrrreat!

By Rachel Caspar

Most people grow up seeing tigers on TV and in zoos, but as endangered species, what is being done to protect tigers in the wild? This article examines the Six Percent Solution.

GMO papaya seeds

To Grow or Not to Grow GMOs

By Sharyn Horowitz

Growing crops for a living can be a bit of a gamble. Do farmers who use genetically modified seeds have better results?

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Anyone can use PLOS and PLOS Biology. You do not have to pay to read articles online or to download and print them. With PLOS and PLOS Biology you have first-hand access to the latest science.

Want to write a PLOSable story? Take a look at our Notes to Authors & Artists.

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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.

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PLoS Biology Banner

Anyone can use PLOS and PLOS Biology. You do not have to pay to read articles online or to download and print them. With PLOS and PLOS Biology you have first-hand access to the latest science.

Want to write a PLOSable story? Take a look at our Notes to Authors & Artists.

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.