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.

Ant tending scale insect

Trees Get By with Ant Aides

By Elizabeth G. Pringle

Plants need help to get by when water is limited. For some plants it is their ant partners that come to their aid. This relationship provides benefits for both the plant and the ant.

Globe view of Earth with the red region showing the tropic region as a red band

Trouble in the Tropics

By Anika Larson

There tend to be more bugs in areas with warmer, tropical climates. The people in these areas also tend to be sick more often, and even have lower incomes. Scientists wanted to see if there was a relationship between the bugs in these tropical climates and people.

highlighted stomach

War in Your Stomach

By Mylan Blomquist

Your stomach is full of tiny organisms that live in peace and harmony with your body – but what happens when the peace is disrupted?

An illustration of a human head with a music symbol

What’s the Link Between Music and Your Brain?

By Annika Vannan

People like diferent types of music, but can the type of music you like be controlled by your style of thinking?

When Ecosystems get Fishy

By Eric Moody

Animals that are moved around by the activity of people can affect the places they end up. This article discusses the effects one particular fish has on the river ecosystems where it is introduced.

This is a picture of a woman using two hands to hold a tissue against her face.

When the Flu Gets Cold

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

People always seem to get the flu more often during the colder months. Scientists set out to investigate why the flu virus is more common when it's cold outside. 

Where Are the Insects?

By Terri Tang

Insects are found in both rural and urban environments, but do they have a preference? Scientists are studying how urban environments affect an insect's chances of survival. 

Sleeping Baby

Who Needs Sleep Anyway?

By Lindsey O'Connell

Do we really need to sleep? What about other animals? Scientists examine whether sleep is really necessary, and what happens when animals do sleep.

Why Are Our Arms the Same Length?

By Russell Zuniga

Ever wonder how our arms and legs know how fast and how long to grow? So have scientists.

Snapping turtle face by Andrea Westmoreland

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

By Sharyn Horowitz

When we start talking about turtles crossing roads, you may think it's a joke. But crossing roads and highways is serious business for reptiles and many other animals. Is there any way to keep them safe?

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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.