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You Say Dirt, I Say Soil

An interview with microbiologist Ferran Garcia-Pichel, Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. Listen in as Dr. Biology finds out that describing something as a "cup of dirt" may not be the best choice of words.

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MP3 download | 15MB

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Topic Time
Introduction - May I borrow a cup of soil? 00:00
What is the difference between a cup of dirt and a cup of soil? 01:49
How many microorganisms can be found in a gram and a cup of soil? 02:35
What kinds of soils are there? 03:08
How do microbes fit into the food web? 05:49
Gases, respiration, and the nitrogen cycle. 07:33
The soil food web. 09:46
What would happen if we removed bacteria from the soil food web. 11:20
What would life on Earth be like without microbes - could life exist without microbes? 12:03
What got you interested in cyanobacteria? 13:04
Inventors of photosynthesis. 13:30
Dominant in extreme environments. 13:58
Cyanobacteria and sun screens. 14:50
Basic science and research. 18:09
Salt and extreme organisms - extremeophiles 21:20
Astrobiology - life on other planets. 24:10
When did you first know you wanted to be a biologist or a scientist? 26:04
What would you be if you were not a biologist or a scientist? 26:54
What advice do you have for someone wanting to be a biologist? 28:26

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You Say Dirt, I Say Soil

Audio editor: Charles Kazilek

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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.