School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Dr. Biology talks with leading scientists.

You have been reading about the biologists behind the Ask A Biologist website. Now you can hear them too. Dr. Biology has been speaking with many of the biologists that are discovering new worlds and exploring new frontiers in biology. Each show includes a full written transcript and content log.

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Entomologist, Barbara Thorn

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Tales of Termites

"Your home has termites" – is not something anyone wants to hear. But these insects are really important for our survival. Dr. Biology learns about these insects from entomologist, Barbara Thorn. It turns out that these critters are like tiny 'green machines' and one of the best recyclers for the planet.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 29:13 | Vol 75
iTunes | MP3 download | 14MB

Paleontologist Richard Fortey holding trilobite fossil.

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Secret Life of the Natural History Museum

Natural history museums may not come to life as they do in a Hollywood movie, but they do have some amazing stories. They also have all kinds of cool stuff that many of us never get to see. Paleontologist Richard Fortey talks about the life and some of the treasures hidden behind locked doors at natural history museums that are also part of his book Dry Store Room No.1.

 

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 23:59 | Vol 74
iTunes | MP3 download | 12MB

Ashleigh Gonzales demonstrating tactile learning tiles

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Putting the Touch into Biology

If you think of the instruments used to study and explore the world of biology it is clear that most are visual.  So what if you cannot see? How would you understand the structure of – say a cell?   Dr. Biology discusses a new tool for learning about biology with newly graduated student and biologist Ashleigh Gonzales.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 30:18 | Vol 73
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Astronaut Scott Parazynski in space

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Space Physiology

Extreme environments can be found on Earth, in space, and in the depths of the ocean. Dr. Biology and physiologist, astronaut, and mountain climber Scott Parazynski sit down and talk about what life is like to explore these environments. So hold on to your seat as we blast off for a fun trip. Did we mention the Vomit Comet?

 

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:52 | Vol 72
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Biologist David Hughes

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Zombie Ants

So you think zombies are only on television and in the movies, think again. Dr. Biology learns the details of a nasty fungus and something called the "death grip" from biologist David Hughes. It turns out there are real live, well maybe not live, zombies. The good news is this fungus attacks ants and not humans.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 26:06 | Vol 71
iTunes | MP3 download | 13MB

Bioloigists Peter and Rosemary Grant

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Learning from Darwin's Finches

What happens when you mix part Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson with biology? You get an adventure that has filled many lifetimes (bird lifetimes). Dr. Biology had the opportunity to sit down with Peter and Rosemary Grant to talk about the more than 30 years they spent studying what have come to be called Darwin’s finches.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 31:17 | Vol 70
iTunes | MP3 download | 15MB

Guest Kevin Folta

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Food for Thought About GMOs

What is a genetically modified organism (GMO)? How do you make something that is a GMO? Are they safe? These are just a few of the things Dr. Biology discusses with biologist Kevin Folta. The two also talk about how and where you can find information about science that you can trust to be the most accurate.  

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 27:59 | Vol 69
iTunes | MP3 download | 14MB

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Cute Colorful Poison Dart Frogs and Their Mimics

They might be colorful. They might be cute to some people. But don’t let that fool you. These bright colored frogs are poisonous. Dr. Biology talks with biologist Molly Cummings to learn about her work with some frogs that advertise to predators to stay away and other frogs that take advantage of this signal by copying the colors of their poisonous cousins.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 28:34 | Vol 68
iTunes | MP3 download | 14MB

Don Johanson looking at Lucy's skull

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Looking into Lucy

Looking into the past can be strange and exciting. To understand a past that goes back millions of years, we often depend on the stories told by fossils. Dr. Biology talks with anthropologist Donald Johanson about Lucy, a fossil of human ancestors that has taught us some interesting things about the human-like species that existed before us. 

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 26:51 | Vol 67
iTunes | MP3 download | 13MB

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Hiking South Mountain Park

Not everyone has been on a hike and very few have hiked with a park ranger. Dr. Biology hikes South Mountain Park with not one but two park rangers. Park Rangers Liz Smith and Justin Olson are our guides for the 2.5 mile trip up Holbert Trail. This episode provides hiking tips and a preview of what treasures await those who hike this park.

Content Info | Transcript | Length - 35:13 | Vol 66
iTunes | MP3 download | 17MB

Podcast contest winner in action

Podcast contest

Calling all students in the Phoenix area, the Ask A Biologist co-host contest is here...

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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Podcast contest winner in action

Podcast contest

Calling all students in the Phoenix area, the Ask A Biologist co-host contest is here...

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.