Biology Stories

Explore the world of biology and meet some of our biologists. Here you can learn about the living world and find out what is so cool about biology that someone would do it for a living. Pick a story to read or listen to one of our podcast shows filled with guest scientists who share their experiences and passion for discovery.

Ants can move nutrients from one area to another in the forest. When ants build their homes inside a plant, does the food they carry and store also help the plant?

Plankton are ocean creatures so small we can't see them without a microscope, but just because they are small doesn't mean they don't play an important role in the ocean ecosystem.

Cooperation is something that humans and animals are known to do. It turns out that the 30 trillion cells in our body also need to cooperate. Like some humans, there are cells that are cheaters when it comes to cooperation. They do not do their share of the work and cause a lot of other problems. These are cancer cells. Cooperation theorist Athena Aktipis talks with Dr. Biology about her research and how it might help us learn more about cancer cells.

Honeybees need the bacteria in their bellies to stay healthy, but the medicine we give them may be wiping them out.

Like humans, bats are mammals. They are warm-blooded, covered in hair, have live young, and nurse their young (called pups). Unlike humans, bats have wings, which allow them to fly.
Also in: Nederlands | Français | Magyar | Español | Türk

Here is something special you can add to your trick-or-treating this year. Find out if there are vampire bats waiting to drink your blood - or if we really have a funny bone in our body? These are just a few of the things Dr. Biology and his guests Rebecca Fisher and Elizabeth Hagen talk about on this show. You can even listen to some real bat chatter.

Did you ever wonder what causes river rocks to be slippery? Can you believe it's the same thing that causes plaque on your teeth? The thing we're talking about is a biofilm, a structure formed by bacteria on a solid surface in a liquid environment.

We can learn a lot about animals by watching their behavior, but what about by looking at their surroundings? See what scientists can learn about bats based on the type of environment in which they live.

What is all the buzz about honey bees? Are they disappearing? Will you be attacked by the Africanized form of the honey bee? These are just a few of the things you will learn in this story.

Orchid bees come in an amazing array of shapes and colors. You could call them the jewels of the bee kingdom.
Also in: Nederlands | Español

Bee Movies are not just for Hollywood. Dr. Biology catches up with bee movie maker and neurobiologist Brian Smith who uses film and video to unlock the mystery behind bees and how they sense and communicate with the environment. This movie director may not bee up for an Academy Award, but he will let you in on the life of bees including bee vomit and their interesting dance steps. Bees Dance?

For more than twenty years, making bee movies has been a part of the research work of professor Brian Smith.

Are there really flesh-eating scarab beetles, or is it a movie myth? Dr. Biology and biologist Mary Liz Jameson talk about scarab beetles, dung, and even some insect recipes, minus the dung, for humans to try out for their next dinner or pot-luck.

If you had x-ray vision, where would you look first? Some of our biologists have looked inside of beetles to learn more about how they breathe and fly.

Being able to choose which people we interact with seems to affect how happy we are and how well we do our jobs. Is this true in other species? Learn how choosing a mate affects the success of zebra finches in making and raising young.
Also in: Français

A story of blood, love, and family… Learn about one of the biggest and fanciest blister beetles anywhere. This species goes by the scientific name of Lytta magister but has also been called the “master blister beetle,” most likely in honor of its large size.

These enormous insects depicted in bad B movies exist mostly in the realm of science fiction. However, insects of giant proportions really did exist 300 million years ago.

Biologist Bruce Hammock talks about life as a biologist, being a businessman and mountain climbing. How do these all fit together? Listen in as Dr. Biology learns how these pieces all work together in an interesting career.

Dr. Biology catches up with animal behavior biologist, John Alcock, and talks about his work, his research, and writing about animals and animal behavior. Hey I thought all bees lived in hives and what about these other animals called tarantula hawks? They're not tarantulas or a hawks.

The study of biology is such a part of our lives today, it's hard to think that there may have been a time when that wasn't the case. Take a trip back through time to see when the study of biology began.
Also in: Español | Français

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