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.

When it comes to fighting off bad germs, doctors have to use their best medicines. What do we do though, when our best weapons make our enemies stronger?
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There are so many types of ants that it's funny the animated movie about them centers on one type that doesn't exist: a male worker ant. In this story you can explore some of the types of ants you can find in the southwestern United States.

An interview with biologist Rebecca Clark. Dr. Biology and his co-host Itzany Mendez look into lives of ants and learn some pretty cool things including how to build a slick ant farm using two music CD cases.

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.

Have you ever wondered where plants get their mass? All those leaves and branches have to come from somewhere, but where?

As our climate changes, wildfires seem to become more and more damaging. But are wildfires automatically bad? And how can we learn to live with a future filled with fire?

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.

A dangerous fungus arrived in North America from Eurasia that has been killing millions of bats. Is it possible that bacteria that are already on the bats' skin are their best allies in fighting this fungus?

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.
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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? Learn about this "biofilm," and how Valerie Stout is fighting it (in some cases) to improve medicine.

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

No, this episode is not about the rock band or the cute German car that people love. This show is about some curious insects that have very different relationships with ants. To be exact, this is about three species of beetles that either battle ants, live close by an ant colony, or in one case inside the ant colony. How and why these species have evolved into these different relationships with ants is part of the research of neurobiologist Jess Kanwal. In this show, Dr. Biology gets the prequel for this story. The two also talk about a familiar insect that communicates by dance. This episode is part of a series of podcasts recorded at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology conference– also called SICB.

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