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.

If you could travel back in time what would you find 50 million years ago? What was the climate like? Would you find the same plants? What animals were crawling, walking, and flying around? Paleoentomologist Bruce Archibald takes Dr. Biology back in time to explore the planet during the Eocene Epoch where things were a bit different than today – there was even a giant flying ant that would make anyone look twice.

Every year billions of babies are dried and buried, not to be unburied for weeks, months, years or even decades. Don't worry, these are not babies like your little brother or sister, these are baby plants, or as you might call them, seeds. Why would a mom do such a thing?
Also in: Français | Español

An interview with biologist David Pearson, an author and expert on tiger beetles. Did you know that tiger beetles can run so fast that they go blind and just what would it be like to be hunted by these tiny, but ferocious animals? These are a few of the questions that we learn the answer from our guest biologist.

It's tiny versus the mighty and a battle for an acacia tree. Dr. Biology catches up with Beth Pringle a biologist exploring the savanna of Kenya. The two talk about two animals that seem mismatched for battle that has a surprise ending. Beth is also the biologist who took us along on one of her research trips to Kenya. You can go along too in our virtual savanna trip.

For many organisms, reproduction is a huge part of life. But what, exactly, does reproduction mean? Well, it can mean so many different things, including breeding or not, caring for young (or not), or giving birth (or not)... read on to learn about the diversity of ways that organisms reproduce.

Growing crops for a living can be a bit of a gamble. Do farmers who use genetically modified seeds have better results?

If you are a tobacco plant, you have a bad reputation. The link to cancer and other health related diseases is cause for any person to avoid you. But there is another side to this plant. Dr. Biology sits down with biologist Charlie Arntzen to talk about how tobacco plants are helping scientists produce treatments for viruses like Ebola.

Tobacco may have a bad reputation, but that is starting to change. Learn more about how Charles Arntzen is using this plant to treat the often-fatal disease Ebola.

Even with 'tiger' in their names, life is hard for these fast and often colorful insects. Also in: Deutsch | Español | Français | Português | Pусский | 日本語

In an attempt to prevent future outbreaks of the Ebola virus, scientists are looking to the past.

The taiga, or boreal forest, is the largest land biome in the world. It is deep and dark, often green, and always cold. But even in this frigid place, many animals and plants thrive.
Also in: Español | Français | Português

Could a virus that is deadly in rabbits be used to treat cancer in people? That is exactly what Arizona State University researcher Grant McFadden is trying to figure out.

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.

The tundra is a cold and windy habitat, making survival a challenge. But you may be surprised by how much life there is in the tundra.Also in: Français | Español

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.

Not all insects are bugs, but all bugs are insects. How can this be? Learn about some particular insects that biologists call true bugs.
Also in: Español

The Ugly Bug Contest has been part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science and Mt. Campus Science Day since 1997. Ask-a-Biologist is pleased to extend the contest to the world via the Web.

The Ugly Bug Contest has been part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science and Mt. Campus Science Day since 1997. Ask-a-Biologist is pleased to extend the contest to the world via the Web.

And the winner of the 2009 Ugly Bug Contest is...

You are now entering another dimension. A dimension of insects determined to be crowned the next ugly bug champion.

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