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 you visit a pond or the beach, what kinds of living things do you see in the water? Don’t let your eyes fool you… there’s a hidden world in water full of creatures too small to be seen!

Summer ice. Besides being cold and hard, it turns out to be critical for life on Earth. But what is it about this ice that makes it more important than other ice? Dr. Biology sits down with scientist Stephanie Pfirman to talk about summer ice and how the amount we see is shrinking rapidly. This ice is important to more than the animals and native people who depend on it to survive. It turns out it has an impact far beyond its cold edges.

March Madness in the past has been reserved for college basketball. But in 2013, biologist Katie Hinde and a group of scientists, writers, and other creative souls started the ultimate animal competition that expanded beyond humans – March Mammal Madness. Don’t worry, the competition is virtual. No animals are harmed. Though there might be some embarrassing defeats and even some upset fans, March Mammal Madness is all about science and learning. It is also a fun way to learn about the living world. Dr. Biology grabs a few minutes with Katie Hinde before this year’s tournament gets underway.

Estrogen and testosterone are two hormones that cause puberty. But what happens when the body doesn’t produce the amounts of hormones that it usually does?

With their tails wagging and noses sniffing, can dogs tell what we can't with our eyes? These scientist wanted to find out the answer.

An interview with limnologist James Elser from the School of Life Sciences. Listen in as Dr. Biology and co-host Michael Saxon learn about a biologist that studies life in and around fresh water, or you might think of him as the other marine biologist.

The colorful wings of butterflies and moths aren't just part of a beauty contest.  Learn how these changes in coloration have allowed species like the peppered moth to survive in an ever-changing environment.
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Breast cancer screening that is built around each patient’s needs and risks may be more successful in diagnosing a disease early. In this experiment, scientists studied a new strategy to help to better identify people at risk for breast cancer.

Changing careers can be a challenge. It can also be rewarding. And for some people it is an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream. This is the case for John Truong who has been an artist and animator on some of the popular movies produced by Pixar, DreamWorks, and Disney. While he was and will always be an artist, he also has been hiding a secret from his friends and family. Dr. Biology sits down to talk with John about his secret that led him to his current role in a science laboratory at Caltech. This episode is part of a series of podcasts recorded at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology conference– also called SICB.

An interview with, biologist, movie maker, and Pulitzer Prize winning author Bert Hölldobler. Venture into the world filled with amazing facts and feats by an animal that will remain a mystery... at least until you listen to the clues at the beginning of this episode and make your own guess.

An interview with biologist Pierre Deviche and his passion for recording some of natures most interesting animals. Humans are not the only animals that have dialects as you will learn in this show. Dr Biology tests your skills again with a mystery animal quiz at the beginning of this show.

We used to believe that tadpoles always came from jelly-like eggs laid by frogs. However, scientists recently discovered that tadpoles don't always come straight from eggs.

A Common Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula californiae, but this snake was anything but common. From the title of our story, you may have guessed that our snake, or maybe we should call it snakes, had two heads.

This animal lives in almost every part of the world and kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. What might surprise you is that you certainly have had a close encounter with the world’s most dangerous creature. Dr. Biology catches up with evolutionary biologist Silvie Huijben to talk about this killer animal that is the focus of her research as well as many other scientists around the world. Be sure to make your guess about the identity of the world’s most dangerous animal before you listen to this episode.

What motivates you? We hear this question a lot, and scientists decided it was time to find out. They tested which parts of the human brain are involved in creating feelings of motivation. 

Some ticks carry a nasty bacteria that they can pass on to humans when they bite. Learn how the health status of the humans they bite helps control what they pass.

Most people grow up seeing tigers on TV and in zoos, but as endangered species, what is being done to protect tigers in the wild? This article examines the Six Percent Solution.

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?
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