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.

Test drive our Bird Finder tool based on our virtual bird aviary of the southwest. A great way to learn about birds in your own backyard. Image of Northern Cardinal above by Robert Shantz.

Listen in while Dr. Biology talks with two leading Arizona bird experts. Biologist Dave Pearson and Audubon Environmental Educator Cathy Wise let us in on these amazing animals. After listening to these two birders, as they call them selves, you will want to try out birding yourself. Did we mention the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle? Let's just say, be glad you're not a monkey living in Philippines.

The climate on our planet is changing, but what does this mean for living things, like plants and animals? Scientists investigated how birds respond to the changing climate.

Imagine designing an organism that is part plant and part animal... you might be picturing some pretty funny combinations. Could designed plant-imals ever be a reality?

People come in all shapes and sizes… but could storing more body fat affect your sense of taste? Scientists try to answer this question by looking at how well taste buds work in lean and obese mice.

No two environments on Earth are the same. But with so many places to learn about, we often need to talk about some environments as a similar group rather than individually. For that, we have the brilliance of biomes.
Also in: Français | Español

Your mom tells you to eat all your vegetables for a reason, because she wants you to grow big and strong. She doesn't just want your body to grow strong. She wants your brain to grow strong too.

Reading minds may no longer be science fiction. Brain waves can be sent through the Internet to create an instant message in another person's mind.

Placebos (fake medicine) have been used for years in research to learn about the effects of medications, called drugs. Some patients experience a strange “placebo effect,” where fake drugs work just as well as the real stuff. Scientists are now figuring out a way to predict a patient’s response to drugs, and how the placebo effect can mess with actual drug effects.

Pierre Deviche's love for the outdoors led him to doing field research on the timing of breeding in birds.

Microbes are everywhere, but what are they? We get the inside story from microbiologist Valerie Stout about these tiny life forms including a slimy and gooey material many microbes make called biofilms. In fact, you have a daily encounter with biofilms and bacteria that can impact your health.

Blast off with microbiologist Cheryl Nickerson and her high flying experiments on board the space shuttles. Learn how microbes grow in space and how this research will help not only astronauts, but also you and I on planet Earth. Did we mention race cars too?

Building Your Own Ant Farm is a 2-part Ask A Biologist video with Dr. Biology and Rebecca Clark on how to build an ant farm with two recycled CD cases. Watch part two.

Building Your Own Ant Farm (Part 2 of 2). Ask A Biologist video with Dr. Biology and Rebecca Clark on how to build an ant farm with recycled CD cases. Watch part one.

All living beings are made up of cells. Some of them are made up of only one cell and others have many cells.
Also in: Nederlands | Français | Magyar | Italiano | Español | 中文 | हिंदी

Culture – it’s a word that we usually think of as connected with people. But many animals show signs of basic culture. Scientists are learning that even bumblebees possess the basic parts of culture too.

Learn about one of natures most fashionable animals, the butterfly. In this three part series Professor Ron Rutowski talks about the role of butterflies in the ecosystem, and the amazing migration of the monarch butterfly (Part 1), along with his research on butterfly coloration and insect vision - are butterflies legally blind? (Part 2). In the last part (Part 3) of the series we learn about Professor Rutowski's other life as a musician and listen to a song from his solo album titled Violinalone.

Earth’s changing temperatures are affecting animals on land, but they are also affecting other areas. Dive into the marine world with us to explore the effects of rising temperature and ocean acidification on algae.

Nine months – that’s about the amount of time that healthy babies develop before they are born. But what if that nine months is a bit more flexible, and can change in response to the environment?

Cancer cells decide how to behave by “listening” to signals around them.  Scientists recently studied these signals by watching cancer cells as the cells moved through their environment. 

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