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.

Dreaming up an organism that is part plant and part animal can make some funny mental images, but it's just that—a dream...right?

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.

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

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.

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. 

Podcasting is new to both Ask A Biologist and an exciting new science program called Science Studio. The host of this new show, Peggy Coulombe, talks with Dr. Biology about what it has been like to start podcasting.

Imagine a David and Goliath battle between a tiny desert dwelling ant and a monster robot. What can we learn from these two unlikely characters? Dr. Biology gets the chance to talk with biologist Rüdiger Wehner about his amazing study subject Cataglyphis fortis and his robot incarnation. Did we mention these ants do geometry - maybe you could use one as a tutor?

Dr. Biology travels to the National Center for X-ray Tomography in Berkeley California to learn about a new microscope being built by cell biologist Carolyn Larabell and a team of scientists that provides a new way to look inside cells. Using a building sized instrument called a synchrotron for its light source the XM2, as it is called, uses X-rays to look inside cells - in fact it is so new it is the only one of its kind in the world!

Everything that is alive is made of cells, but there are really only two main types of cells. Learn how these cell types became different and why they are so important to life.

Did you ever think the search for the “fountain of youth” would end up inside of our very own cells? There are some scientists that have found that parts of our cells might hold the answer to aging and diseases like cancer.

David Pearson is a research professor in Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences. A speaker of five languages and capable of getting into trouble in maybe three or four other languages, he's traveled the world studying tiger beetles and recently published the book, A Field Guide to Tiger Beetles in the United States and Canada.

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