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.

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.

A True Bug is triumphant in the Ugly Bug Contest 2010.

A quiet western town waits for the arrival of the swarm of contestants for the 2011 Ugly Bug Contest. Who will be this year's most WANTED bug? 

Congratulations to Seed Beetle, the 2011 Ugly Bug contest winner.

Here's the 2012 crop of Ugly Bug candidates. You can help elect the insect that will be the winner and perhaps the next 00 secret agent. Who knows - James Bond might need a few extra hands or legs - like maybe 6.

The public has decided. Congratulations Orthoptera, you have earned your 008 status.

Who in this mysterious cast of characters is the ugliest? Look in the study — is it Colonel Mustard? Or is Ms. Scarlet, hiding in the library, the most grotesque? Get the clues and decide on your own.

The 2013 Ugly Bug Contest has come to an end and all the clues point to a single suspect.

As the town faces unspeakable forces of nature, who will save the day?

A city saved and thanks to a last minute 100 Ugly Bug Contest votes, an amazing win for the Astonishing Treehopper.

Animals are often used to study many different scientific topics. But many scientists and others argue whether it's ok to use animals for this purpose. Here we discuss why scientists use animals and research, and discuss some of the rules and regulations in place to help protect animals used in research.

Every year, vaccines protect millions of people from getting sick. But how, exactly, do vaccines work? Learn the science behind how vaccines protect us from disease.
Also in: Português | Español

Here you can do more than read out biomes. You can explore them in 360 degree tours. While not the same as being there in person, these tours let you go to places you would not likely be able to see.

One of the benefits of being a biologist can be travel. There are some researchers who travel the globe as part of their work. Arvind Varsani is a molecular virologist who studies viruses found around the world. Dr. Biology was able to catch Arvind between trips to talk about his work, including his research in the Antarctic and the mystery about some penguins that are missing their feathers.

You may see advertisements for vitamins all the time. Do we really need vitamins? And if we do, how do we know which vitamins are high quality? Take a tour into the history, science, and manufacturing of vitamins.
Also in: عربى

What might look like a lifeless world is actually filled with life and history. You just need to know where to look. Take a tour with two park rangers to get the inside story of South Mountain Park.

Your stomach is full of tiny organisms that live in peace and harmony with your body – but what happens when the peace is disrupted?