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.

How do wild animals defend themselves against infections? Biologists studied a wild population of sheep to work out whether being tolerant of infections could be as good a strategy as killing infections.

Our oceans are becoming warmer and more acidic. How might these changing conditions put marine food webs in danger?

Look closely at John Alcock's critter littered yard and you'll be bug-eyed. He decorates the front with cow patties, spends hours watching sleeping bees and occasionally wolfs down a cricket or mealworm to amuse or horrify his guests. "I'm just considered a mildly eccentric person," admits the Arizona State University biology professor.

Climate is a hot topic in the news and on internet websites and blogs. But what exactly is climate? And how do we know it is changing? 

Gene editing seems to be in the news more and more, but how exactly does gene editing work? And what is CRISPR? Get an introduction to DNA, RNA, and CRISPR.

Professor Ferran Garcia-Pichel sweats the small stuff. The really, really small stuff to be exact. The easygoing Arizona State University-based microbiologist loves to look beyond the surface to explain what is happening in the tiny world of microbes.
Also in: Español

They might be colorful. They might be cute to some people. But don’t let that fool you. These bright colored frogs are poisonous. Dr. Biology talks with biologist Molly Cummings to learn about her work with some frogs that advertise to predators to stay away and other frogs that take advantage of this signal by copying the colors of their poisonous cousins.

What is gene editing? And how does the one of the most-used gene editing tools, called CRISPR, work?

The race is on. It is one where biologists and citizen scientists are working as quickly as possible to find and identify all the species on Earth before some go extinct. It might not seem like an important race, but we learn from entomologist Kelly Miller that not knowing what species we are losing might be more important than we think. To speed up the search scientists are using traditional and newer tools that are part of the world of cybertaxonomy.

An imaginary conversation between two great thinkers, Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel. While the monk, Mendel, had read Darwin’s publications - Mendel's work only came to be known later. We can only imagine what the two might have talked about.

If aliens were to contact us, what would you say? How would you say it? These are just a few of the questions that Dr. Biology talks about with guest Lucy Hawking. The two have fun with these ideas and more as part of the Dear Aliens essay contest.

Signals from the brain have been used to help scientists understand how people see, move, and make decisions. In this experiment scientists tested whether they could also use these signals to record a person's emotional state. Would they be able to detect fear, surprise, sadness, and more by looking inside the brain?

Deserts can be a bit of a mystery--we picture them as hot, barren places, but that's not always true. Deserts are found in both the hottest and coldest places on Earth, and some of them have lots of plant and animal life, you just need to know where to look to find it.
Also in: Français | Español | Italiano

The digger bee is just one of about a thousand species of native bees in Arizona, many of which have females that burrow into the ground with their jaws and legs when constructing a nest.

Desert flowers do not own the spot light when it comes to beauty. Many desert fruits deserve equal attention.
Also in: Français

Diabetes affects nearly one tenth of the population in the United States, but we still have a lot to learn about the disease. Researchers are finding that a lack of specific proteins might reduce our abilities to absorb sugar, making it a key player in the diabetes problem.

As you watch a butterfly navigate the flowers in your back yard, or a pesky fly avoid your flyswatter, keep in mind their vision is quite different than yours and mine.

DNA is the ultimate how-to guide used by all living things. It packages all the instructions for building maintaining all our life forms and it easily fits inside a cell.

How much has the human brain changed from the brains of our ancient ancestors? Evolutionary psychologists think that the modern human brain has not changed much over the past 50,000 years, but other scientists disagree.

You might think of your parents as being old, or being fairly young; maybe they are many years apart in age. Did you know that parental age may affect the likelihood that a child will develop a brain disorder? 

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