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.

An interview with myrmecologist Rüdiger Wehner from University of Zurich. Listen in as Dr. Biology learns how these desert animals are revealing their success in the Sahara Desert. Don't know what a myrmecologist is? This is a good show to find the answer.

Cancer, damaged DNA, COVID-19... our bodies deal with diseases and damage all the time, and finding that damage as early as possible can be helpful to fighting it. Joshua LaBaer has dedicated his career to solving health puzzles, and learning how to detect diseases earlier than ever before.

An interview with cellular researcher and explorer Carolyn Larabell of the National Center for X-ray Tomography. Dr. Biology learns about the new microscope being developed to see inside cells in a way never before possible.

Dr. Biology takes trip to visit Michael Berens, adjunct professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and Senior Investigator at Translational Genomics Institute (TGen).

Instead of giving birth to a child, bacteria divide in half when they grow old, creating two new bacteria cells. But bacteria become damaged as they age just like humans do, so where does all this damage go?

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.
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If a living organism freezes, it can die. But by freezing living cells at just the right temperature, scientists can preserve living cells instead of killing them.

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.

The Arctic is changing faster than many other ecosystems. This habitat is in danger, as are the animals that live there, and the peoples whose lives have always depended on the lands and food webs of the Arctic. One of the best ways to help save it is to learn more about it.

What happens when our brain fails us? As Dr. Biology, my work has never been involved with diseases that affect the mind, but I do have a personal experience with the shadowy realm of Alzheimer's and other dementias. My mother battled against this relentless adversary and I am not alone.  Many people are dealing with loved ones facing one of these diseases.  For this episode, I've invited bioinformatics scientist, Kimberly Olney from the Mayo Clinic, to peek into the complexities of the brain and these diseases. This episode is a brief voyage into the brain's amazing and complex pathways and a glimpse of the work being done by dedicated scientists charting a course for a future free from dementia.

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.

How careful are you with your words? Scientists are figuring out how to choose words more wisely to have a better chance to stop certain diseases.

Welcome to an exciting journey that takes you through the wild and fascinating world of zoos. Our guest for this episode is none other than Bert Castro, the President and Chief Exectutive Officer of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. Bert's storied career, beginning as a volunteer zookeeper at the Tulsa Zoo in 1985 to CEO of the Phoenix Zoo, has given him a wealth of knowledge and experiences which he shares with Dr. Biology. We explore the importance of zoos, and the vital role they play in research and conservation, and discuss the intricacies of running a modern zoo. Can you guess how much AZA zoos and aquariums contribute every year toward conservation efforts?  Tune in to find out.

What is cloning and do we have clones living among us today? The answers might surprise you or maybe we should say ewe.

Imagine you want to pull a long cylinder-shaped piece of soil (called a core) out of the ground in your backyard. What kind of tools would you need? Find out how researchers collect cores in the Frozen Arctic.

Peruvian poison frogs mimic, or look like, other poison frogs that live in the same area. But they don't just look like one other species. Depending on the location, frogs of this species may mimic one of many other species of poison frog.  

The career path for biologist Kevin McGraw was set by a chance sighting through a window of a Costa Rican coffee shop.

Our daily life depends on the ability to see, hear, feel, and smell at the same time, a skill that develops during childhood. In this article scientists studied how the brain develops the ability to combine sensory information. 

Most people have just one set of DNA throughout their body. But what happens to humans who are born with two sets?