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.

Humans can suffer from certain back problems in their old age, but other very similar animals don’t have the same issues. Why might this be the case?

To fly like a bird. It's the dream of many people - being able to soar in the air without a plane or other device. But have birds always been masters of the sky? Dr. Biology talks with ornithologist Ken Dial about the evolution of bird flight and what he and other scientists have learned with the help from some modern baby dinosaurs (birds).

Not all exercise is the same, but all exercise can help you grow strong and keep you healthy. Exercise can also help you with your homework and that science project due at the end of the year.

Imagine being the size of an ant. Be careful - a face-to-face encounter with an ant would be scary and potentially life-threatening! But, if you avoided being eaten, you could learn a lot about ant anatomy from a close-up view. Ants have many body parts that are normally hard to see without a magnifying glass or microscope. And each structure has its own special function.

Lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers are all sources of freshwater. But there is a lot less freshwater on earth than you might think. Fall into freshwater with us to learn some new things about this near-saltless water biome.

Dr. Biology and his co-host Brian Varela from Dunbar Elementary School get a close-up view of bird feathers. The pair interview biologist Kevin McGraw an expert on animals coloration who studies birds to unlock their secrets. They learn about the many ways birds use their feathers. What they find out might surprise you.

Almost everyone has wished at one time or another to be able to fly like a bird. Just the thought of soaring above your city or town without any mechanical device gives us a reason to envy these feathered animals.
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When it comes to digesting your food, you may think that your body does all of the work by itself. In reality, your gut is full of helpful bacteria that help break down your food and keep you healthy.

Could fire be important for life on Earth? Would Earth be the same without fire? These are just a few of the many questions we have for fire researcher Stephen Pyne about fire and its role with life. Did we also mention his battle with a dragon? If you have a burning desire to learn the answers to these questions, tune in.

Fish use their two fins and a tail to glide through the ocean, but some fish like the mudskipper use their fins for flopping across land too. Scientists are investigating how fish evolved limbs to walk on dry land.

Some ocean dwelling species are starting to go extinct. Scientists are researching whether how many species there are in an ocean environment has anything to do with this fishy vanishing act.

It's pretty easy for people to find their way around, but is it easy for insects? Researchers are finding that even without maps and navigation devices, bumblebees can usually find the best route to take when collecting pollen.

What is a genetically modified organism (GMO)? How do you make something that is a GMO? Are they safe? These are just a few of the things Dr. Biology discusses with biologist Kevin Folta. The two also talk about how and where you can find information about science that you can trust to be the most accurate.  

Birds in the city seem to have endless options of places to eat. How do they choose, and where do they prefer to eat most?

Most humans can determine whether or not they know someone by looking at her or his face. Scientists have discovered that humans are not the only animal with this ability. The cichlid fish can also use facial differences to tell each other apart.

When you think of the Arctic, you might picture mostly empty ice. But the Arctic ecosystem is home to many organisms, from microscopic bacteria to large animals like whales and polar bears. Much of this life in the Arctic depends on tiny organisms called plankton which make up the base of the food web.

Time flies when you're having fun, especially when playing video games. Researchers examine how it is that gamers can lose track of time playing their favorite video games.

We are often taught that germs are bad, but what if exposure to germs or other microorganisms has long-term positive effects? Recent studies show that certain microbes in our environment might actually offer a protective effect against Alzheimer’s Disease.

Some people gaze out at the landscape and see plants. Associate Professor Kathleen Pigg of Arizona State University sees the latest chapter in a long story.

Is there such a thing as too much time on the Internet? Scientists are studying the affects of Internet use and how it can be addictive for some people.

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