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.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and becomes more common in humans during the summer months. Is there a connection between the feeding habits of mosquitoes and the spread of the virus to humans?

We hear the word ecosystems in the news and at school but just what are ecosystems? It turns out there are lots of ecosystems. You might even learn you have some inside you!
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Do you notice when your brother or sister take stuff from your room? Even if they put it back, you can still see those small differences. Scientists are studying what part of your brain is responsible for seeing those kind of changes.

Have you ever wondered what makes one animal different from another?  Scientists conducted an experiment and found that food is one of the reasons chimpanzees and humans are so different.

The past can be hard to remember, so how can we go about studying it? Indiana Jane takes us on a tour of humans from the past, ancient microbes, and the bioarchaeologists that study them both.

You hear that space is the final frontier, but could we have another frontier right here on Earth? The microscopic world offers a limitless opportunity to explore amazing places and life forms. You just need the right tool for the trip – a microscope. Guests Angela Goodacre and Doug Chandler have a conversation with Dr. Biology about the instruments that let us journey into inner space.

If the world of fashion were to choose the most fabulously colored animals they would likely decide upon butterflies and birds. These animal fashion statements are well known to most people, but what is less clear is how and why these bright colors have evolved in the animal world.

These fluttering icons of North America are a favorite of many people across the world, but they may be having some population problems. Don’t worry though, there are ways you can help. Conservation specialist Gail Morris talks with our student guest host Kayna Lantz about these colorful insects, their identification, migration, and the many groups that are working to better understand them.

You may not know the name or how it works, but iridescent color is common in Nature. From butterflies to birds and even fish you can see examples of these eye-popping colors. Dr. Biology sits down with physicist Peter Vukusic to talk about iridescence and science behind these spectacular colors.

City life can be stressfull for people, but what about for other animals? Learn what scientists found out about the effects of city life on the stress and health levels of birds. 

The story of a frog's life in the rainforest can be one filled with danger. Some frogs are brightly colored and other blend into the forest. Do bright colors work better than dull colors for keeping a frog from being eaten?

Could these shy cats be living in Southern Arizona? Dr. Biology learns about these amazing animals from wildlife biologist Emil McCain. The two talk about the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project and how two long-time hunters became the biggest fans and supporters for Jaguar habitat.

Mud may look boring, but it has a lot more going than you might think. Some clays can kill bacteria, but exactly why they could wasn't clear. Scientists tested whether bacterial killing ability of some clays is due to the ions attached to them.

Have you ever wondered how different animals are related? Marsupials like kangaroos live in Australia, but scientists think they may have traveled there from as far away as South America.

Plateau Pikas are one of the 30 species of pika worldwide. All 30 species of pika are similar in appearance. They look like round balls of fluff about 6 inches long with prominent round ears and a small tail hidden under their fur.

Travel with us to the Tibetan plateau in China and the field site of conservation biologist Andrew Smith. There we will learn about some cute furry animals called Pikas and why they are considered a keystone species. Hey just what is a keystone species - that's something we will also learn about.

Wheels are common in our lives but rare in nature. A larval tiger beetle is one of the few animals in the world that turns into its own wheel to help it move along sandy beaches.

Mom might have told you that video games would rot your brain, but scientists are finding ways to use video games to make your brain stronger. This is especially true when it comes to treating vision disorders like a "lazy eye."

There is an endless march going on in the rainforest, as tiny farmers collect food to bring back to their fungus. Join us in the rainforests of Panama as we take a closer look at the life of the leafcutter ant.

What happens when you mix part Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson with biology? You get an adventure that has filled many lifetimes (bird lifetimes). Dr. Biology had the opportunity to sit down with Peter and Rosemary Grant to talk about the more than 30 years they spent studying what have come to be called Darwin’s finches.