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.

Magic might be real, at least in the brain, for some people. Scientists are finding that magicians' brains are wired differently than those of the average person.

Do you remember playing with mud as a child? Maybe you still do enjoy making a mud pie or two. It turns out mud, or to be correct clays show promise for treating and maybe curing some diseases. Listen in as co-host Marissa Henderson and Dr. Biology learn more about the amazing properties of some clays from microbiologist Shelley Haydel.

Very strange things have been taking place lately. Dr. Biology and his team need your help to solve the mystery and piece together what's been happening in the lab.

Dr. Biology and his guest, taxonomist Diana Lipscomb, dive into the mystery of why coral reefs around the world are dying. With no untouched reefs left today the possibility of losing this important marine life and habitat is real. Learn how taxonomy is being used to solve the mystery and possibly save these beautiful and important ecosystems.

When humans change an environment, it means we can lose species. And losing species is bad news for humans, animals, and the environment.

Colors are not just for humans. In fact, Mother Nature has been playing with color and love for very long time. What are these colors of love? Are they all the brightest and boldest colors, or is there more to the story?

Medicinal plants come in all shapes and sizes. Probably some of the weeds growing in your yard, fields, or even cracks in your sidewalk are medicinal. Who knew there was a different kind of drugstore—a vital and ancient one—all around us?
Also in: Holandés

From high on top of the Tepui mountains in South America and into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, Vicki Funk and Richard Pyle search the globe looking for new plants and animals. Dr. Biology has a chance to learn some interesting things about exploring for new species - like what is the Smithsonian Diet and how to lighten the mood when surrounded by hundreds of sharks

Sea life might not appear to be restricted to living in certain areas. But often they can only live in specific areas, even in the deepest parts of the ocean.

Scorpions are often misunderstood. Many people say that scorpions are so aggressive they will sting themselves to death, but this is not a natural behavior of scorpions in the wild.
Also in: Français | Español

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The open ocean is the largest biome on earth and it is the least understood. What undiscovered life might float in the dark, deep, depths of the sea?

Did you know the westerly winds in the Southern Ocean have been helping to keep our planet livable? Yes, they have been responsible for soaking up half of the human-made carbon dioxide (CO2) along with a whole lot of excess heat. Dr. Biology has the opportunity to talk with geoscientist Joellen Russell about the research she and a group of scientists have been doing in the southern hemisphere that tells us how important these winds and the oceans are for regulating the temperature of the planet.

It's that time of year when those that have not been exercising think about starting their new routine, but is all exercise the same? Do you need to run five miles every day to get in shape and be healthy? Dr. Biology has a chance to sit down after a workout session to talk about exercise and kids with metabolic biologist Gabriel Shaibi. What he and a group of researchers found might surprise you.

Arianne Cease isn't just any locust biologist. She's also a sustainability scientist, as she's bringing together all kinds of researchers to work on reducing the number of locust swarms, which affect 1 in 10 people across the globe.

Around 4,000 years ago, on the wind-swept island of St. Kilda, Scotland, people started creating a food storage of sorts. They moved a population of sheep to the island, likely as a back-up food resource for when times were tough. Little did they know that their actions would affect 21st century science. Today, rather than ending up as a meal, sheep from this isolated population are the subjects of research on immune function. Ecologist Andrea Graham takes Dr. Biology on a trip of exploration through the dangerous cliffs, windy conditions, and wormy world that the Soay sheep deal with on St. Kilda.

Tuberculosis (TB) can be a lethal infection that affects your lungs and can make breathing difficult. Here, scientists investigated how a new TB drug, called bedaquiline (BDQ), works in the body, and which combination of medications helps BDQ work better. 

A transplant is what happens when doctors take a body part from one person and give it to another person, kind of like Frankenstein except not so scary-looking. Scientists are hard at work on some of the most difficult parts to transplant like hands and faces.

Ouch! You just got a paper cut on your finger. What happens now? Besides the sting you are feeling from the cut, there are germs on that paper that are preparing to invade your body. For your immune system, this means war.

It can start with a paper cut, or bruise, sometimes it might be a cold or the flu that triggers your body defense and repair system. Listen in as Dr. Biology and Co-host Ramon Santos from Paul Lawrence Dunbar Elementary learn more about how our bodies can repair themselves even while we sleep. Guest biologist Doug Lake talks about body repair, our immune system and how it might be used to treat cancer.