Life Sciences

What is this thing called life? Biologists are life's detectives, discovering how life works and what makes animals, plants and microbes "alive." Organisms don't remain the same forever. Without change, life on Earth would stagnate. Species are in a constant dance with their environment. When an environment changes, the species that live within must change too, evolving to better adapt in order to survive. The end result is the diversity of life we see around us.

Butterflyfish behavior

Tje University of Delaware's Danielle Dixson and Rohan Brooker report their findings after studying Butterflyfish in Fiji

Cell Talk

In episode 40, Charlie and Jordan demonstrate how the cells responsible for relaying information from the ear to the brain adapt to noise levels in an environment

Turbo tongue

In episode 39, Charlie and Jordan discover one of the most explosive moments in the animal kingdom: the powerful tongue of the tiniest chameleons. This research illustrates that to observe some of nature's best performances, scientists sometimes have to look at its littlest species.

2015 editor's pick: enormous underwater fossil graveyard found

In January 2015, anthropologists and paleontologists uncovered what could be the largest single collection of lemur remains ever found. The remains were hidden in a series of underwater caves in a remote desert region of Madagascar. Described as a "lemur graveyard," the discovery of hundreds of potentially 1,000-year-old skeletons make it one of the most unique animal gravesites in the world. This discovery could be important for understanding animal and human ancestry, and result in a new era for underwater paleontology.

Make like a tree

In episode 37, Jordan and Charlie explore two different ways the ponderosa pine and the trembling aspen deal with drought. In the face of adverse conditions, people might feel tempted by two radically different options--hunker down and wait for conditions to improve, or press on and hope for the best.

The complexities of social behavior

What goes into fruit fly courtship? It might seem like an odd question, but understanding its neural underpinnings--and studying the male-female interactions at the milliscale level--could help us better understand the complexities of social behavior.

College highschool aquaponic mentoring partnership

In this video, Tulsa Community College students discuss researching, designing, building and maintaining aquaponic systems where fish and plants are grown symbiotically, and then establishing mentoring partnerships at the high school and junior high level.

Bob the drifter: How do we know where spilled oil will go?

Bob the drifter is an animated representation of the custom-made, GPS-equipped surface drifters used by the Consortium for Advanced Research on the Transport of Hydrocarbon oil in the Environment during the 2012 experiment, Grand LAgrangian Deployment (GLAD).

Wheels: Connected vehicle research

Change is coming quickly to road transportation decision support systems commonly called "connected vehicles." The use of vehicles to collect weather data offers an opportunity to revolutionize the weather enterprise by significantly increasing the density of weather observations near the surface and providing unique datasets for deriving and inferring road condition information.

Bat-tastic!

In (spooktacular) episode 32, Jordan and Charlie delve into the Batlab and learn how researchers are using recording from echolocating bat brains to understand how mammals view 3-D space.

Microbial monsters: algae, Vampirococcus and Halloween

Learn how algae can suffocate a pond of all its life; discover the vampire bacterium known as Vampirococcus, who literally sucks the life out its victims; and watch out for those sweet Halloween treats that can leave holes in your teeth!

When Nature Strikes: Tsunamis

The massive wave of a tsunami can start thousands of miles offshore, but travel quickly across the ocean and devastate coastal communities. Anne Trehu and Dan Cox of Oregon State University are studying how tsunamis form and behave in order to prepare people for their potential devastation.

When Nature Strikes: Wildfires

Wildfires can burn thousands of acres, devastate communities, and sometimes even claim lives. Janice Coen at the National Center for Atmospheric Research is studying how weather and fire interact in order to develop a wildfire prediction system to forecast fire behavior.

NSF Science Now: Episode 37

In this week's episode, we examine tunable prosthetics, explore origami engineering and duck-billed dinosaurs, and discover how king crabs are migrating to the warming seas off the Antarctic Peninsula. Check it out!