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.

Your home's microbiom moves with you

The Home Microbiome Project is an initiative aimed at uncovering the dynamic co-associations between people's bacteria and the bacteria found in their homes. The hope is that the data and project will show that routine monitoring of the microbial diversity of your body and of the environment in which you live is possible.

Episode 23: Coral behavior

In this episode, Charlie and Jordan talk coral offspring's inherent traits, take a peek inside turtle shells and delve into how invasive marine species become invasive.

Grayling young of the year

Before Alaska's upper Kuparuk River freezes solid, Arctic grayling forge upstream to the deep waters of their winter haven: Green Cabin Lake.

Mercury, dolphins, fish consumption and human health

Mercury pollution can have significant adverse health effects on both humans and wildlife.The high mercury concentrations found in dolphins may reflect environmental differences in mercury contamination which can impact the concentration of mercury found in fish species that local human populations consume.

To sporulate or not to sporulate

At Rice University, Oleg Igoshin and colleagues discover an interesting mechanism whereby bacteria sense the completion of DNA replication to synchronize the sporulation process.

The math of shark skin

The rough surface of shark skin helps sharks move faster through the water. Mathematicians have developed an equation for how this roughness translates into less viscosity for a swimming shark.

The age of fish

Scripps Oceanography graduate student Elizabeth Sibert describes how a mass extinction event helped launch the modern "age of fish."

Scientists uncover how caterpillars created condiments

An international team of researchers led by the University of Missouri and Stockholm University has used cutting-edge genomics to analyze the co-evolution theory and identified the mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon. Scientists believe that understanding how co-evolution works could help provide genetic clues for producing heartier plants and food for a growing global population.

Researcher shines light on origin of bioluminescence

A scientist has discovered that bioluminescence may not have originated as a means to ward off predators, but instead evolved as a way to survive in harsh climates--at least in one millipede. The finding, based on the discovery of a millipede that hadn't been seen in 50 years, shows that even the seemingly most complex and intricate of traits can be traced in evolution as small steps leading to a complex feature we see today.

Episode 19: woolly mammoth

In this episode, Charlie and Jordan delve into a study of mammoth proportions, chat about a new 3-D printed soft robot and an advance in breast cancer research.