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.

Jessica Winter: From chemical engineer to cancer warrior

At the age of 35, Jessica Winter found out she had breast cancer. Her response? Invent a new nanotechnology for pinpoint diagnosis and personalized medicine; then, recruit allies and investors to scale up production for clinical use.

The yin and yang of nitrogen

There's more to nitrogen than the letter N. The element and its biogeochemical cycle is the focus of research by Amy Marcarelli, an associate professor of biological sciences at Michigan Tech.

NSF Science Now: Episode 44

In this week's episode we examine electric eels, test out a new at home screening test for people on blood thinner, learn about a new app for reporting floods and finally examine how RoboBee uses static electricity to stick to surfaces.

Apple maggot fly

The movement of fruit contributes to the spread of certain pests around the world. One such pest, the Apple Maggot Fly, is threatening to spread to northern portions of the country that would normally never see the pest.

Snakes on a super science show

In episode 55, Charlie and Jordan explore the venomous relationship between rattlesnakes and squirrels and how it helps scientists better understand how these natural enemies have co-evolved.

Greener silica from rice

Two University of Michigan researchers turn useless waste from rice processing into the high-purity silica compounds that are used in everything from toothpaste to tires.

Lemur family tree shake-up

Stony Brook University researchers James Herrera and Liliana M. Dávalos locate extinct and living lemurs in one evolutionary tree

Happy B-day NSF!

For more than six decades, the National Science Foundation has funded science and engineering research that has led to discoveries and innovations that transformed our world.

Human evolution: teeth tell the story

Alistair Evans of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University has led research showing that the evolution of human teeth is much simpler than previously thought, and that we can predict the size of teeth missing from human fossils and those of our extinct close relatives.