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.

Cracking the coldest case: how Lucy died

Bone by bone, University of Texas, Austin, paleoanthropologist John Kappelman pieced together the life and death of Lucy, the most famous fossil of a human ancestor.

The road best traveled: A tale of ants, slime mold and the New Jersey Turnpike

For most people, getting stuck in a traffic jam on the New Jersey Turnpike is a grueling lesson in futility. But if you're Simon Garnier of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, you often view it as an opportunity to examine our collective behavior and ponder how we became so inefficient compared to other species.

Empowering Maine’s mightiest pollinators

For the last 30 years Frank Drummond, professor of insect ecology at the University of Maine, has studied the biology, ecology, disease susceptibility and pesticide exposure of Maine's 275 native species of bees, as well as the millions of commercial honey bees annually trucked into the state to aid in crop pollination.

Breaking summer records

In episode 60, Charlie and Jordan return from summer break to investigate the future of summers. According to NSF-funded research at NCAR, in 50 years, summers across most of the globe could be hotter than any other experienced by people, ever.

When eels attack!

Electric eels zap fish and other underwater prey, but what would make them leap out of the water and shock an animal like a horse?

Research at the ends of the Earth

Over the last year, Rhian Waller, associate professor of marine science at the University of Maine, has been to the ends of the Earth to study how changing oceans are affecting cold-water corals and what those changes may eventually mean in places like the Gulf of Main

Saving salmon, one embryo at a time

For the past 15 years, aquacultural salmon farmers in Maine have struggled with plummeting embryo survival rates, forcing them to drastically increase the number of eggs they produce -- which comes with a hefty price tag.