Biology TWDK Biology doodle by Giles Meakin

Biology is the study of living things and how they grow, move, survive, evolve and reproduce. By studying humans, animals, plants and bacteria, biologists strive to improve our understanding of life itself. Biology has particularly close links and often overlaps with the fields of medicine and chemistry, and the research done by biologists saves and improves the lives of millions of people every day.

Biology is a very diverse discipline, with some biologists studying the smallest of organisms while others focus on entire ecosystems, and some even studying creatures from the past.

We've published 39 articles and 54 specialist blog posts about biology so far, featuring 557 unanswered biology questions! But we're not done yet as we still have another 222 biology research areas in our database to write about, so come back soon!

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“Ice Age Mars” –Challenges a Once ‘Warm and Wet’ Red Planet
3rd August, 2020
  “Mars once was wet and fertile. It’s now bone dry,” said Cosmos host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Something bad happened on Mars. I want to know what happened on Mars so that we may prevent it from happening here on Earth.” Mars is crisscrossed with distinctive tracks of big, long-dead rivers but scientists still don’t […] The post “Ice Age Mars” …
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Planet Earth Report –“NASA Image of Black Cube on the Sun 10-X Size of Earth to the Last Giraffes”
2nd August, 2020
    “Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.   What Is the Weird Black Cube on the Sun in This New NASA Image? –If you were to […] The post Planet Earth Report –&#…
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Take a tusk, drill holes, weave a rope – and change the course of history
1st August, 2020
Take a tusk, drill holes, weave a rope – and change the course of history | Archaeology | The Guardian
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Four possible scenarios for the Australian and South Korean travellers
1st August, 2020
Over the last few days, reports have emerged of people travelling from New Zealand and testing positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at their destination. First in South Korea and now in Australia. What might these positive tests mean? They’re false-positives As Toby Morris and I have explained before, there are different ways to test someone for Covid-19. The main ways are to look for the pres…

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Image credit: ©
Coronavirus
The disease COVID-19, caused coronavirus, was thought to originate from a seafood market in China, and be 10,000 years old... but it may come from elsewhere and be millions of years older.
Image credit: via Pixabay.
Pregnancy
There are many unknowns when it comes to pregnancy, and many accepted phenomena are still unexplained, or simply attributed to "hormones" or "the placenta" (a complex and poorly understood organ!)
Image credit: Olichel (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Sleep
Going without sleep will kill you faster than going without food. But why?
Image credit: ©Andrew (Flickr, attribution)
Plastics
What happens to plastic when it gets disposed of into the environment, and how might it affect us?
Image credit: Scott Cromwell
Chameleons
Chameleons hold a fascinating blend of traits that scientists have been studying for many years.
Image credit: ©Tom Bech (attribution)
Keystone species
If a keystone species is lost, the entire ecosystem can collapse.
Image credit: © ©John Fowler (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Extraterrestrial life
The search for alien life catches many people's imagination and has always been a very public branch of science. So with all this investigation, why has our search revealed nothing? Are we truly alone in the Universe?
Image credit: ©Rowena Fletcher-Wood
Bats and Ebola
Ebola is one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases, but between outbreaks the disease must be hiding somewhere. Some suspect bats, but is this really true?
Image credit: ©peopleandwater (attribution)
Whales
Whales; the majestic, mysterious mammals of the ocean.
Image credit: wokandapix (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Learning
From the moment we are born, we begin to learn about the world around us, and this continues for the rest of our lives. But exactly how does this happen in the brain?
Image credit: Public Domain via Pixabay
Vision
Vision is arguably a human's primary sense - we use it to spot danger and navigate our environment. Despite this, there is still plenty we don't know about how this sense works.
Image credit: Public Domain via TC-TORRES (Pixabay)
Animal communication
Animals certainly communicate – some using sounds, and others using body language, pheromones or even electricity. But does any of this actually constitute language?
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain via  Skeeze (Pixabay)
Senses
Our senses allow us to explore and interact with the world around us. Even the simplest living organisms have some way to sense their environment - and some animals can sense in ways we can't even imagine!
Image credit: Greyerbaby
Language
Language is a vital part of being human, and some argue it is what sets us apart from other animals. But plenty of mysteries remain.
Image credit: Photo by Jim Gathany
Vaccines
There are many open questions surrounding vaccines – but perhaps not the first questions that come to mind. Vaccines do not cause autism, but there are many things we don’t know about them, such as why some wear off.
Image credit: ©© Gavin Hubbard for TWDK
Microbiome
The ecosystem in your gut – how the microbiome might affect what we eat, what illnesses we get and whether we gain weight easily. How to change your microbiome and why it's such a fuzzy business.
Image credit: Stevepb (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Pain
Pain, while unpleasant, is vital for our survival. But in many cases it can get out of hand, and limit people's activity and quality of life. More needs to be understood about pain before we can develop ways to help people with chronic conditions.
Image credit: CCO Public Domain via Pixabay
Smell
Smell is probably the least well understood of our five main senses, despite playing a huge role in our lives and impacting our well being more than we realise.
Image credit: ralph (CC0 Public Domain) via Pixabay
Emotions
Emotions are a vital part of society, but there are still plenty of mysteries surrounding them- from what they are for to whether it will be possible, or desirable, to create AI that experiences them.
Image credit: wokandapix (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Memory
Our memories make us who we are, and yet we still don't understand how memories are stored in the brain, or what happens when memory problems develop.
Image credit: James Gathany (CDC Public Health Image library ID 11162) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Immune system
Our immune systems are vital for our survival as they protect us from bacterial, viruses and other pathogens that could cause us harm. But sometimes, they can go wrong, and cause damage to our bodies.
Image credit: Public Domain via Sarah Richter
The social shark
Wild sharks have been observed cooperating, playing and courting. This suggests they communicate, yet they don’t emit sounds. Learn more about the other possible methods of communication being researched.
Image credit: Public Domain via Pixabay
The captive shark
We still don’t know how to engineer truly suitable shark tanks for the great white, used to travelling hundreds of kilometres daily. Large sharks have large appetites, are fussy, and kill everything.
Image credit: Christian Jensen
Shark hunting and conservation
Sharks rarely attack humans, but around 100 million sharks are destroyed by humans every year. Deterrents including bubble curtains, camouflage, ‘startle response’ sounds, and chemical deterrents.
Image credit: ©Albert kok via Wikimedia commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Shark physiology
Sharks have very different priorities for sensing than land mammals. In eddy chemotaxis, their perception of smell and turbulence are combined. Sharks also use electroreception and may be colour blind.
Image credit: ©Albert kok via Wikimedia commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Sharks
Sharks are one of our most poorly understood animals, hard to study, dangerous and diverse, impacting the ecosystem and sometimes our daily lives.
Image credit: ©©Dapaan (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia
Shark migration and movement
Some sharks have daily routines, whilst many are crepuscular. Climate-driven migrations may explain apparent increases in shark sightings. Female bull sharks even ascent rivers to give birth – the only shark to tolerate fresh water.
Image credit: Hans (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Evolution
Despite its amazing ability to explain how species change and diverge there are some areas of evolution that scientists are still working to understand.
Image credit: PublicDomainPictures (CC 0) via Pixabay
Hearing
There are plenty of things we don't know about the complex process of hearing, and what happens when it goes wrong.
Image credit: ©© Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Origin of life
The Origins of Life - Where and how did life begin?
Image credit: ©© Don McCullough (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Birds
We see birds around us every day, so you might think we know all there is to know about our feathered friends – but that is far from the case!
Image credit: Antranias (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Extinction
What causes animals to go extinct? And what could be the cause of the ultimate demise of humans?
Image credit: joakant (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Undiscovered species
How many species are unknown to science? And will we ever know the true number, before many of them are wiped out?
Image credit: ©© Gerd Leonhard (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
Artificial intelligence
A field at the cusp of scientific and philosophical thinking, but have we fully understood the outcomes of such a progressive movement.
Image credit: ©© Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Genes
Since the discovery of DNA in 1953 we have known the importance of this simple molecule in making us who we are, but there are still plenty of things we don't know about genetics.
Image credit: NASA
Space Medicine
The effects of space travel on the human body are still being investigated. Until the risks are fully understood, humanity faces limits in the scope of their space exploration.
Image credit: Unsplash (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Mental health
Mental health problems have a huge impact on society, but are poorly understood.
Image credit: ©© r000pert (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr
Aging
For the moment at least, it seems that ageing is an inevitable part of life. And yet scientists don't really understand how, or why, we age.
Image credit: gallery4share
Climate change
Scientists agree that human activities are causing climate change, but the finer details are still unknown.

Our latest biology blog posts

Our blog posts focus on a specialist topic.
Many are written by scientists about their ongoing research, others by the TWDK team.

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Coronavirus 101
Sunday 21st of June 2020
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Gender and Pain
Friday 5th of June 2020
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TWDK red science flask
Categorising Things is “Evil”
Thursday 21st of May 2020
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Cheese
Monday 20th of April 2020
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More blog posts about biology...

Delve deeper into Biology

Can't find what you're looking for? Browse the branches of biology that interest you most.

TWDK magnifying glassBiochemistry is a broad area of chemistry covering the chemical processes involved in life itself.

TWDK magnifying glassBiomechanics applies the principles of physics and engineering to understanding biological systems.

TWDK magnifying glassBiomedicine looks at the underlying mechanisms of disease.

TWDK magnifying glassBiophysics uses the principles of physics to study life at every level, from atoms and molecules, to cells, organisms and environments.

TWDK magnifying glassCytology also known as cell biology, cytology is the study of cells - the building blocks of life.

TWDK magnifying glassDevelopmental Biology is the study of how organisms grow and develop, from how genes influence cells, to how organisms change throughout their lives.

TWDK magnifying glassEcology is the study of how organisms affect, and are affected by, their environment.

TWDK magnifying glassEvolutionary Biology looks at how plants and animals are affected by the process of evolution by natural selection.

TWDK magnifying glassGenetics is the study of genes - the stretches of DNA found in almost every creature which acts as the blueprint for their bodies.

TWDK magnifying glassMicrobiology is the study of the smallest, usually single-celled, organisms such as bacteria and viruses.

TWDK magnifying glassMolecular Biology looks at the structure of cells, and the systems within them at the molecular level, to understand how they work and interact.

TWDK magnifying glassNeuroscience is the study of the central nervous system, including the brain.

TWDK magnifying glassPalaeontology is the study of life which existed prior to the current "Holocene" geological epoch.

TWDK magnifying glassPhotobiology is the study of how cells and organisms change physically and chemically in response to non-ionising radiation.

TWDK magnifying glassPhysiology focuses on organisms at the system level. It aims to explain how these systems, which can range from a single cell to a whole organism, carry out their functions.

TWDK magnifying glassRadiobiology studies the effects of ionising radiation on living organisms.

TWDK magnifying glassZoology or animal biology, is the study of biology relating to the animal kingdom.

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