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  • Topics: Introduction, What is Biology?, Life is Complex, Life uses Energy, Life is Maintained, Life Reproduces, Life Evolves, Major Biology Themes, The Sci...
  • Simply put, chemistry is the foundation for biology. Hang on a second; don't get all bent out of shape just yet. We know you did not exactly sign u...
  • Mark Twain once said, "And what is man without energy? Nothing—nothing at all." A cell's ability to use energy to create order in a universe that...
  • To a plant, sunbathing is life. Literally. In fact, plants have evolved all sorts of ways to maximize their exposure to the sun while at the same t...
  • What do playing Wii, watching Dancing With the Stars, and doing your homework have in common? At first glance, not much...since two of those things...
  • Back when Gregor Mendel was studying pea plants, he noticed that there were certain characteristics, or traits, passed on to later generations. He...
  • Until this point, we have talked a lot about DNA. Don't get us wrong. DNA is some pretty important stuff. We would even say it has rock star status...
  • Seeing the word cell triggers so many memories. You may recall your last dropped call, solar panels, your current Fantasy Baseball spreadsheet, or...
  • Biology: it is all about birth, life, growth, rules, regulation and change. Yep, we are talking about the circle of life, but not in a Lion King ki...
  • You have heard that your nose is just like your dad's, but your eyes are like your mom's. And, you're probably tired of your grandma saying how muc...
  • Humans have come a long way. Not too long ago, it was all Hammer Time and the Macarena on the dance floor. Over generations, humans have evolved in...
  • By now you're an expert on various mechanisms of evolution, but being a good scientist, you want EVIDENCE! You've come to the right place. In this...
  • Ah, speciation, the great manufacturer of biodiversity. If mighty speciation wasn't combating the ever-present force of extinction on our planet, w...
  • Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? What are mattress tags for? Everyone has theories on the subject, but this chapter will actual...
  • Everyone has a favorite musical genre: hip-hop, rock, avant-garde, rap, classical, easy listening, The Wiggles. But take a second and try to define...
  • Microorganisms (aka microbes) are everywhere around us. You can’t see them without a microscope, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important....
  • When it comes to people, there are two kinds of people in this world: the ones that like chocolate and the crazy ones who don't. When it comes to o...
  • Microorganisms—Prions, Viruses, and Viroids, Oh My!Almost anytime there is a panic over a worldwide epidemic that will wipe out humanity, the cul...
  • Let's imagine a world without plants. Oh that was really really scary. Never mind, don't imagine a world without plants. You know what we saw in th...
  • Whether you are an expert gardener, amateur botanist, or are a person who has never thought about the trees your dog pees on, you should care about...
  • Animal diversity is so much more than dogs and cats and humans. It is a lot more than what is in the zoo or even on The Discovery Channel. Movies o...
  • Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, probably to demonstrate its bipedal movement, speed up its four-chambered heart, fill up its air sacs, sc...
  • They say what goes up must come down. When it comes to the food we swallow every day, what goes in must come out. You may or may not have noticed t...
  • Believe it or not, there was a time before iPhones. But people still needed to communicate with each other. What did people do in this pre-texting...
  • Puppies! Need we say more? Baby animals are in their own category of cuteness. In fact, we tried to get kittens added to the vending machines here...
  • Have you ever noticed at the zoo how all the animals seem rather bored? They spend most of the day sleeping instead of doing cool tricks for the vi...
  • What is ecology? What's more, why should we care about it? If these are the questions that keep you awake at night, then you have come to right pla...
  • Life on Earth is in danger. Serious danger, and not from asteroids or aliens or anything else from a science fiction movie. Life on Earth is threat...
  • Flesh-eating bacteria! Brain-eating amoebas! Worms living in your eyeball! These are not science fiction. They are science fact. Welcome to Shmoop'...
  • What is biotechnology? It sounds like the plot point of the movie Gattaca. Maybe sci-fi images of cloned creatures marching in a line come to mind....
  • What is biogeography? The International Biogeography Society says it promotes "the study of patterns and processes in the geography of nature," whi...