Awesome Biology

What’s The Deal with Brain-Eating Amoeba?

What’s The Deal with Brain-Eating Amoeba?

Every now and then, you might see a story in the news about a “brain-eating amoeba” that turned up somewhere. But is this microscopic organism as terrifying as it sounds, or is it all just hyperbole? Kurzgesagt digs into the true story of the naegleria fowleri, and what it’s likely to do should it enter your body.

Disney Parks’ Forced Perspective Illusions

Disney Parks’ Forced Perspective Illusions

If you’ve ever visited one of Disney’s theme parks, you have been tricked. The parks frequently employ an optical illusion known as forced perspective to make structures look bigger or smaller than they actually are. Art of Engineering explains the trickery and why our brains get so easily fooled by it.

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Ants Pave a Road

Ants Pave a Road

Ants are well known for their ability to work together to build things and accomplish tasks for their colony. In this fascinating video from Horace Zeng, we see how hundreds of fire ants work in concert to pick up, move, and place pieces of glass gravel on a piece of sticky tape, resulting in a colorfully-paved road of sorts.

Dance of the Vinegar Eel

Dance of the Vinegar Eel

Live Science and physicist Anton Peshkov take us inside the microscopic world of the turbatrix aceti, otherwise known as the vinegar eel. These tiny nematodes thrive on the kind of microbes that transform juice into vinegar and wriggle around like tiny bolts of lightning as they cluster in a single droplet of water.

Shimmering Bee Hive

Shimmering Bee Hive

Nature can be pretty amazing. Take, for example, how this hive of honeybees discourages predators like wasps from attacking. Multiple layers of bees form a protective shield on the outside of their honeycomb and move in synchronized patterns that make the whole hive look like it’s one big creature.

Should You Really Count Calories?

Should You Really Count Calories?

When it comes to watching our diet, counting calories is one of the most common methods of tracking food intake. AsapSCIENCE explains how the nutritional composition of foods, our individual metabolisms, genetics, and microbiomes affect how we process food, impacting our health far more than calories alone.

Weird Gifts of the Animal Kingdom

Weird Gifts of the Animal Kingdom

Humans like to give flowers and chocolates as part of our dating ritual. Other species offer gifts as part of their courtship too, but their selections aren’t nearly as appealing. SciShow explains some of the strange and downright gross-out gifts that animals and insects present to each other as an offering to potential mates.

Run Octopus, Run!

Run Octopus, Run!

We’re so used to seeing octopi swimming, we sometimes forget that they can use their tentacles to walk too. Though in the case of this extraordinary cephalapod, he’s in a hurry and chooses to run to his destination. We just want to put this video on a loop and use it as our wallpaper.

Planktonium

Planktonium

Filmmaker Jan van IJken offeers a look at the microscopic world of plankton. These fascinating organisms can be found everywhere you find water and are a critical part of our ecosystem. Some provide food for marine life, while others produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Stream the full 15-minute version here.

The Fantastic Feet of the Microcosmos

The Fantastic Feet of the Microcosmos

Unless you’re a snake or a fish, there’s a pretty good chance you have legs and feet. Journey to the Microcosmos gets up close and personal with microorganisms to look at how they get around using their tiny feet and other moving appendages.

How Our Immune Systems Protect Us

How Our Immune Systems Protect Us

Kurzgesagt explores the complex systems at work to help keep our 40 trillion cells alive and well, adapting and facing off countless times each day against foreign organisms teeming inside of our bodies. For a deeper dive, grab a copy of Kurzgesagt founder Phil Dettmer’s new book IMMUNE.

What Did Dinosaurs Really Look Like?

What Did Dinosaurs Really Look Like?

Thanks to movies like Jurassic Park, we have some very specific notions of what dinosaurs looked like. But as Kursgezagt explains, between missing fossils and misinterpreted skeletal reconstructions, it’s quite possible that these prehistoric animals appeared very different than we thought.

Exploding Microbes

Exploding Microbes

There’s a good reason that we use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and other microbes. Journey to the Microcosmos provides a fascinating look at what happens to microbes when exposed to a bright UV light source, including their tendency to explode and disintegrate.

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Giant Viruses That Shouldn’t Exist

Giant Viruses That Shouldn’t Exist

While we sit here staring at our screens, a war is being fought all around us. Trillions of microorganisms are battling it out for resources while viruses attack and take over. While it’s was believed that viruses aren’t alive, recent discoveries point to giant viruses that act more like living organisms. Kurzgesagt explains.

The Fart Limit

The Fart Limit

It turns out most of the stuff that comes out of your butt when you pass gas is odorless. Michael from Vsauce explains the 1% that makes farts stink, and the theoretical possibilities if your body emitted much more of that noxious stuff.

The Science of Pain

The Science of Pain

Few things in life are worse than suffering from severe pain. But as this clip from TED-Ed points out, our sense of pain can act in some truly mysterious ways, sometimes even triggering solely from thinking that we’ve been injured.

Your Screen Is Covered in Human Blood

Your Screen Is Covered in Human Blood

If that title doesn’t get your attention, we don’t know what will. In this video from Journey to the Microcosmos, they get up close and personal with a flowing river of human blood cells. It’s amazing to see how the individual cells dancing about and to learn about the characteristics of blood that keep us alive.

True Facts About Tardigrades

True Facts About Tardigrades

Tardigrades may only measure about 0.5mm long, but these teensy water-dwelling critters are some of the toughest organisms known to humankind, having survived exposure to nuclear radiation and the vacuum of space. Zefrank provides an in-depth look at these strange, see-through dudes and what makes them tick.

DNA My Dog Breed Identification and Genetic Screening

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Curious to know what breeds are in your dog’s DNA? This test not only will give you that information with 99.97% accuracy but can also provide details on their genetics and any health risks they may face. Just want to know your dog’s breed and age? There’s a less expensive kit for that. Save 20% in The Awesomer Shop.

Human Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles

Human Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles
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This series of three jigsaw puzzles come together to form the major anatomical structures of a 5-foot-tall human being. Choose from head, thorax, or abdominal sections, each certified for accuracy by medical illustrator Mesa Schumacher. They make a great gift for biology students, or just anyone interested in science.

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The World’s Largest Living Organism

The World’s Largest Living Organism

Conventional wisdom might lead you to believe that the largest living thing on Earth was some kind of whale. But scientists say there’s something much larger, and it’s land-locked in the middle of Utah. Alex Rosenthal of TED-Ed digs into the story of Pando, what caused it to become so enormous, and the risks it now faces.

Why Are Cat Claws So Sharp?

Why Are Cat Claws So Sharp?

If you’ve ever gotten gored by your adorable little kitty cat’s hook-like claws, you know how sharp they can be. Science educator Kyle Hill explains the biology behind cat claws, what makes them different from our fingernails, and how they manage to stay so razor-sharp.

The Microcosm in Glass

The Microcosm in Glass

Using high-precision digital models and laser etching techniques, CinkS labs is creating a series of glass cubes which display intricate 3D images of viruses, bacteria, and cells. The crystal cubes come in 3cm, 7cm, and 10cm sizes, as well as an 8cm sphere. And yes, they even have a COVID-19 model.

Why Are You Alive?

Why Are You Alive?

Even when you’re sound asleep, there are billions of processes going on inside of your body. Kurzgesagt explores the forces, energy sources, and organic compounds at work that keep us alive and ticking, despite the universe’s tendency towards entropy.

In the Next 60 Seconds

In the Next 60 Seconds

The human body is an amazing organic machine that performs countless tasks every minute of every day. In this video from The Infographics Show, they tally up some of the things that your body will do in the next minute – or twice as much while you watch the entire 2 minute clip.

Stuff That… Isn’t

Stuff That… Isn’t

Did you know that most bees don’t have yellow and black stripes, or that most Christmas trees aren’t pine trees? MinuteEarth sets the facts straight on four very different subjects where we thought things were one way, but aren’t.

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