Aeroallergen Monitoring in Canada

BO sampler (2)

As I mentioned in my last blog, the study of aeroallergens depends highly on having data.  In order to have data, we need to obtain samples of outdoor air, and analyze them to identify and quantify each type of pollen and fungal spore particle collected.  We need to do this on a continuous basis, at set intervals, at multiple locations, for many years, to obtain a data set large enough to be able to study aeroallergen seasonal behaviour. Continue reading

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Update Regarding The Urban Scientist, Dr. Danielle Lee (DNLee)

Photo Credit: Alecia Hoyt Photography

Biology Online would like to provide an update regarding our interaction with Dr. Danielle Lee, otherwise known as The Urban Scientist or DNLee.

A few weeks ago, a recently hired employee (not the site’s editor) representing Biology Online was responsible for a very offensive email sent to Dr.Lee. You can view our original apology written immediately after the incident here: Continue reading

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An Introduction to Aeroallergens


Pollen is a microscopic grain discharged from the male part of a flower or from a male cone that can fertilize the female ovule.

Plants have evolved to have their pollen be transported either by the wind, or by insects or other animals. Insect and animal pollinated plants are not considered to be aeroallergens, not because people aren’t allergic to them, but because the pollen from those plants are not designed to be distributed in the air Continue reading

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Why Are There So Many Kinds of Plants?

essigPortrait small

Welcome to guest blogger, USF Botany Professor Fred Essig

Estimates vary, but there are about 300,000 named species of plants, with more being discovered daily.  There may ultimately be as many as 500,000, if and when all are catalogued. Some botanists include some 10,000 species of red and green algae in such estimates, but others include only the land plants. Either way, it’s a lot. Continue reading

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The Real Causes of Obesity?


A very warm welcome to noted human performance expert and Mayo Clinic physician, Dr. Michael Joyner

Is Obesity Research a Dead End?

Obesity is a big public health problem. Currently about two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese. While this rate appears to be stabilizing, it is also likely to have a big impact on early mortality and be an overall drag on public health statistics [MJJ1] in the United States.  Continue reading

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Aerobiology and Allergies


Welcome to guest blogger,  Aerobiology researcher Frances Coates.

Asthma and allergies are becoming more and more prominent in society and outdoor allergens like ragweed and birch take their toll on the economy and those who have to deal with them.  A report from Health Canada indicates that asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting Canadians, and since this is probably true of most countries, it explains why research in this field has such far reaching implications.  Continue reading

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Nuts About Nudibranchs


Welcome to guest blogger, marine biologist Sam Craven, from Mad As A Marine Biologist.

As a marine biologist and a diver I feel incredibly privileged to have seen many of the delightful examples of life that the most biodiverse ecosystem on our planet, the coral reefs, have to offer, but nothing has kept by attention and enthusiasm as much as the group of shell-less molluscs, the nudibranchs. Continue reading

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“Do Big Viruses Really Make You Sick?”


Welcome to guest blogger, noted biologist Alan Cann

For most of my research career, I worked on viruses with small genomes, such as poliovirus and HIV. For me, the attraction of these viruses is that it is easier to understand all the interactions that go on within a small genome than with an unfeasibly large genome such as that of a cell.

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Bacteria to Diesel?!


U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered a microbe now being used to produce biodegradable plastic into a strain that can produce advanced biofuel.

More at:

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Useful Mobile Bio Apps


Gregg Clark at Saint Louis University has compiled a comprehensive list of useful biology apps.

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