Top Ten Question to ask a Biology Teacher

Have you ever wondered what to ask a biology teacher if you had the opportunity to have them all to yourself?  Teachers of biology often get some of the strangest questions from their students who have genuine curiosity about the world around them.  Here are a few interesting questions to ponder the next time you find yourself locked up with your biology teacher.

What happens to fish when the pond freezes?  This question is sure to make your teacher and the class chuckle.  However, it is a valid question!  The fish do not simply freeze in winter and thaw out to come alive again in spring.  The pond remains warmer under the ice.

Is it true that if you drank too much water you can die?  This is an old wives tale that turns out to be true.  The consumption of an exorbitant amount of water can really kill an individual.  They would have to drink gallons upon gallons, but it is possible because osmosis will force water into the cells and can make them burst.

Is it really such a thing as a sugar high?  Well, yes, and no.  A sugar high results from eating a lot of sucrose sugar (like candy) which can be broken down into useable energy really quickly.  So it feels like you have a quick burst of short term energy, thus termed a “sugar high”. 

Is it true you can die just by touching certain kinds of frogs?  Yes, you can.  If the frog is brightly colored, it is a warning sign.  In nature, things that are brightly colored are giving you a signal that it is not such a good idea to touch or eat the amphibian.  Thus, the frogs bright color signal that they are poisonous.  Frogs give off this poison on their skin, so simply touching them is enough to transmit the poison.

Did we really evolve from apes?  No, actually we evolved from tiny and ancient bacteria that lived on Earth millions of years ago.   This is not a myth or opinion.  There is genetic evidence to demonstrate valid connections.  And no, dinosaurs did not walk on Earth with man.

Did Miller and Urey really prove that life came from thin air?  These scientists proved that it was possible given the conditions of early Earth to create protein like substances.  The Miller Urey experiment took the conditions that existed at the beginning of Earth’s existence and tried to determine if this is how life was created.

Is it true Darwin never wanted to publish his book On Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection ?  Indeed, it is true.  Darwin came from a prominent family who meant for him to become a ordained minister (ironically).  Darwin instead chooses to be a naturalist and traveled the world.  When he returned he wrote his book that actually never uses the word “evolution” anywhere in the text.  He told his wife to publish the book after he died.  He had a change of heart after Wallace (another scientist) nearly published the same ideas after similar research.  Wallace’s Theory of Evolution?  It almost was!

Why is the English Royal Family always the best example to study human pedigree disease?  Well, because in most of history except for the present, royals only married royals.  Given that there are only a finite number of royal individuals on Earth at one time, they intermarried.  Intermarriage leads to a smaller gene pool.  This translated into a prime example of how hemophilia is inherited.

Can you really clone a human?  Not yet.  Cloning requires a scientist to copy the DNA of an individual.  This must then be transferred to an embryo and then grow into a human.  At this point this isn’t possible nor is it allowable.  No human organ cloning has occurred.  There is evidence however, that stem cells may help to regenerate or create new cells and tissues when needed. 

Can water really glow?  If you have ever looked behind a cruise ship at night, then you have seen a shimmering glow upon the churned up water.  That’s not an accident.  That is a bioluminescent bacteria that has the ability to glow.  In Puerto Rico, there is a bioluminescent bay where one can swim through these organisms and glow.  Interestingly, World War II pilots would find their ships to land on by following the glowing trail large ships left behind.