Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Final highlights from the 2019 Arizona Physiological Society conference

Here are some additional comparative physiology highlights from the 2019 Arizona Physiological Society poster session: Researchers at Arizona State University compared the physiology of Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii) living in urbanized and less developed areas. They found that birds living in more urbanized areas were larger and had more circulating lipids than birds living in areas that were less developed. (A Funk, P Hutton, S Earl, P Deviche, and K Sweazea. […]

Continue Reading →

Dogs may facilitate spread of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Alec Oliva, a graduate student at Midwestern University – Glendale campus, presented research examining the spread of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) at the 2019 Arizona Physiological Society conference this past weekend. With a mortality rate as much as 80% without treatment, the spread of this disease is quite concerning. Ticks are vectors for the Rickettsia rickettsii bacteria responsible for causing RMSF. Dogs are notoriously at risk for acquiring tick infestations […]

Continue Reading →

Could fungicides be to blame for colony collapse disorder?

Colony collapse disorder happens when worker bees disappear from a hive and there are not enough adult bees to maintain the colony. This is concerning as bees are essential for pollinating crops. Adrian Fisher II, a postdoctoral fellow at Arizona State University, presented results from an interesting study conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Jon Harrison that explored the effects of fungicides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. Pollinating insects like bees […]

Continue Reading →

Ultrasonic rats

Dr. Charles Schaefer, a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Tobias Riede at Midwestern University presented research at the conference examining how rats use deep breaths to produce ultrasonic vocalizations. Similarly, researchers have studied a variety of vocalizations in rats that signify positive as well as negative emotions and how their brains process this information. Did you know rats enjoy being tickled?

Continue Reading →

Comparative physiology is alive and well

Anthony Basile, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Karen Sweazea at Arizona State University, presented an interesting talk at the 2019 Arizona Physiological Society conference. He presented data from an international study conducted to explore how physiologists define comparative physiology today. August Krogh was credited with the founding of comparative physiology. In 1929 he published a paper that included a profound statement, “For such a large number of […]

Continue Reading →

Physiology in Arizona

The Arizona Physiological Society will be hosting their 12th annual meeting Friday and Saturday on the Arizona State University campus. Physiologists from all over the state will be meeting to talk about a variety of topics ranging from comparative physiology to clinical trials. The 2019 Arizona Distinguished Lecturer is Dr. Ralph Fregosi from the University of Arizona in Tucson who specializes in respiratory physiology. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. […]

Continue Reading →

Regenerating limbs…and heads

Mandy M. Schofield, Christian A. Okafor, and Jack D. Shepard from Towson University presented an interesting poster at the 6th annual Greater Washington DC Area Physiological Society on how planarians are a useful “Model Organism for Investigation and Education.” Planarians are indeed very interesting little animals. They have remarkable abilities to regenerate as shown in this YouTube video: Aside from this impressive ability and its application to limb regeneration, planaria […]

Continue Reading →