Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Physiology in Iowa

The Iowa Physiological Society held their 23rd annual meeting today. It was a huge success! Seminars were on a diverse array of topics including epilepsy, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension caused by menopause, how heat exposure impacts insulin’s actions in skeletal muscle tissue, how exercise changes blood flow in muscles of individuals with obesity, factors that change the ability to grow new blood vessels, The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Mark […]

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Discovering new antibiotics in…saliva??

Scientists have discovered that they can quickly identify new antibiotics using bear saliva. This is because saliva from East Siberian brown bears is home to a diversity of bacteria. (Okay granted, this is true of many wild animals – the study referenced here focused on bears.) Although it does not sound very sophisticated, a team of scientists at Rutgers University thought that they may be able to identify novel antibiotics […]

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Elasmobranchs may hold clues for treating blood disorders

As you may already know, bone marrow contains cells that specialize in both bone as well as blood maintenance. Stem cells destined to become white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are called hematopoietic stem cells (aka: HSCs). CXCL12 is a special ligand that helps keep HSCs in the bone marrow by acting as a chemical attractant for the chemokine receptor C-X-C (CXCR4) found on HSCs. Some researchers are […]

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Summer of Physiology

The Michigan Physiological Society, a chapter of the American Physiological Society, held their annual meeting this summer.  Here are some highlights from the meeting: The keynote address was given by Dr. Virginia Miller, Professor of Surgery and Physiology and Director of the Women’s Health Research Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Her talk was about “Sex-specific Differences in Risk for Cardiovascular Disease.” Specifically, how estrogen, menopause and pregnancy influence the risk […]

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Itty bitty new species of seahorse discovered

Newly discovered species of seahorse, Hippocampus japapigu, discovered in Japan. Credit: © Richard Smith – www.OceanRealmImages.com Scientists have named the well-camouflaged (and quite adorable) pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus japapigu, aka: the Japan pig. Considering it is about the size of a lentil bean, it is not hard to imagine how it may have been easily overlooked until now. Check out this Youtube video from National Geographic:    

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Cancer resistance in elephants explained

  Research has shown that <5% of elephants succumb to cancer. This is remarkable as elephants are massive, meaning they have more cells to replicate on a regular basis than humans. One would think having so many cells would increase the risk of these cells dividing improperly, especially considering that captive elephants can live for about 70 years. It has been known for several years that elephants have 20 copies […]

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