Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Archive for December 2017

Passing gas

Many children (and adults) find humor in flatulence. If you count yourself among these individuals, then a new book written by zoologist Dani Rabaiotti and ecologist Nick Caruso, coming out in April 2018, is a must-read. The book examines which animals truly pass gas and is aptly titled, “Does it Fart?” No longer will you be limited to only blaming it on the dog or cat. Although you will not […]

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What a pain!

I read an interesting review article published recently in Physiology. The review discussed how various animals sense pain. Perhaps understanding how animals detect pain will lead to better pain management techniques for animals and humans.    Our bodies have special sensors, called nociceptors, that detect noxious stimuli that could injure tissues. Stimulation of these receptors is what allows you to move your hand away from a hot stove even before your […]

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Dr. Hannah Carey in the spotlight

Congratulations Dr. Hannah Carey, 80th President of the American Physiological Society (2007-2008) and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, which recently interviewed her about her research on hibernation.  Dr. Carey is a comparative physiologist and professor of Comparative Biosciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. Her current research focus is on how the gut microbes of 13-lined ground squirrels change during hibernation. According […]

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Towards the development of safer anesthetics

Like many medications, general anesthetics are not without side effects. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Canada were interested in studying the effects of inhaled anesthetics on the heart. Slowed heart rate (bradycardia) is a major adverse side effect of inhaled anesthetics that can lead to death for those undergoing procedures. Because bradycardia occurs in all species of vertebrates that have been studied thus far, the researchers decided to examine how […]

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