Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

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 for cardiovascular disease.

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Photo by Kelly Piet via Flickr Creative Commons

Hannah Cunningham (Graduate Student at Michigan Technological University) presented her research conducted in collaboration with Ian Greenlund under the direction of Dr. Jason Carter on “Total Sleep Deprivation and Pain Perception During Cold Noxious Stimuli in Older Adults.” She presented data showing that 24-hour total sleep deprivation increases the perception of pain in response to a cold stimulus (dipping a hand in ice water).

Kevin Phillips (Graduate Student at Michigan Technological University) presented research conducted in collaboration with Byungjoo Noh, Michelle Burge, Matt Gage, and Tejin Yoon on “Age-related Alterations in Muscle Architecture and Strength of the Lower Limb Muscles in Women”.  Muscle mass decreases with age and this decrease is worse for women.

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Photo by rawpixel.com via Flickr Creative Commons

Amber Braker and collaborators Sophie Kehrig and Katelynn Mulder from Grosse Pointe North High School presented an interesting poster showing their research on how grip strength increases with caffeine ingestion. That must improve our ability to hold the cup…

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Image of C. elegans by Kbradnam via Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth Ronan, Alexandra LaHai and Shawn Xu from the University of Michigan presented a poster on whether c. elegans sense menthol. It turns out that C. elegans avoid menthol even though they do not have the transient receptor potential channel 8 (TRPM8) in their genome. TRPM8 is thought to be responsible for sensing the mint as well as coolness of menthol. What these data suggest is that C. elegans may have other mechanisms to sense menthol.

Mark Hiske and collaborators at Wayne State University presented a poster on how exercise training increases the amount of elastic proteins in both rats and Drosophila. The ability to increase the content of elastic proteins may explain how exercise training increases exercise tolerance.

Categories: Comparative Physiology

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