Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Archive for March 2023

Hydrogen sulfide – the gas we hate to smell, but can’t live without

Although hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is most often associated with manure and the smells of rotten eggs, research has shown it plays important physiological roles. In fact, our bodies actually produce H2S within our cells. Other source of H2S include sulfate-producing bacteria in our gut and dietary intake (such as garlic and cruciferous vegetables). H2S is a member of a group of gasotransmitters, referred to as the ‘reactive species interactome’, that […]

Continue Reading →

How snakes fight infection quickly

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day today, I thought we’d talk about snakes today. Vertebrates defend themselves from infections with the help of the adaptive and innate immune systems. The first responder to an infection is typically the innate immune system, which is not specific to a particular pathogen. This system helps to prevent the infection from spreading and uses various toxins to kill pathogens. The adaptive immune response, on […]

Continue Reading →

Infertility is not an issue for naked mole rats

Naked mole-rats have attracted the attention of scientists once again. Not only do they live very long lives (30+ years), while typically avoiding cancer, females remain fertile their whole life. Unlocking their secrets to avoiding menopause may lead to new ways to treat infertility. New research has identified their tricks for lifelong fertility. It turns out that female naked mole-rats have 1.5 million egg cells (oocytes) when they are born, […]

Continue Reading →