Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Archive for May 2023

Sleep prolongs lifespan

If only all mammals could hibernate. Studies have shown that some species of hibernating animals live longer and age more slowly than animals that do not hibernate. In fact, a recent study has shown that hibernation slows biological aging in yellow-bellied marmots. During hibernation, an animal’s metabolism slows to conserve energy. In the case of the yellow-bellied marmots, metabolism drops to only 1% of non-hibernating levels. The researchers observed that […]

Continue Reading →

Physiological Desalination

Ellie Runiewicz, an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Jason Breves at Skidmore College presented research on osmoregulation in teleost fish at the American Physiology Summit last month. Ellie’s research examined how Atlantic salmon are able to remove salts from the water they drink. When these fish live in marine environments, they are constantly drinking saltwater. Processing the water to remove the salts is therefore really important to their […]

Continue Reading →

Benefits of reproduction outweigh costs to locomotion

Christopher Ringer, an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Kate Feller at Union College also shared his research at the American Physiology Summit last month. His research examined the impact of reproductive weight gain on a female locust’s ability to jump. Gravid female locusts (Schistocerca americana) carrying eggs gain as much as 40% additional body mass. Despite this weight gain, they can still jump high and far when necessary. […]

Continue Reading →

Mechanisms behind hornworm self-defense discussed at the 2023 American Physiology Summit

Graduate student Christian Valtierra presented research conducted in Dr. Megumi Fuse’s lab (San Francisco State University) at the 2023 American Physiology Summit last month. The research was focused on examining the defensive strike response in Manduca sexta hornworms. Animals respond to potentially damaging stimuli with the help of sensory neurons, called nociceptors, that specialize in detecting these stimuli. In humans, activation of these receptors is what causes us to perceive […]

Continue Reading →