Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Illnesses and Injuries

Beware of freezing hearts

Thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) are really cute when they hibernate (above). During torpor bouts, their body temperature decreases to a few degrees Celsius and their metabolism drops by as much as 95% with heart rates ranging from only 3-10 beats per minute. These bouts of torpor are interrupted by periodic arousals every couple of weeks during which their metabolism increases as body temperature elevates to 37 degrees Celsius. What is so fascinating is […]

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Wound healing with fish

Researchers in China have discovered that collagen isolated from the skin of tilapia effectively reduce wound healing time in mice. The usefulness of collagen, a major structural protein found in connective tissues, in wound healing has been known. Using fish proteins instead of typical mammalian sources reduces the risk for potential pathogens. Dr. Jiao Sun (Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine) and colleagues isolated collagen from the skin of tilapia […]

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Centipede venom blocks pain more effectively than morphine

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and The University of Queensland have discovered a venom from centipedes capable of blocking pain more effectively than morphine! According to the study authors, centipedes have appeared in the fossil records as far back as 430 million years. They are also one of the first land-dwelling creatures to use venom to incapacitate their prey as shown in the image above of a Chinese […]

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Bee Sting Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

I’m really afraid of bees. I’ve only been stung once, and after 2 seconds of pure torture, I thought the end of the world was approaching. Now I’m reading that there might be a way to use bee venom to help individuals with multiple sclerosis and arthritis… by voluntarily being stung! It sounds crazy, but it’s been shown to help some individuals. This video from National Geographic (https://youtu.be/p245IE6_qf8) shows the […]

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