Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

In the meantime, I think I’ll hibernate

I just read an interesting blog from the I Spy Physiology website sponsored by the American Physiological Society which described results from a recent study suggesting that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) might be a human equivalent to hibernation. Chronic fatigue syndrome reportedly affects over 2.5 million people in the United States alone. People with this condition have the type of fatigue that does not seem to improve, even with adequate sleep. By examining the blood […]

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Fevers impair brain activity

You probably already knew that fevers can cause some people to develop seizures. According to the National Institutes of Health, these so-called ‘febrile seizures’ can happen at temperatures of 102.2 degrees F and above and are most-often seen in children. The good news is that this type of seizure is usually short and does not often cause any long-term damage to the brain. In a new study published in Physiological Reports, […]

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Polygamous deer mice have faster sperm

Deer mice are known for being quite promiscuous. In fact, it is not uncommon to find a litter of deer mice with multiple fathers. Dr. Hopi Hoekstra and colleagues at Harvard University’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology discovered that the tail of deer mice sperm have longer midsections than found in monogamous mice. What this means is that their sperm can swim better and faster, thereby reaching an egg sooner than sperm from other prospective fathers. […]

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Amazing longevity of Greenland sharks

A multi-national team of scientists sought to determine the age of Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus). These animals grow rather slowly (about 1cm per year) and are the largest fish in the arctic (>500 cm long), but their longevity was not yet known. The team used radiocarbon dating of crystalline proteins found within the nuclei of the eye lens. Because these proteins are formed prenatally, they offer a rather accurate way to […]

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