Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Tag Archive for ‘heart’

Warm hypoxic waters impair heart function in some fish

Events causing bodies of water to become hypoxic (low oxygen levels) are increasing with climate change. Water can become hypoxic when it warms up or there are changes in tidal flow, density, wind patterns as well as separation from the main source, such as occurs in a tidepool. While some fish are tolerant of hypoxia and even anoxia (oxygen depleted) environments others, such as Atlantic cod and steelhead trout, rely […]

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Highlights from the last day in Orlando

Today marked the final day of the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando. As usual it was a great day for Physiology. Crupi et al., from the University of Messina and the Universita della Magna Grecia in Italy put up a poster presentation describing their research on how red blood cells respond to environmental toxins. Their research showed that isolated red blood cells from rabbits are more sensitive to venoms […]

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Porcine heart donors

Have you heard about the research being conducted to improve the use of pig hearts for human transplants?¬† A recent article from Discover Magazine reported on a study in which researchers were able to keep a baboon alive for 6 months with a transplanted pig heart. While pig hearts are similar to primate hearts, a major problem with xenotransplantation is that they are not only bigger to begin with, they […]

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Greater Washington Area Talks Physiology

It has been a great month for physiology. This week the Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland Chapter of the American Physiological Society (dvmCAPS) held their 5th annual meeting on October 8th on The George Washington University Campus. The first Distinguished Speaker was Dr. Robert S. Balaban (above), Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics at the National Institutes of Health, who spoke about the¬†Structure and Function of Cardiac Mitochondria.¬†Mitochondria are derived from bacterial ancestors […]

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Monogamy is good for the heart

In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). These animals are often used to study pair bonding because they are one of only a handful of mammalian species that form lifelong socially monogamous pair bonds after mating and cohabitating for at least 6 hours. According to a study published several years ago in Nature Neuroscience, this pair bonding behavior is regulated by specific genes in their […]

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Towards the development of safer anesthetics

Like many medications, general anesthetics are not without side effects. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Canada were interested in studying the effects of inhaled anesthetics on the heart. Slowed heart rate (bradycardia) is a major adverse side effect of inhaled anesthetics that can lead to death for those undergoing procedures. Because bradycardia occurs in all species of vertebrates that have been studied thus far, the researchers decided to examine how […]

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