Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Tag Archive for ‘zebrafish’

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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Zebrafish as models for human disease and drug development

  Who would have thought tiny fish could lead to big advances in medicine? Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and mammals have similar anatomy and physiology of the brain, eyes, gut, and cardiovascular systems. Some of the reasons why these fish are good models to understand cardiovascular physiology were recently explored in a new article published in Physiological Reviews. Animal models are used in research that seeks to understand both normal physiological mechanisms as […]

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Carbon monoxide lowers breathing rate in fish too

  We tend to think of carbon monoxide (CO) only in terms of being a poisonous gas. The reason for its toxicity is due to its ability to bind really tightly to our hemoglobin molecules, which prevents oxygen from being able to bind. In mammals, CO also decrease breathing rate. As you can imagine, it is a pretty terrible gas to breath in when you are a species dependent on hemoglobin for delivery […]

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