COVID-19 Could Spell Long-term Trouble for Heart and Blood Vessels

Credit: iStock We’ve learned a lot about how SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—affects our respiratory system. But as we learn more about the virus and its physiological consequences, it’s becoming clear that COVID-19’s effects may go beyond the lungs. With its demonstrated—sometimes long-lasting—effects on the heart and blood vessels, COVID-19 may be just as much … Continue reading COVID-19 Could Spell Long-term Trouble for Heart and Blood Vessels

All We Need Is Love?

Credit: iStock Hunger. Thirst. Sleep. Sex. The motivation to satisfy these physiological needs are what propels humans forward as a species. These are called “physiologic motivators,” which are primal instincts that continuously drive our behavior. Emotions like anger, sadness and happiness are fleeting—they only last a few seconds to a few minutes. Their role in … Continue reading All We Need Is Love?

Are You Thirsty? Here’s Why.

Credit: iStock Water makes up about 70% of body weight in a typical adult. Humans can’t easily adapt to a lack of water, and you may begin to experience the effects of dehydration with as little water loss as 1% of your body weight. Humans are unique because, unlike other animals, we respond not only … Continue reading Are You Thirsty? Here’s Why.

How the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship Helped Me Move On

Credit: iStock When I first entered graduate school, I thought I wanted to be a professor. I loved helping others and talking about science. However, while attending the 2017 ComSciCon—a series of workshops for graduate students on the topic of communicating science—at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I realized I loved science communication (sci comm) more … Continue reading How the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship Helped Me Move On

Horseshoe Crabs Help in Fight against COVID-19

Credit: iStock COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for distribution across the U.S. As of mid-January 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 31 million doses of vaccine have been distributed and about 12 million people in the U.S. have received a COVID-19 vaccination. That may sound like a lot, but to fully … Continue reading Horseshoe Crabs Help in Fight against COVID-19

Invisible and Deadly: Small Particles Cause Big Problems for Our Hearts

Credit: iStock Most of us have heard arguments about climate change and how increasing levels of pollution are destroying the Earth and its natural resources. Air pollution, however, has a much more direct impact on us. In particular, tiny particles in the air invisible to the naked eye are causing big problems for our hearts. … Continue reading Invisible and Deadly: Small Particles Cause Big Problems for Our Hearts

2020’s Most-read I Spy Physiology Posts

Credit: iStock In a year like no other in our lifetimes, many of us found ourselves putting aside our usual pursuits and thirsting for information on the coronavirus pandemic. I Spy Physiology blog contributors quickly switched gears to keep you informed, including a series of posts covering the physiology of COVID-19 and how it affects … Continue reading 2020’s Most-read I Spy Physiology Posts

Giving Sugar the Run-around: How Exercise Protects Blood Vessels from Sugary Drinks

Credit: iStock An estimated 70% of people living in the U.S. add too much sugar, about 23 teaspoons, to their diet each day. This is alarming because diets high in added sugar increase the risk for developing chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death … Continue reading Giving Sugar the Run-around: How Exercise Protects Blood Vessels from Sugary Drinks

Studying for Your Next Exam? Write a Song.

Credit: iStock Let’s pretend you hear the opening kick of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five. As the piano slides into the first verse and you hear: “Find the concentrations of ions out and in; Figure out the quotient, and take the log (base 10).” You can’t believe your ears. The Nernst Equation—a … Continue reading Studying for Your Next Exam? Write a Song.

COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Disease Prevention May Be the Cure

Credit: iStock The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change our everyday lives while we await the progress of new treatments and vaccines to combat the risks of the illness. People who are pregnant and nursing are more susceptible to severe infections from respiratory viruses, such as the flu. This susceptibility may also put pregnant people at … Continue reading COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Disease Prevention May Be the Cure