COVID-19 and the Heart

Credit: iStock SARS-CoV-2—the virus responsible for COVID-19—is a respiratory virus. When first discovered, the virus was thought to mostly affect the lungs. We now know that it affects many different organs in the body, including the heart. All respiratory viruses, including the seasonal flu, lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. But SARS-CoV-2 appears … Continue reading COVID-19 and the Heart

Survey Results: How COVID-19 Is Affecting Researchers

Credit: American Physiological Society As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March in the U.S., many employers moved to a work-from-home model. Researchers, like all other employees in the U.S. economy, faced numerous challenges, including securing groceries, figuring out how to pause projects, learning how to work from home when labs were inaccessible and balancing … Continue reading Survey Results: How COVID-19 Is Affecting Researchers

Spotlight On: Itching

Credit: iStock You probably don’t think much about itching until you have an itchy spot that’s just out of reach. Then, it’s all you can think about until you’re able to get rid of the “not-quite-painful-but-almost” feeling with a satisfying scratch. What exactly is itching? And what purpose does it serve? A review published in … Continue reading Spotlight On: Itching

Can Your Blood Vessels Last Until 100?

Credit: iStock As life expectancy increases in the world, centenarians—people who have celebrated their 100th birthday—have become increasingly common. Scientists now have more data related to changes that accompany aging than ever before. One thing the data show is that cardiac (heart) muscle must stay strong and, most importantly, resistant to fatigue for our heart … Continue reading Can Your Blood Vessels Last Until 100?

Fainting, the Brain and the Chilean Miners’ Rescue

The Fénix capsule brought the Chilean miners safely to higher ground. Credit: iStock On August 5, 2010, 33 Chilean miners became trapped 2,300 feet underground when the San José copper-gold mine in the Atacama Desert caved in. Sixty-nine days later, they were rescued when a 21-inch-wide torpedo-shaped container called a Fénix capsule brought the miners … Continue reading Fainting, the Brain and the Chilean Miners’ Rescue

Exercise Is Medicine: Staying Active during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Credit: iStock The coronavirus pandemic poses a global health threat. As we try to adjust to a new way of life with teleworking, remote learning and physical distancing, we are moving less and sitting more. This is a major concern because physical inactivity and increased sitting are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. … Continue reading Exercise Is Medicine: Staying Active during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Beat the Heat with a Wet T-Shirt

Credit: iStock The summer of 2020 will go down in history books because of the novel coronavirus pandemic but also possibly for record heat and humidity across much of the U.S. In some areas of the country, cooling centers and public pools may not be open due to public health concerns. Indoor gatherings are discouraged … Continue reading Beat the Heat with a Wet T-Shirt

The Healing Power of Nature

Credit: iStock Have you considered that nature is a form of medicine? The ancient Greek civilization expressed its need for nature through its father of medicine, Hippocrates, who said “airs, waters and places” were essential for well-being. You may feel profound relaxation on a beach, but you may not know exactly why you feel that … Continue reading The Healing Power of Nature

Cautious Hope for Long Overlooked Disease

Credit: iStock One year ago, Victoria Gray became the first person in the U.S. to receive a revolutionary treatment for sickle cell disease (SCD). SCD is a genetic disorder in which the red blood cells—the cells that carry oxygen throughout the body—can become shaped like a crescent, or “sickle.” These misshaped cells build up in … Continue reading Cautious Hope for Long Overlooked Disease

Reckoning with Diversity and Equity Problems in U.S. Research and Clinical Trials

Credit: iStock Long simmering racial tensions across the U.S. have bubbled to the surface again. This is especially true on the heels of the recent police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. The fallout resulted in protesters taking to the streets around the nation to call for an end to racism and declaring “Black lives … Continue reading Reckoning with Diversity and Equity Problems in U.S. Research and Clinical Trials