Spotlight On: Insulin

Sugar is one of the most important fuels our bodies use to produce energy and survive. However, too much sugar can cause damage to our organs. Our bodies naturally produce a hormone called insulin that helps regulate how much sugar is circulating in our blood at any given time, even when we eat sugary foods … Continue reading Spotlight On: Insulin

Spotlight On: Autophagy

Defects in autophagy have been linked to several diseases, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and infectious and immunological diseases. The significance of this process was highlighted in 2016 when Yoshinori Ohsumi, PhD, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his decades-long research on autophagy. You might already be wondering: What is autophagy and why … Continue reading Spotlight On: Autophagy

Spotlight On: Smell

Each time we stop to smell the roses, we should thank our sense of smell (olfaction) that allows us to detect airborne chemicals (odors) from the environment. Olfaction is one of the ancient senses used by animals to monitor the external environment. Although olfactory systems vary in different animals—insects, for example, use antennae, while dogs … Continue reading Spotlight On: Smell

Spotlight On: Migraine

This month, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the American Physiological Society journal Physiological Reviews, we are highlighting recent research published in the journal. Interested in reading more in celebration of Physiological Reviews’ birthday? Read about bariatric surgery’s effect on hunger, targeting the immune system to treat cancer and new thoughts on why you … Continue reading Spotlight On: Migraine

Spotlight On: Metabolism

Our bodies undergo millions of chemical reactions throughout the day: building, breaking down and transporting molecules in an attempt to maintain balance, or homeostasis. Many of these reactions require energy. Most of that energy comes from our cells’ energy centers, called the mitochondria. The total of all of these chemical reactions and the energy requirement … Continue reading Spotlight On: Metabolism

Spotlight On: Menopause

Menopause is a stage in a person’s life when their menstrual cycle stops. The average age in the U.S. is 52. During this time, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone—hormones that regulate the reproductive cycle and support pregnancy—marking the end of reproductive function. After going without a period for 12 consecutive months, a person … Continue reading Spotlight On: Menopause

Spotlight On: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic, progressive condition that leads to issues with the digestive system, specifically the intestines. This makes it difficult for these organs to absorb nutrients and fluids from your diet so your body can meet its needs. It is not entirely known what causes inflammatory bowel disease, but factors include diet … Continue reading Spotlight On: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Spotlight On: Amino Acids

Proteins are a crucial, key component in almost every biological process in the body. Our genes serve as an instruction manual that guides the generation of proteins. But you might not know much about amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Units of amino acids called polypeptides allow your body to make the different proteins … Continue reading Spotlight On: Amino Acids

Spotlight On: SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, emerged into the human population late in 2019. COVID-19 is an airway infection much like the common cold. One in six colds are caused by coronaviruses, although these are other types of coronaviruses. Why, then, did COVID-19 become such a devastating pandemic that has led to the deaths of … Continue reading Spotlight On: SARS-CoV-2

Spotlight On: Vision

If you’re reading this article, you can thank the crafty and tireless work of evolution. While we may take vision for granted as a simple and straightforward process, how we see is not so simple at all. How we see While the evolution of sight—from a primitive eyespot that could only discriminate between light and … Continue reading Spotlight On: Vision