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

Spotlight On: Microbiome

Over the past decade, studies around how bacteria influence our health have gained attention. The human microbiome is a community of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other multicellular microorganisms. These little “bugs” exist in our gut, on our skin, on our computers and desks, and even on the foods we eat. The elements of our microbiome … Continue reading Spotlight On: Microbiome

Spotlight On: Itching

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 Physiological Reviews … Continue reading Spotlight On: Itching

Spotlight On: Mitochondria

You may remember learning about mitochondria, the “powerhouse of the cell” in science class. Mitochondria earned this nickname because of their ability to maintain the supply of a chemical called ATP that is our primary source of energy. Mitochondria help with almost every reaction in our body that requires energy, from contracting our muscles, to … Continue reading Spotlight On: Mitochondria

Spotlight On: The Reproductive System

There are many organ systems within our body that ensure we stay alive. Arguably, however, one of the most important systems for guaranteeing our survival for generations is the reproductive system, as it allows us to produce children. To be able to have children, we first go through puberty—changes in the body that are the … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Reproductive System

Spotlight On: The Heart and Circulatory System

If you’ve ever heard a heartbeat through a stethoscope, you may have heard a “lub-dub, lub-dub” sound as the blood circulates throughout your body. You might wonder how your heart actually works, what that sound means and why we need our blood to circulate. Your Blood Gets Around Proper blood circulation is critical to the … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Heart and Circulatory System

Spotlight On: The Digestive System

Most of us don’t think much about our digestive system unless it’s causing problems. An upset stomach, vomiting or even just a growling hungry tummy can draw our attention to this part of our body and make us wonder why it isn’t working quite the way it should. The digestive system is our body’s workhorse—it … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Digestive System

Spotlight On: DNA and RNA

At some point in your life, someone may have told you “You have your mom’s eyes” or “You have good genes.” Well, it all has to do with your DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is made up of two long strands of genetic codes that are connected by four molecules. These molecules—two on each side—form the … Continue reading Spotlight On: DNA and RNA

Spotlight On: The Immune System

“Alert! Alert! Foreign invader detected! Recruit additional support! Destroy the target!” This could be the radio chatter of a battle scene in the latest blockbuster action film, or it could also be what our immune system would sound like if it could talk. As our body’s form of defense, the immune system helps protect us … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Immune System

Spotlight On: Homeostasis

The word homeostasis comes from the Latin roots homeo, meaning similar, and stasis, meaning condition. Homeostasis is the ability of the body to keep everything in balance. It’s important for the body to always monitor what is going on, correcting functions that are out of balance and bringing them back to normal. Homeostasis and regulation … Continue reading Spotlight On: Homeostasis