Stopping Free Radicals in Their Tracks

Credit: iStock “Free radical” is a term you might have heard about, usually in the context of its link to rapid aging and cancer. But what exactly is a free radical? Free radicals—also called reactive oxygen species—and their toxic effects have been on scientists’ minds since their discovery about a hundred years ago. As scientists … Continue reading Stopping Free Radicals in Their Tracks

Spotlight On: Autophagy

Credit: iStock 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 … Continue reading Spotlight On: Autophagy

Post-vaccination Blues: Why Feeling Sick Is a Good Sign

Credit: iStock Many of us have experienced symptoms such as a sore arm or a fever after receiving vaccinations. Feeling a little under the weather can make some people hesitant to get a jab in the future. But these aftereffects are actually a good thing and an important part of how our bodies develop immunity … Continue reading Post-vaccination Blues: Why Feeling Sick Is a Good Sign

New Science on Deep Heat Creams, Herbicides and Daytime Sleepiness Presented at Experimental Biology 2021

Credit: iStock Scientists who study physiology and other biomedical research fields—including anatomy, biochemistry, pathology and pharmacology—network, collaborate and communicate about the latest research at the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology (EB). This year’s virtual EB featured studies ranging from mitochondrial function and tissue repair to the effects of capsaicin on exercise performance. Read on to learn more … Continue reading New Science on Deep Heat Creams, Herbicides and Daytime Sleepiness Presented at Experimental Biology 2021

Small but Mighty: How Telomeres Could Control Vascular Aging

Credit: iStock As we get older, our cardiovascular system changes dramatically. Specifically, our blood vessels become stiffer and lose some of their ability to relax. This is known as endothelial dysfunction. Scientists debate and propose many theories about the specific causes of endothelial dysfunction with aging. Recently, telomeres have become a hot research topic. Telomeres … Continue reading Small but Mighty: How Telomeres Could Control Vascular Aging

The Key to Reversing Aging: Folded Mitochondria?

Credit: iStock Getting older is a fact of life. As we age, we can grow bigger, smarter and stronger. But at a certain point, our bodies often start to slow down. The idea behind why we age and why our bodies slow down is that we start to lose the ability to make enough energy … Continue reading The Key to Reversing Aging: Folded Mitochondria?

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

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

Spotlight On: Mitochondria

Credit: iStock 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 … Continue reading Spotlight On: Mitochondria

Spotlight On: Oxidative Stress

Credit: iStock Oxidative stress is a term that many of us have heard or seen on food and vitamin labels for quite some time, but few people understand what this is. Oxidative stress is the imbalance of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which is a byproduct of metabolism that is made up of different compounds, including … Continue reading Spotlight On: Oxidative Stress