Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

The phrase “circadian rhythm” seems to appear with increasing frequency in the news. The study of circadian rhythm also got a boost when the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three pioneering researchers in this area. But many people may not understand what it means and why it’s important. All biological … Continue reading Spotlight On: Circadian Rhythm

Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

Summer is in full swing, and with a near-peak number of daylight hours, chances are good that there is still plenty of light left to enjoy once your workday is done. Before you get outside and bask in the sun and heat, check out these I Spy posts that explain how your body responds to … Continue reading Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

2017’s 10 Most-read Posts

Another physiology-filled year on the I Spy Physiology blog is almost over. This year, we’ve explored dozens of topics, ranging from skin cancer, gut health and spinal cord injury to the mystery of how hibernating animals’ muscles remain strong. We’ve celebrated women in science and smiled at the thought of turkeys running on treadmills. Today, … Continue reading 2017’s 10 Most-read Posts

Dog Gazing: Attachment between Hound and Human

While walking through Santiago, Chile, you are likely to come across at least one of the countless wandering dogs that live on the busy streets. Homeless dogs are a normal part of Santiago’s culture. They are quick to make friends with anyone who offers a welcoming hand or food. They are not quick, however, to … Continue reading Dog Gazing: Attachment between Hound and Human

When Hormones Take Your Breath Away

After a healthy childhood, my best friend suddenly started having breathing difficulties when she was 20 years old. The doctor diagnosed her with asthma. With the help of inhaled medications, she was able to control her symptoms. But a year later, the medications were no longer effective and she started having monthly, life-threatening asthma attacks. … Continue reading When Hormones Take Your Breath Away

Beer Does a Body Good?

Bone is a living organ that constantly breaks down and rebuilds itself. As we get older, bone breaks down more and rebuilds less, which often leads to weaker bones over time. If we lose too much bone, we increase our risk of fracture and developing osteoporosis. Women tend to have weaker bones and a faster … Continue reading Beer Does a Body Good?

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Your Thyroid Gland!

  The thyroid gland—a small, butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of the neck—is the “Clark Kent” of endocrine organs. The thyroid’s actions are extremely powerful, but most people don’t know about its secret superpowers. An endocrine organ releases substances called hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones are carried to other areas of the body … Continue reading It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Your Thyroid Gland!

Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

During American Diabetes Month in November, you may notice more people are talking about diabetes, a disease that affects 29 million Americans. It’s a great time to learn more about diabetes and the ways that you can decrease or manage your risk of developing the disease. Diabetes mellitus is a problem with how your body … Continue reading Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

The Physiology of a Good Scare

Credit: iStock With Halloween next week, you may be planning to head to a haunted house or cozy up on the couch with popcorn and a horror flick. Either way, you’re probably hoping for a good scare. Enjoying the thrill of a scary movie or riding a rollercoaster isn’t the same as a real life-threatening … Continue reading The Physiology of a Good Scare

Depression + Pregnancy = Diabetes?

Morning sickness, swollen ankles and a growing belly are just a few of the many physiological changes that women experience during pregnancy. The changes  we can see are just the tip of the iceberg. Blood volume, bones, heart rate, skin and many other parts of a woman’s body function differently during pregnancy. Pregnancy-related changes can … Continue reading Depression + Pregnancy = Diabetes?