Precision Medicine: When ‘One-pill-fits-all’ Doesn’t Fit

Credit: iStock Everybody is unique due to their genetics. Even identical twins do not have completely identical genetic information, as they start accumulating developmental mutations from early stages in the womb. Our uniqueness is the main reason medical professionals often cannot rely on the same medication when trying to treat different people with the same … Continue reading Precision Medicine: When ‘One-pill-fits-all’ Doesn’t Fit

Love, Physiology Style

Credit: iStock Love is described in many ways, both good and bad: “Love is blind” is first attributed to English author Geoffrey Chaucer. American author and activist Helen Keller said love is like a beautiful flower. According to the (perhaps jaded?) Greek philosopher Plato, love is a “grave mental disease.” Love is also physiology. Our … Continue reading Love, Physiology Style

Moms Who Exercise Have Healthier Kids

Credit: iStock When you exercise, your muscles get stronger, you may lose body fat, you can run farther and faster than before and your chance of getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease go way down. But have you thought about how your exercising can affect your kids’ health, too? At this year’s Experimental Biology … Continue reading Moms Who Exercise Have Healthier Kids

Why ‘Physiology’ Is Important to the Nobel Prize Name

Many physiologists and physicians around the world look forward to the first week of October. It’s not the crisp, cool autumn air or the promise of enjoying one more pumpkin spice latte before they disappear from coffeeshops that beckons, although those things are nice too. It’s the anticipation of learning what top scientific research has … Continue reading Why ‘Physiology’ Is Important to the Nobel Prize Name

Just Be Yourself—and Maybe Somebody Else Too

Credit: iStock You may remember learning in biology class that the combination of genetic material from both of your parents is part of what makes you unique. The combination of DNA from your parents becomes your personal genetic code that you will pass on if you have children. But in some rare cases, a person … Continue reading Just Be Yourself—and Maybe Somebody Else Too

2019’s Most-read Posts

Credit: iStock The year—and the decade—is drawing to a close, and we’ve had another physiology-ful year on the I Spy Physiology blog. In 2019, we’ve explored how horses power themselves and how groundhogs survive the long winter, and we have highlighted the important breakthrough of a new treatment for cystic fibrosis. We’ve also continued to … Continue reading 2019’s Most-read Posts

Spotlight On: DNA and RNA

Credit: iStock 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 … Continue reading Spotlight On: DNA and RNA

Ground-breaking Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Is a Testament to Basic Research

Credit: iStock Roughly 70,000 people worldwide have cystic fibrosis (CF)—a progressive, degenerative disease characterized by the buildup of unusually thick mucus in the lungs and other tissues. It occurs when a mutation causes a specific protein, called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), to malfunction. In healthy people, CFTR moves electrolytes in and out … Continue reading Ground-breaking Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Is a Testament to Basic Research

23 and We? Mating for Life Could Be Genetic

Spending Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart might just take on a new meaning ... an evolutionary one. Even though we live in an era in which endless opportunities for a mate are just a swipe left or right, science suggests that maybe we all have that one special someone out there. Social monogamy is the … Continue reading 23 and We? Mating for Life Could Be Genetic

Halloween Musings on Mutations

The word “mutation” may conjure up images of fictional monsters, Marvel X-Men and creatures with non-human characteristics. It’s true that mutations are often associated with disease: something that has gone wrong in the body to produce an oddly shaped body part or sometimes cancer. However, mutations can’t be categorized as “good” or “bad” so easily. … Continue reading Halloween Musings on Mutations