Credit: iStock If you’re planning a spring skiing vacation or a summer of hiking in the mountains, you might want to prepare your mind and body for the physiological effects of high altitude. At altitude, the air pressure is lower. The amount of oxygen in the air is the same as sea level (about 21%), … Continue reading Tummy Troubles Up High: How Altitude Affects GI Physiology
APS member and astronaut Jessica Meir, PhD, works in a microgravity environment on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA If I asked you where is up and where is down, you would most likely be able to identify it. This is because the Earth’s gravitational pull on your body makes it easier for you to … Continue reading What Happens to Astronauts’ Bodies in Space?
An estimated 400 million people—myself included—live at elevations higher than 1,500 meters above sea level. The beautiful scenery, rugged mountains and clean air are part of the appeal to many of us. But interesting changes in the body seem to occur as a response to living at high altitude. Scientists from all over the world are … Continue reading Can Altitude Affect Blood Flow and Your DNA?
“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. … For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going.” - Forrest Gump … Continue reading Muscle Rebuilding on the Colorado Trail
This summer, I spent a month studying at the Universidad de los Andes in Chile. We visited the Atacama Desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world. It is nestled between two sets of mountains; during one of our excursions we hiked up the Andes Mountains to a village called Socaire, located at an altitude … Continue reading Fact or Fiction: Does Coca Candy Prevent Altitude Sickness?
Physical activity has been linked to a lower risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast cancer. Walking a few hours a week may even decrease the risk of a breast cancer recurrence as well as dying from the disease. The American Cancer Society currently recommends that people recovering from cancer should exercise at … Continue reading Can Exercising in Low-Oxygen Conditions Help Breast Cancer Survivors?
Machu Picchu. Credit: Anne Crecelius After spending three weeks getting to know the geography of Chile and making important connections with other academics, I treated myself to some tourist activity in Peru, Chile’s neighbor to the north. I met my mother in Lima, and we began a nine-day tour to visit the famous Incan sites … Continue reading Keeping Up with the Highland Natives
After fulfilling the main purpose of our trip—to build relationships with universities in Santiago, the capital city of Chile—we headed north to the Atacama Desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world. The small town of San Pedro de Atacama serves as a starting point for adventure travelers looking to experience all this beautiful landscape … Continue reading A 10,000-Foot View from the ALMA Observatory in Atacama