Credit: iStock This year, as COVID-19 vaccines and boosters protected most of us from severe disease, scientists and educators returned to labs, classrooms and in-person meetings with a lot of new physiology research to share. In 2022, our member-contributors wrote about the physiology of space travel, new techniques to improve organ transplantation and why exercise … Continue reading 2022’s Most-read I Spy Physiology Posts
Antihistamines: Beyond Allergy Relief?
Credit: iStock Allergies are one of the most common chronic conditions in the world—in the U.S., as many as 50 million people have them. Many people regularly take antihistamine medications to relieve allergy symptoms that may include itching, skin rashes, runny nose and wheezing. Antihistamines block the effects of histamine, which is a very strong … Continue reading Antihistamines: Beyond Allergy Relief?
How Technology and Physiology Are Making Sick Livers Transplantable
Credit: iStock Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a spectrum of liver disease that begins with excess fat accumulation in liver cells. Left unchecked, this can progress to a more advanced disease stage, called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), that involves scarring and inflammation of the liver. There aren’t any approved therapies for NASH yet, which means … Continue reading How Technology and Physiology Are Making Sick Livers Transplantable
Space Travel Helps Us Learn about Our Gut
Credit: iStock During space travel, astronauts are exposed to a lack of gravity. This affects their physiology in different ways, including cardiovascular and musculoskeletal deconditioning, eye changes and immune dysfunction. However, less is known about the effects on the digestive system from spaceflight exposure. It’s important that we understand more about these effects because the … Continue reading Space Travel Helps Us Learn about Our Gut
Making Sense of Salt Sensing
Credit: iStock Sodium, or salt, content varies greatly in different foods. Last month in Philadelphia, many Experimental Biology conference attendees may have noticed something unique on restaurant menus: sodium warnings. These warnings caution diners about meals that have more than the recommended daily amount of sodium of 2,300 milligrams (mg). Wonder how the body regulates … Continue reading Making Sense of Salt Sensing
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
Tummy Troubles Up High: How Altitude Affects GI Physiology
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
Understanding Why Exercise Is Medicine
Credit: iStock Around the year 600 B.C., a physician from India by the name of Sushruta stressed the importance of physical activity on one’s health. Fast forward 2,600 years: Scientists have learned that lifelong exercise can make your body feel as much as 30 years younger. But even so, there’s a growing trend of our … Continue reading Understanding Why Exercise Is Medicine
What Are the Types of Biomedical Research?
Credit: iStock There are myriad fields and subfields of biological and medical research, but when scientists categorize these by broader goals rather than subject matter, there are three main categories: basic, clinical and translational. If you’re not a scientist, you may wonder what all of this means. Read on for an explanation. Basic Research Don’t … Continue reading What Are the Types of Biomedical Research?
Why Liver Cells Are Like a Rowing Crew
Credit: iStock At the back of a rowing boat sits the coxswain (pronounced “kaak-sn”) or “cox” for short. Unlike the rest of the muscle-bound rowing crew, the cox is much smaller and does not actually row. You might wonder: Why they should be kept in the boat if they don’t help with the energy-demanding tasks? … Continue reading Why Liver Cells Are Like a Rowing Crew