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?
Credit: iStock We see unique body sizes and shapes, faces and personalities every day. So, it should not come as a surprise that no two people are exactly alike—not even identical twins. Aside from the obvious differences in people’s outward appearance, there are many differences in people’s physiology as well. Mary-Ellen Harper, PhD, from the … Continue reading When It Comes to Losing Weight, One Size Does Not Fit All
Filmmakers have a history of making a few common mistakes in horror movie physiology. Credit: iStock Horror movies have been thrilling fans since the late 1800s, and research has shown that people who watched a horror film had a spike in white blood cells—a basic and important part of the immune system—in response to the … Continue reading Horror-ibly Wrong Physiology in Scary Movies
Many of us only think about our muscles when they are sore from being a “weekend warrior” or shoveling out after a snowstorm. However, without skeletal muscles we would not be able to breathe, stand upright, walk or run. The fact that our muscles make up between 40 and 50 percent of our body mass … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Muscular System
By the year 2030, an estimated 70 million people in the U.S.—about 20 percent of the total population—will be older than 65. Going forward, this number is only expected to rise due to a combination of declining birth rates and increased life expectancy. A well-known witticism is “Age is an issue of mind over matter. … Continue reading Did You Know?: A Muscle May Increase Pneumonia in Older People
When young people think about their muscles, they often focus on enhancing their muscle size and strength for cosmetic or athletic reasons. Those older than 50, however, need to be more concerned with just keeping the muscle they have. On average, people over the age of 50 lose 1 to 2 percent of their muscle … Continue reading Why Does Muscle Matter?
Every January gym memberships spike and the wait to get on the treadmill gets longer. This happens because about 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, the most common of which are exercising more and improving fitness. Some people may believe in the concept of “no pain no gain,” but it’s a common misconception … Continue reading Taking Ibuprofen during Exercise May Cause More Harm than Good
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
“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
The spinal cord is the information processing highway in animals (including humans) that have a backbone. In humans, the spinal cord contains nerve cells called motor neurons that control movement in the muscle fibers of the body, similar to the way a puppeteer controls the movements of a puppet. About 17,000 people in the U.S. … Continue reading Spinal Cord Injury: Let’s Clear the Air(ways)