Why Biological Sex Matters in Research Studies

Credit: iStock “Boys are rotten, made out of cotton. Girls are handy, made out of candy.” While this silly elementary schoolyard rhyme is obviously not accurate, the underlying message is true: Males and females are physiologically different in some ways, particularly when it comes to sex organs and hormones. Until recently, however, the majority of … Continue reading Why Biological Sex Matters in Research Studies

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

Spotlight On: Menopause

Credit: iStock Menopause is a stage in a person’s life when their menstrual cycle stops. The average age in the U.S. is 52. During this time, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone—hormones that regulate the reproductive cycle and support pregnancy—marking the end of reproductive function. After going without a period for 12 consecutive months, … Continue reading Spotlight On: Menopause

Spotlight On: The Reproductive System

Credit: iStock There are many organ systems within our body that ensure we stay alive. Arguably, however, one of the most important systems for guaranteeing our survival for generations is the reproductive system, as it allows us to produce children. To be able to have children, we first go through puberty—changes in the body that … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Reproductive System

Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

Frequent readers of the I Spy Physiology blog will know that topics such as altitude, pregnancy and exercise are some of our favorites to write about. All of these conditions provide a challenge to our body’s homeostasis, or ability of the body to regulate all of its systems and functions. Until recently, scientists did not … Continue reading Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

How Being Male or Female Affects Our Hearts, Kidneys and Waistlines

When it comes to health, men and women aren’t always equal. Biological factors, such as our anatomy and hormones, affect the way our bodies behave when we’re healthy and when we face health challenges. Top researchers who study the influence of biological sex on health and disease gathered earlier this month in Knoxville, Tenn., for … Continue reading How Being Male or Female Affects Our Hearts, Kidneys and Waistlines

Spotlight On: Preeclampsia

Lady Sybil Crawley—the feisty youngest sister of a wealthy British family on the PBS television series “Downton Abbey”—made her way into viewers’ hearts. Devotees of the show were shocked when, in a surprise twist, she died soon after giving birth. Lady Sybil died from high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) that developed into a more … Continue reading Spotlight On: Preeclampsia

Do Caffeine and Menstrual Cycles Affect Athletic Performance?

Menstruation and its effect on athletic performance is not often discussed in athletics, even though most female athletes deal with it in their daily lives. However, more researchers have begun to look at this subject, and some are observing how other factors, such as caffeine consumption, could influence a female’s performance during sports. A recent … Continue reading Do Caffeine and Menstrual Cycles Affect Athletic Performance?

How, What and When to Eat: Scientists Weigh In at Experimental Biology 2018

Each year, scientists who study physiology and other biomedical research fields—including anatomy, biochemistry, pathology and pharmacology—gather at the Experimental Biology (EB) meeting. Scientific meetings such as EB provide a platform to present and learn about new and cutting-edge research and form collaborations with colleagues that can lead to advances in science and medicine. This year’s … Continue reading How, What and When to Eat: Scientists Weigh In at Experimental Biology 2018

Skip the Nightcap: Your Sperm or Eggs May Thank You

Alcohol may grease the wheels in the short-term and make trying to get pregnant a little more fun, but in the it long run it could throw a wrench in fertility. Roughly 10 percent of men and women in the U.S. report having difficulty getting pregnant. Worldwide, close to 49 million couples were considered to … Continue reading Skip the Nightcap: Your Sperm or Eggs May Thank You