2017’s 10 Most-read Posts

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

Research and Education Help Babies Born Too Early

A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, but about 10 percent of babies in the U.S. are born preterm (before 37 weeks’ gestation) or premature. Less time in the womb means the infants’ organs are immature and not yet ready to function on their own. Generally, the earlier a preterm birth happens, the more likely it … Continue reading Research and Education Help Babies Born Too Early

The Trouble with E-Cigs: Why They May Pose More Harm than Good

The market for electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) and vaping has surged in popularity within the past five years, while traditional cigarette sales have declined. From 2012 to 2013, e-cig sales more than doubled to $1.7 billion. By 2015, sales were estimated at $3.7 billion. Although manufacturers claim that e-cigs are safer than traditional cigarettes, their use … Continue reading The Trouble with E-Cigs: Why They May Pose More Harm than Good

Why Does Air Pollution Affect More Women than Men?

A year ago, I went to California to participate in a scientific conference. After a couple of days, my mentor and I started to have trouble breathing. As two healthy adults, we wondered why this was happening. I did not know the answer at that time, but I did notice a pattern: Other female colleagues, … Continue reading Why Does Air Pollution Affect More Women than Men?

When Hormones Take Your Breath Away

After a healthy childhood, my best friend suddenly started having breathing difficulties when she was 20 years old. The doctor diagnosed her with asthma. With the help of inhaled medications, she was able to control her symptoms. But a year later, the medications were no longer effective and she started having monthly, life-threatening asthma attacks. … Continue reading When Hormones Take Your Breath Away

Spinal Cord Injury: Let’s Clear the Air(ways)

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)

April Showers Bring May Flowers—and Sneezes

There are plenty of things to love about spring. It’s warmer and daylight lasts longer, so you can spend more time outdoors. It’s the end of cold and flu season, so you may be feeling better than you did over the winter. And it seems that everything is in bloom. However, those beautiful spring flowers … Continue reading April Showers Bring May Flowers—and Sneezes

Bring on Winter! (But Stay Safe and Healthy)

  Winter officially begins next week with the winter solstice—the day of the year with the fewest hours of sunlight—on Dec. 21. With the cold weather and shorter days, you might be tempted to curl up under a blanket until the spring thaw. Whether you plan to hibernate or get outside to enjoy the chill, … Continue reading Bring on Winter! (But Stay Safe and Healthy)

Nanoparticles: A High-Tech Solution for Lung Cancer Treatment

Credit: iStock Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Responsible for 1 in 4 cancer deaths, there were approximately 224,390 new cases and 158,000 lung cancer deaths in 2016 alone. Despite the seemingly grim outlook for lung cancer … Continue reading Nanoparticles: A High-Tech Solution for Lung Cancer Treatment

Keeping Up with the Highland Natives

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