Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge

Competitive swimming is a demanding sport that requires maintaining a high level of activity—while partially submerged in the water—without being able to breathe naturally. It’s a sport—like any form of exercise—that may not be suited to everyone. Years of research have shown that competitive swimmers have larger lungs and better lung function than non-swimmers. In … Continue reading Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge

Survival of the Fishes: Research in Comparative Physiology

Animals can be cute, cuddly, weird-looking and even scary. To a comparative physiologist—someone who studies the physiological function of different species—animals can also be the key to understanding human health. Animals can provide clues about the world’s larger ecological systems. This is becoming more and more important as climate change and pollution become two of … Continue reading Survival of the Fishes: Research in Comparative Physiology

Halloween Musings on Mutations

The word “mutation” may conjure up images of fictional monsters, Marvel X-Men and creatures with non-human characteristics. It’s true that mutations are often associated with disease: something that has gone wrong in the body to produce an oddly shaped body part or sometimes cancer. However, mutations can’t be categorized as “good” or “bad” so easily. … Continue reading Halloween Musings on Mutations

Getting Younger As We Age: Could a Diabetes Drug Help?

Between the years of 1946 and 1964, families in the U.S. were having a lot of children—76 million to be exact. People who were born in this time period are generally referred to as “baby boomers.” Today, the oldest baby boomers are over the age of 70, with all baby boomers turning 65 or older … Continue reading Getting Younger As We Age: Could a Diabetes Drug Help?

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

Missing Out on Sleep, Missing Out on Health: Why You Need More Sleep

Right now, one-third of the population is walking, driving or doing their job in a drunken state. Not because they’ve had too much to drink, but because they haven’t spent enough time in bed. No exaggeration—inadequate sleep has been shown to be the same as operating at a blood alcohol level of .05 percent (the … Continue reading Missing Out on Sleep, Missing Out on Health: Why You Need More Sleep

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: 1 Part Genes, 1 Part Experience

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating, psychiatric disorder that can occur following exposure to trauma or extreme stress. While anyone who has experienced trauma can develop PTSD, it is most often associated with military veterans. Not everyone who has experienced trauma will develop PTSD—in fact, the majority of people exposed to trauma do not … Continue reading Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: 1 Part Genes, 1 Part Experience

Cardiovascular Consequences of Wildfires and Climate Change

This week, there’s been nonstop media coverage of the massive wildfires in California—including the Mendocino Complex fire, now considered the largest fire in state history. In California alone, more than 13,000 firefighters are battling flames that have scorched more than 600,000 acres. The U.S. is not the only country experiencing an uptick in catastrophic fire … Continue reading Cardiovascular Consequences of Wildfires and Climate Change

Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

Summer is in full swing, and with a near-peak number of daylight hours, chances are good that there is still plenty of light left to enjoy once your workday is done. Before you get outside and bask in the sun and heat, check out these I Spy posts that explain how your body responds to … Continue reading Here Comes the Sun (and the Heat)

March to the Beat of Your Own Drum

My two young children absolutely love to beat on drums (or tables, chairs, any flat surface really). I recently took them to a family-oriented drum circle. They had a blast, and I was surprised at how good I felt too, both during and after the event. It turns out all that drumming—especially with others—is beneficial … Continue reading March to the Beat of Your Own Drum