Touching a Nerve: Piezo Receptors

Credit: iStock “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. … Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. … If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” —David, … Continue reading Touching a Nerve: Piezo Receptors

How Our Bones Adapt in Space

Retired astronaut Scott Kelly grew two inches taller while he was in space due to changes in his bones and other organs. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls 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. Studies … Continue reading How Our Bones Adapt in Space

2022’s Most-read I Spy Physiology Posts

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?

Spotlight On: Diabetes

Credit: iStock We hear a lot about diabetes, but you may wonder what exactly it is. Diabetes mellitus (its full name) is a chronic disease caused by dysregulation of the endocrine system. Diabetes affects how our bodies turn food into energy. There are three main types of the condition: type 1, type 2 and gestational. … Continue reading Spotlight On: Diabetes

Halloween, Physiology Style

Credit: iStock As soon as the calendar turns over to October (and sometimes even before!) retail and media outlets remind us Halloween is coming. Wherever we look, it seems to be costumes, candy and scary movies abound. But did you know that many of the things that come to mind when we think of Halloween … Continue reading Halloween, Physiology Style

Extending the Window for Organ Recovery

Credit: iStock Oxygen is vital for maintaining normal cell function. It’s so important that even a few minutes without oxygen can cause a buildup of acid in the body. And that can lead to cell death and organ injury. Insufficient blood flow that can’t provide oxygen to organs and cells—which is called “ischemia”—is a major … Continue reading Extending the Window for Organ Recovery

To Infinity and Beyond: Our Ability to Control Blood Pressure

Astronaut Matthias Maurer returns to Earth after 177 days in space. Credit: NASA (Aubrey Gemignani) via Flickr NASA has a goal to send the first woman and first person of color to the moon. From there, a launch point will be established for the first human mission to our galactic neighbor, Mars. This is no … Continue reading To Infinity and Beyond: Our Ability to Control Blood Pressure

Spotlight On: Blood Clotting and Hemophilia

Credit: iStock When you play sports outside, you may accidently fall and scratch your knee or elbow, shedding a few drops of blood. Usually this is not a reason to be concerned. You wash your cut with some water, apply an anesthetic spray or ointment and stick on a bandage. The reason most of us … Continue reading Spotlight On: Blood Clotting and Hemophilia

How Drugs Change the Way Your Brain Works

Credit: iStock Drug addiction, also known as substance abuse disorder, is a very serious disease that affects people of all ages around the world. When a person is addicted to a drug, they have an uncontrollable craving for the drug because it becomes the only thing that makes them feel good. Without it, they feel … Continue reading How Drugs Change the Way Your Brain Works