Spotlight On: Hearing

From the calming sound of birds chirruping to a warning honk of a car, your sense of hearing is integral to your understanding of the world around us. Certain sounds can help you sleep, calm your mind, cause feelings of panic or stress, or even evoke nostalgic memories. You might wonder why this happens and … Continue reading Spotlight On: Hearing

Spotlight On: Enzymes

Proteins have lots of important functions in the body. One of them is to work as biological catalysts, which means they cause chemical changes or reactions in other substances. This group of proteins, called enzymes, bring about changes in the body while they remain unchanged themselves during the process. Learning the origins of the word … Continue reading Spotlight On: Enzymes

Spotlight On: Diabetes

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. To understand … Continue reading Spotlight On: Diabetes

Spotlight On: Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the lungs of people of all ages. Asthma causes repeated episodes of coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and airflow obstruction. Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed to help people with the condition lead a normal and healthy life. Interestingly, asthma can change … Continue reading Spotlight On: Asthma

Spotlight On: Insulin

Sugar is one of the most important fuels our bodies use to produce energy and survive. However, too much sugar can cause damage to our organs. Our bodies naturally produce a hormone called insulin that helps regulate how much sugar is circulating in our blood at any given time, even when we eat sugary foods … Continue reading Spotlight On: Insulin

Spotlight On: Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease caused by mutations, or changes, in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Cystic fibrosis is most common in people of Northern European ancestry, but it occurs in people of all races and ethnicities. People who inherit a mutated CFTR gene from both of their parents are … Continue reading Spotlight On: Cystic Fibrosis

Spotlight On: Alzheimer’s Disease

As we age, the risk of developing dementia increases. Dementia is basically losing the ability to think and remember clearly, though it is a general term, not a specific disease. There are many diseases that fall under the umbrella term of “dementia.” One of the most common is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease was named after … Continue reading Spotlight On: Alzheimer’s Disease

Spotlight On: Autophagy

Defects in autophagy have been linked to several diseases, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and infectious and immunological diseases. The significance of this process was highlighted in 2016 when Yoshinori Ohsumi, PhD, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his decades-long research on autophagy. You might already be wondering: What is autophagy and why … Continue reading Spotlight On: Autophagy

Spotlight On: The Respiratory System

The respiratory system delivers oxygen to the cells in our body and removes carbon dioxide, the gas our cells constantly produce. Every time you take a breath, you take air in through the nose (nasal cavity) and sometimes the mouth (oral cavity). There are guard hairs inside your nostrils that help cleanse the air and … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Respiratory System

Spotlight On: Smell

Each time we stop to smell the roses, we should thank our sense of smell (olfaction) that allows us to detect airborne chemicals (odors) from the environment. Olfaction is one of the ancient senses used by animals to monitor the external environment. Although olfactory systems vary in different animals—insects, for example, use antennae, while dogs … Continue reading Spotlight On: Smell