Credit: iStock Each Halloween season, we celebrate all those spooky critters that give us the heebie-jeebies. But there might be more to cheer for than you realize. Scientists who study these creepy-crawlies are learning ways they may improve human health. Gila Monster In 1992, John Eng, MD, an endocrinologist working at the Veterans Affairs Medical … Continue reading This Halloween, Celebrate the Creepy-crawlies that Keep Us Safe
Credit: iStock This summer, many mourned the passing of Buddy, a 7-year old German shepherd who was the first dog diagnosed with COVID-19 in the U.S. He was diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in May. By July, his owners reported he was having a hard time breathing and was throwing up blood. … Continue reading Of Pets, People and Lucky Ducks: Risks of COVID-19 Transmission
Credit: Julius Nielsen and Holly Shiels The U.S. just had its birthday, which means it’s been 244 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What if I told you that in the Arctic Ocean, there are sharks swimming around today who were alive in 1776? And before you ask, yes, the very same … Continue reading What Can Greenland Sharks Teach Us about (a Long) Life?
Credit: iStock School is out, and temperatures are on the rise. It’s official: Summer has arrived. Staying cool is on everyone’s mind, but unlike people, most animals aren’t able to seek the comfort of air conditioning or even able to sweat! Here in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, horses, like humans, usually work up a … Continue reading Wild and Weird Ways Animals Keep Cool
On February 2, the country’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, was once again pulled out of hibernation to ask whether we can expect six more weeks of winter. His verdict: an early spring, though according to some reports, his predictions are not very reliable. One thing that is for sure, however, is that winter is … Continue reading Why Groundhogs Really Hibernate (It’s Not Just to Predict Six More Weeks of Winter)
Take a deep breath in. Now breathe out. Each time we breathe, oxygen enters the bloodstream to keep our organs alive and working. When oxygen can’t get to our body’s tissues, they begin to fail. This is true of all organs, but most of all the brain. In conditions like stroke and cardiac arrest—when the … Continue reading Running on Empty: No Oxygen Needed!
It’s August in Louisville, Ky., and my alarm goes off at 5:40 a.m. Time for my morning run with my four-legged running buddy, Julep. After I do some light stretching, we’re pounding the pavement by 6 a.m. to get a 5-mile run in. I choose to exercise before work because it’s (slightly) cooler compared … Continue reading The Dog Days of Summer Running
They aren’t moving. They’re not responding to touch or light. Their hearts aren’t beating. They’re no longer breathing. Their skin is ice-cold and hard to the touch. By that description, you probably don’t think I’m describing living things. However, there are some animals that survive like this because of a process called freeze tolerance. Unlike … Continue reading How Do Frogs Survive the Cold? By Freezing
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
While walking through Santiago, Chile, you are likely to come across at least one of the countless wandering dogs that live on the busy streets. Homeless dogs are a normal part of Santiago’s culture. They are quick to make friends with anyone who offers a welcoming hand or food. They are not quick, however, to … Continue reading Dog Gazing: Attachment between Hound and Human