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
Credit: iStock Having a sweet tooth is nothing to be ashamed of. But 39% of people in the U.S. are obese, and 10% have diabetes. That means public health efforts to reduce sugar consumption could benefit millions of people. Eating too much processed sugar isn’t just bad for our teeth. Sugar can cause insulin resistance, … Continue reading Can Exercise Combat Your Sweet Tooth?
Credit: iStock Does being in the dark ever send a shiver up your spine? Have you ever hurried down a hallway after turning out the light? You may get spooked by suspicious shadows in a dark room only to turn on the light and realize it is just an innocent chair. Then, you might wonder … Continue reading Why Are We Afraid of Shadows in the Night? Because of Our Brains.
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
Filmmakers have a history of making a few common mistakes in horror movie physiology. Credit: iStock Horror movies have been thrilling fans since the late 1800s, and research has shown that people who watched a horror film had a spike in white blood cells—a basic and important part of the immune system—in response to the … Continue reading Horror-ibly Wrong Physiology in Scary Movies
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
It’s Halloween and the number of vampire attacks in your neighborhood may be on the rise! What would happen to your body if you were unlucky enough to be the victim of a blood-sucking vampire? The average adult has about 1 to 1.5 gallons of blood circulating in their body. Maintaining this amount of blood … Continue reading When Vampires Attack: How Your Body Reacts to Extreme Blood Loss
Credit: iStock With Halloween next week, you may be planning to head to a haunted house or cozy up on the couch with popcorn and a horror flick. Either way, you’re probably hoping for a good scare. Enjoying the thrill of a scary movie or riding a rollercoaster isn’t the same as a real life-threatening … Continue reading The Physiology of a Good Scare