Brain & Behavior

In 2014, more than 28,000 people in the U.S. died from an opioid overdose. That same year, more Americans died from drug overdoses than during any other year on record, with the escalating numbers fueled by opioid abuse. Solutions to the problem are as complex as the epidemic itself, however a recent study pointed to one tool that can make a significant difference: prescription drug monitoring programs.

In the first large-scale study of its kind, researchers report that sexual trauma is indeed a risk factor for suicide among military veterans and are calling on veteran health providers to continue including such trauma in suicide prevention strategies.

Does the brain really operate like some kind of extra-complex computer, with logic gates and circuits made of the synapses that connect one neuron to another? In 2009, we wrote: In the future, the interface between brain and artificial system might be based on nerve cells grown for that purpose. In research that was recently…

New research published in the American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology shows that bacterial infections increase the production of nitric oxide in chicks, which is similar to what happens in rodents. The increase in nitric oxide is thought to be related to the development of fever. In fact, when nitric oxide production was blocked,…

The Michigan Physiological Society, a chapter of the American Physiological Society, held their 3rd annual meeting last week. As mentioned in a prior post, the keynote address was given by Comparative Physiologist Dr. Hannah Carey (University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine). You can read about her research in the prior post. Here are other highlights…

Check out this picture of a cigar

Most people just see a horizontally oriented cigar (brown with grey ash) when they look at the picture below, but if you look closely you can also see what looks like a wall of red bricks behind the cigar! Yet another view:

I am very excited about the upcoming 3rd annual Michigan Physiological Society Meeting on May 12-13 in Detroit. This society is a local chapter of the American Physiological Society. I am most excited by their choice of a Comparative Physiologist for the keynote address: Dr. Hannah V. Carey from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary…

Check out this video from Scientific American discussing how canids from different areas have different ‘dialects’:

Experimental Biology – Day 5

Today was the final day of the meeting. Dr. Joe Thompson (Franklin and Marshall College) spoke about oblique striated muscles, which get their name from the diagonal pattern formed by the location of the Z-lines. This type of muscle is common among cephalopods, nematodes, tunicates, molluscs, etc. Dr. John Whiteman (University of Wyoming) gave a…

This year’s August Krogh Distinguished lecture, the highest award given to an accomplished Comparative Physiologist from the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology section of the American Physiological Society was awarded to Dr. Jon Harrison, Arizona State University. Dr. Harrison gave an outstanding seminar in which he reviewed some of his major research discoveries. His work has…