Life Science

Is it just me or does that fish look horrified?

Friday Cephalopod: Force of arms

Who among you has taught or studied vertebrate anatomy? I have. It’s cool. Skeletal and muscular anatomy are weird, though, because we so take the principles for granted that we’re often not aware of it. We can move because we have a jointed framework, a collection of levers that are moved by the contractions of…

Speaking of the intellectual collapse of ID, its other major blog, the Discovery Institute’s “Evolution News and Views” also seems to have fallen on hard times. How else to explain the presence of this article, by Steve Laufmann? Laufmann addresses the question, “Is Intelligent Design Science?” He divides his answer into five parts. We shall…

I keep telling students that the key thing in photography is lighting.

Mosquitoes. That’s right, mosquitoes. As creepy little transmitters of diseases such as the current Zika virus epidemic (linked with causing the birth defect microencephaly), West Nile virus, malaria, chikungunya, and dengue fever, mosquitoes kill over 1 million people every year according to the World Health Organization. This fascinating video from PBS shows how they suck your…

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Motherly

That’s not a meal, that’s her newborn baby!

As I just explained, however, the erotic possibilities will remain unexplored.

Protecting The Great Lakes

In a prior post summarizing the annual Michigan Physiological Society Meeting, I briefly mentioned the work from Adrian Vasquez, Milad Qazazi, Andrew Failla, Sanjay Rama, Samuel Randall, and Jeffrey Ram from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI). They were exploring the diversity of water mites, a type of arachnid, in Western Lake Erie and they found a mixture of…

Seawater contains sulfate concentrations that are nearly 40 times those measured in plasma. Therefore, it is easy to see why fish would need to develop mechanisms to keep sulfate within a physiologically normal range. The kidneys of teleost fish have been known to excrete excess sulfate in the urine. However until now, it was not known whether…

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,…