Physiology

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Category archives for Physiology

One of the latest additions (just two days ago, I think) to the Directory of Open Access Journals is a journal that will be of interest to some of my readers – The Open Sleep Journal. The first volume has been published and contains several interesting articles. One that drew my attention is The Phylogeny…

You really think I am going to put this above the fold? No way – you have to click (First posted on July 7, 2006):

Oxytocin and Childbirth. Or not.

When teaching human or animal physiology, it is very easy to come up with examples of ubiqutous negative feedback loops. On the other hand, there are very few physiological processes that can serve as examples of positive feedback. These include opening of the ion channels during the action potential, the blood clotting cascade, emptying of…

Hot Peppers – Why Are They Hot?

(First posted on July 21, 2006) Some plants do not want to get eaten. They may grow in places difficult to approach, they may look unappetizing, or they may evolve vile smells. Some have a fuzzy, hairy or sticky surface, others evolve thorns. Animals need to eat those plants to survive and plants need not…

“Why isn’t there a birth control pill for men?” is the latest “Ask A ScienceBlogger” question. I am sure my SciBlings will rise to the occasion and explain both the biological and social barriers to the development, production and marketing of such a pill. I will be more light hearted, with a brief look at…

Running, breathing and being a horse

Yesterday, Chris Clarke wrote a post that I read three times so far, then finally submitted it myself for Reed’s consideration for the anthology. Most science bloggers are excellent writers, but rare is the gift that Chris displays in many a post, of weaving many threads into a coherent story that is also gripping and…

Oxytocin and Childbirth. Or not.

When teaching human or animal physiology, it is very easy to come up with examples of ubiqutous negative feedback loops. On the other hand, there are very few physiological processes that can serve as examples of positive feedback. These include opening of the ion channels during the action potential, the blood clotting cascade, emptying of…

Sarah Wallace, Matt Ford, ScienceGoGo and Jason Stajich comment on the fungus that gets its energy from radiation. I’ve heard of Deinococcus radiodurans before, but this is a fungus! Well, if there is an energy source to tap into, even if it is in the middle of Chernobyl, some life form is likely to find…

Evolution of Adoption

If we are not there at the moment of birth, how come we can bond with the baby and be good fathers or good adoptive parents? Kate explains. Obligatory Reading of the Day. Update: Related is this new article by former Scibling David Dobbs: The Hormone That Helps You Read Minds Update 2: Matt responds…

Phylogeny vs. Aerodynamics in birds

A very interesting new paper was published today in PLoS Biology: Flight Speeds among Bird Species: Allometric and Phylogenetic Effects by Thomas Alerstam, Mikael Rosen, Johan Backman, Per G. P. Ericson and Olof Hellgren: Analysing the variation in flight speed among bird species is important in understanding flight. We tested if the cruising speed of…