Physiology

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Category archives for Physiology

A worm with an ur-hypothalamus?

Modern Brains Have An Ancient Core: Hormones control growth, metabolism, reproduction and many other important biological processes. In humans, and all other vertebrates, the chemical signals are produced by specialised brain centres such as the hypothalamus and secreted into the blood stream that distributes them around the body. Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory…

OK, it’s been about 20 years since I was last in vet school and I have fogotten most of the stuff I learned there. But I remember a few things. I clearly remember the Pathology class (and especially the lab!) and the Five Signs (or stages) of Death: pallor mortis (paleness), algor mortis (cooling), rigor…

Invisibility Cloak

When I was a kid I swallowed science-fiction by the crates. And I was too young to be very discerning of quality – I liked everything. Good taste developed later, with age. But even at that tender age, there was one book that was so bad that not only did I realized it was bad,…

Give the spherical cow an orgasm!

How did I miss this!? Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, one of my personal scientific idols, died on January 25th, 2007at the age of 92. He has re-invented, or perhaps better to say invented, the field of comparative physiology (now often refered to as ‘evolutionary physiology’). He wrote the standard textbook in the field – Animal Physiology: Adaptation…

Russ noted that someone is using thermography to study thermoregulation in elephants: Wits University has just completed studies on how elephants cope with high African temperatures and how that influences their behaviour. In African savannahs, elephants are exposed to high environmental heat loads during the day and low ambient temperatures at night and yet these…

Physiology: Coordinated Response

This is the last in the 16-post series of BIO101 lecture notes for a speed-course targeted at adults. As always, I welcome corrections and suggestions for improvement (June 17, 2006)…

Physiology: Regulation and Control

The penultimate installment of lecture notes in the BIO101 series. Help me make it better – point out errors of fact and suggest improvements:

Just quickly for now without commentary: Totally cool paper in the last Science: S. Libert, J. Zwiener, X. Chu, W. VanVoorhies, G. Roman, and S.D.Pletcher Regulation of Drosophila lifespan by olfaction and food-derived odors: Smell is an ancient sensory system present in organisms from bacteria to humans. In the nematode Caeonorhabditis elegans, gustatory and olfactory…