Archives for December, 2010

Next stop: Iowa. The Iowa Physiological Society, a local chapter of The American Physiological Society, held their 15th annual meeting on Saturday October 9th at Des Moines University. Here are some of the comparative physiology highlights from their annual meeting: The Lizard “Kiss and Run”: The main method of neurotransmitter release is usually thought to…

The next stop on our journey visiting local chapters of The American Physiological Society is Nebraska. The Nebraska Physiological Society was founded in 1997 and just held their 13th meeting on September 11, 2010 in Omaha. If I only lived in Nebraska I would have been able to listen to Dr. Hannah Carey from the…

With the holidays literally around the corner, what more appropriate topic to talk about than reindeer! Many animals maintain a circadian rhythm, which is controlled by a group of cells in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. This rhythm controls many of the daily and seasonal activities in animals by telling them when…

Penguins 24-7!

I loved the movie “March of the Penguins.” Now, thanks to the California Academy of Sciences, I can watch penguins live anytime I want on one of their three webcams! I find myself watching the penguins just to relax in the middle of the day. I highly recommend you check out this website and watch…

OK, Pygmy Hippos are really cute. Well, baby pygmy hippos are really cute. And that’s kind of strange considering it looks like the morph of a pig and a hippo. I mean, piglets are cute, but grown pigs are certainly not the easiest thing on the eyes. And hippos, well, they’re just odd looking. But…

You know that age-old argument dog people and cat people can’t ever seem to agree on? The one about whether dogs or cats are smarter? Well, we may finally have an answer! (Spoiler alert: I’m pretty stoked, as a dog person.) According to a new study by Oxford University, researchers have discovered extreme differences in…

Sled Dogs and Diabetes

I recently wrote about how incredibly athletic sled dogs are, and given the recent weather forecasts for snow around the nation, I decided why not continue? Today, I’ll focus on how similar the physiology of sled dogs is to human physiology (answer: extremely similar), and how this could possibly help two very different kinds of…

Mice get all the interesting experiments! A new study released on Nov. 28 explained how Harvard researchers reversed the aging process in genetically altered mice. Now, I don’t know about you, but the first question I asked was, “What kind of physiological changes need to happen for that to even be a possibility?” While mice…

In a recent post, Dr. Dolittle reviewed some of our recent findings about the metabolic rate of ant colonies. We focused on the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex californicus, a species with wide geographic distribution across the southwestern United States: If you are interested, there is a large collection of Pogonomyrmex resources available online thanks to Bob…

Origin of Patterns

Image: Copyright BrotherSoft Ever wonder how the patterns of stripes and spots develop in animals? Researchers Michael Cohen, Buzz Baum and Mark Miodownik were wondering the same thing and have published their findings in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. They were able to construct a mathematical model to show how developing cells communicate…