Archives for January, 2011

Next stop: Tennessee, where the Tennessee Physiological Society held their annual meeting on October 14-15, 2010 at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Polly Hofmann, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center kicked off the meeting with a presentation on myocardial ischemia, which is when the blood supply to the heart muscle is…

The next stop on our journey is the Ohio Physiological Society, which was created 25 years ago and held their annual meeting October 14-15, 2010. This local chapter of The American Physiological Society has gone regional! Not only did the meeting attract scientists and students from 14 universities in Ohio, but also neighboring Henry Ford…

The next stop on our journey visiting local chapters of The American Physiological Society is Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Society of Physiologists is comprised of scientists, educators and students who are promoting physiology research and education. In fact, the topic of their 2009 meeting was on the responsible conduct of research, a topic every scientist and…

Revenge of the Cats!

For all of the cat lovers out there, this entry is for you! You may recall the recent post on how dogs are smarter than cats. Admittedly, I love our little feline friends as well although my cat is certainly no Einstein…more like Garfield… Based on the ratio of brain to body size size alone,…

Counting Animals

Being able to count may be innate to many species. An article in New Scientist featured 8 amazing animals that are able to count or distinguish between ratios. Here are their stories: Red-backed salamanders: Dr. Claudie Uller at the University of Essex, UK tested the counting ability of these amphibians in Louisiana. The animals were…

Genome 10K Project

Arguably one of the most ambitious ongoing projects is Genome 10K. The goal of this project is to develop a database containing the DNA sequences for 10,000 vertebrate species. According to the website, this comes out to roughly one sequence for every vertebrate genus. Completion of this database would provide an invaluable resource for researchers,…

Eating Sunshine

Image: NewScientist; 11, Dec. 2010 issue; “Dawn of the Plantimals” I have read a lot recently about the photosynthesizing capabilities of animals, and why most animals simply don’t do it. I personally thought this luxury was awarded only to plants – you know, almost as a pity: “Hey, plants, sorry you’re stuck in one place,…

Bat echolocation and wind turbines

After reading the article on the decimation of bat populations in North America, that was the subject of my previous entry, I wanted to learn more about these incredible flying mammals. There is actually a whole website called Bat Web dedicated to the understanding of bats where you can watch a video presented by John…

Many of you have probably been following the news on the recent deaths of thousands of blackbirds in Arkansas that have, so far, been attributed to confusion brought on by local fireworks causing the birds to fly into objects. You are probably also aware of the mysterious deaths of more birds in Lousiana just a…

Dr. Peter Frederick at the University of Florida has discovered that not only does mercury pollution lower testosterone levels in white ibises (pictured above), it also has resulted in the male birds mating with each other. His findings are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Dr. Frederick fed the birds a diet with…