Archives for April, 2011

Cats are no doubt one of the most graceful and athletic animals. Researchers from Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada have developed a computational model of hindlimb locomotion for a cat. Locomotion is controlled by central pattern generators, which are groups of motor neurons within the spinal cord…

Being the tallest animal, coming in at around 18 feet, can have its advantages. However, the heart of such a tall animal must be extraordinarily equipped to handle the daunting challenge of pumping blood not only to the legs, but also against gravity all the way up their long necks to the brain. They achieve…

A healthy uterus is required for proper implantation of an embryo and development of a fetus. Disorders of the uterus including polyps, fibroids, scarring, etc can lead to infertility requiring would-be parents to either adopt a child or consider hiring a surrogate mother. Researchers have now been able to show, for the first time, the…

Here are highlights of my favorite abstracts covering the topics of hibernation and fasting that were presented at the Experimental Biology meeting last week: -Drs. Allyson Hindle and Sandra Martin from the University of Colorado Denver in Aurora, CO presented “Muscle regeneration occurs in late hibernation despite continued loss of body mass.” They showed evidence…

Image source: http://water.me.vccs.edu/concepts/oxycycle.html Humans need to inhale oxygen to support life. We also need to get rid of carbon dioxide, a byproduct of metabolism. Living in environments with very little oxygen (hypoxia) or very high carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) levels can be life-threatening for humans. This is because a build-up of carbon dioxide in our bodies…

You may recall the previous post on the seminar that I attended on Comparative Physiology of Brown Adipose Tissue at the Experimental Biology meeting last week. Here are some of the comparative physiology abstracts that were presented at the meeting on this topic: -Dr. Michael Symonds and colleagues from the The University of Nottingham, United…

Day 5 – Wednesday I am sitting at the airport waiting to board my flight back home from the meeting. This was an excellent year at EB for comparative physiology! There were so many wonderful sessions that it was often difficult choosing which to attend. While there were no designated comparative physiology symposia today, there…

Day 4 – Tuesday Dr. August Krogh is considered to be the founder of comparative physiology. We talked about the August Krogh Principle in my first entry. This principle states that “”for many problems there is an animal on which it can be most conveniently studied.” Dr. Krogh recognized that many animals have unique natural…

Experimental Biology 2011- Day 3

Day 3- Monday! Today was a great day for Comparative Physiology!! I highly enjoyed both symposia offered by the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section of the American Physiological Society. -The first was entitled: “Elucidating Nature’s Solutions to Human Diseases.” In this symposium, Dr. Barbara Horwitz, University of California at Davis, discussed how hibernating animals protect…

Experimental Biology 2011- Day 2

Day 2-Sunday The comparative physiology seminars and posters are all being presented today (Monday) and tomorrow. Since there will be a comparative physiology symposium today on fuel utililization and energy metabolism, I decided to attend the symposium held yesterday morning on energy metabolism and how it relates to the pathology, treatment and prevention of obesity…