Life Lines


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 were many sessions that would be of interest to a comparative physiologist. Here are the ones that I attended:

-The first session was on “Vascular Adaptation to Exercise in Atherosclerosis.” There were many talks in this session that were relevant to a comparative physiologist studying exercise and potential cardiovascular adaptations that animals have developed to provide optimal blood pressure and flow to working muscles. Many of the speakers also talked about how exercise may help protect from the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries caused by plaque build-up. If only we could brush away the plaque in our arteries like we brush our teeth. I suppose that proper diets and exercise are as close as we can get to doing just that.

-The second session that I attended was super cool! The topic was “Balloons, Aeronauts and Mountain tops: Contributions of Nathan Zuntz to High Altitude Physiology.” This session was sponsored by the American Physiological Society History of Physiology Group. The symposium covered the topic of the physiology of balloon flight in the 19th and early 20th centuries and Dr. Nathan Zuntz’s contributions to this field of high altitude and exercise physiology research. Here is a link to an abstract about this renowned researcher. This session reminded me of our previous discussion about high altitude flight in birds.

-The final session that I attended was on the contribution of animal models to the understanding of peripheral artery disease. This was a great session for anyone interested in how different animal models have helped us to better understand the physiology of this disorder.

Time to board my flight now. I will write about my favorite comparative physiology abstracts from the meeting next week.