Life Lines

Archives for April, 2013

Experimental Biology – Tuesday

Today’s symposia included a session on “Integrative Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology of Non-model Organisms” as well as the August Krogh Distinguished Lecture. This year’s Krogh lecture was given by Dr. Stan Lindstedt from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Lindstedt is arguably best known for publishing work showing that the metabolic rate of an animal is negatively…

Experimental Biology – Monday

Another exciting day for Comparative Physiology! I just got back to my hotel after the wonderful dinner meeting overlooking the Harbor. Of course, the research was exciting too Here are the highlights from today’s sessions: Heinrich E, Bradley T. Univ California, Irvine I learned a lot about the insect tracheal system this morning. Insects do not…

Experimental Biology – Sunday

The Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology section held their Scholander Poster competition for young comparative physiologists today! It was exciting to see all of the students present their work. Here are some of the highlights: Raffaele Pilla, Dominic P, D’Agostino, Carol S. Landon, and Jay B. Dean from Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.…

As always, the opening ceremony for the American Physiological Society at the Experimental Biology meeting was awesome! The food was probably the best I have had at these meetings, which along with the fun band, probably explains why it was jam-packed with Physiologists eager to kick-start this meeting. I am looking forward to the Scholander…

House-eating snails?

Giant African land snails, like the one pictured above, are reportedly “one of the world’s most destructive invasive species” as they not only consume over 500 plant species, they can actually eat stucco (apparently a good source of calcium). Therefore, I am sure you can imagine the damage they are causing in South Florida where they can…

Regenerated kidneys filter urine!

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) have successfully regenerated kidneys that were unsuitable for transplantation. They stripped the tissue of all native cells, then added donor stem cells to the scaffolding that was left behind. The re-animated kidneys successfully created urine after being transplanted into rats! The hope is to apply this technique to humans…

  Dr. Kelly Swanson, a professor of animal and nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just published an article on the topic of pet obesity in the Journal of Animal Science. His research is designed to explore how foods alter gene expression in our pets, a field called nutrigenomics. He thinks that domestication (reducing the need for animals…

Jell-O Brains

I have to admit I love the science section of The New York Times. The topic today: Dr. Karl Deisseroth and colleagues at Stanford University have developed a technique called CLARITY that uses hydrogel to make the brain look like it is made of Jell-O. They have successfully applied this technique to a whole mouse brain as well as part of…

Painted Turtle Genome

Now we can add Western painted turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii) to the list of species to have their genome sequenced. The goal of sequencing their genome was to try to find genes that control the ability of these animals to survive freezing solid during the winter. Because they are not able to breathe while frozen,…

Last year we talked about how rats can apparently laugh. This year, new research published in PLoS ONE suggests that mice can cough. It actually surprised me to learn this was a controversial topic, since no one has reportedly attempted to tease apart the barely audible sound of a cough from the other sounds mice make. Researchers…