Catherine Ivy, graduate student at McMaster University compared deer mice that were raised at high altitudes versus those raised at lower altitudes and found that the ancestry of the animals was actually important in regulation of breathing and gas exchange in the lungs. Perhaps not surprisingly, acclimation to hypoxia also influenced both variables as well.
Alice Nakasone, undergraduate student at Barry University (Miami Shores, FL) taught me that mice do not cough! Therefore, her research on regulation of coughing focuses on guinea pigs, which are able to cough.
Ave Harris, undergraduate student at Medgar Evers College presented data showing how histamine (you know the molecule that is at the root of allergic reactions and the reason for taking antihistamines), is involved in sensory reception in the gills of a bivalve (Crassostrea virginica; image above from uniprot.org).
Brandy Cahoon, University of Nevada, Las Vegas spoke about how tenrecs (shown above, from Madagascar) have brown adipose tissue and do not regulate their body temperatures as closely as other cold-adapted species. In fact, their body temperature tends to track the ambient (i.e. atmospheric) temperature. Since brown adipose tissue is thought to have evolved in hot, as opposed to cold, environments this thermoregulatory tissue might be important for reproduction, not just hibernation.
The annual business dinner meeting was also Monday night at the NoName Restaurant in Boston, MA where the food was amazing (lobster, clams and scallops-yum!). It was impressive to see so many young comparative physiologists receive awards for their research! I hope to acquire some photos and share some information about each of them with you very soon.