Dr. Dolittle

Experimental Biology – Day 2

Today was a great day for trainees in comparative physiology! Here are some of the highlights from their sessions: Poster presentations: Alexis MacDonald et al., (Union College – Mentor Dr. Scott Kirkton) presented research showing that grasshopper skeletal muscles may use lactate for energy! Similarly, Dongying Wang et al., (Saint Louis University – Mentor Dr. Daniel…

Today marked the official start of the Experimental Biology meeting for the American Physiological Society! The highest award the society offers a scientist is named in honor of Dr. Walter B Cannon, the physiologist (and 6th President of the society) who came up with the term ‘homeostasis’ in his 1930 book The Wisdom of the…

I am packing my bags and heading out to sunny San Diego for the annual Experimental Biology conference, which officially kicks off today!

Heat stress in livestock

With the approach of summer, a timely study was published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology on whether inflammation plays a role in heat stress-related complications in muscles. Heat stress is a major problem in the livestock industry. In the United States alone it is reportedly associated with a loss of approximately…

Don’t forget to vote!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Phantastic Physiology Voyage video from trainees sponsored by the American Physiological Society. This year’s theme is “Function Follows Form.” Here is just a sample of the phantastic videos (from YouTube) in the contest: To see the rest of the videos and vote for your favorite, click here!

Experimental Biology 2016

I am getting my poster presentations ready for the Experimental Biology conference next week in San Diego. In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting conferences as we get to hear about the latest physiology research. I cannot wait to share what I learn with you! Here is a YouTube video with just…

Birds seeking safety of alligators

I came across this neat video summarizing a study that found some birds build nests near alligators to protect themselves from other predators. But the protection is not without a price.

Pesticide confuses bees

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph found that the use of certain pesticides impacts wildflower pollination by bees. According to a quote by study author Nigel Raine, published in CBCNews, the use of neonicotinoid-type pesticides “modify the way in which information flows through the nervous system.” The research team found…

In a new study published in The Auk, scientists report that well-fueled older tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) might be capable of non-stop flights of over 4,000 kilometers, wind conditions permitting. They made this remarkable observation while studying birds from 2010-2014 as the animals made stopovers at a wildlife refuge during their annual migration to South America. In general, older birds not only…

Why so many of us sleep

A special thank you to reader Dr. Barbara Goodman, Professor of Physiology at Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota who sent me a story from The Scientist about sleep in animals complete with footage of a dolphin that was seen apparently “sleeping” (video posted on YouTube): Why do animals sleep? This is a question with many…