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Wednesday was the last day of the meeting that culminated in a closing banquet with an awards session to honor students who had exceptional presentations. What an impressive group of young comparative physiologists!  The plenary lecture was given by Dr. Steven Chown (Monash Univ, Australia). He spoke about climate change forecasts and continuing environmental changes…

Tuesday was no less exciting than Monday! Here are some highlights: I thoroughly enjoyed a session called “Overcoming a Major Physiological Barrier: Adaptation from Saline to Freshwater Habitats” which highlighted the need for several species to shift how they regulate ion balance when they migrate between fresh water (ion absorption from the water) and salt…

As anticipated, the meeting today was excellent! Here are some highlights from today: Dr. Michael Joyner (Mayo Clinic) spoke about how we should reconsider animal models that are used in research as laboratory rodents can be manipulated to match their genotype to their phenotype. In other words, researchers modify the animal’s genome to produce a…

I am really excited about the comparative physiology conference that starts this weekend in San Diego! Here is a press release about the meeting (author Stacy Brooks from the American Physiological Society): Bethesda, Md. (September 25, 2014) — More than 400 comparative and evolutionary physiologists will gather to present new research and discoveries in animal physiology at…

I read an interesting article in Scientific American that discussed the so-called Peto’s Paradox. Dr. Richard Peto (University of Oxford) came up with the idea that if every cell has an equal probability of becoming cancerous, then larger animals would be predicted to develop cancer at higher rates than smaller animals. As it turns out,…

The metabolism of most animals follows a circadian rhythm that differs between the day and night. Mexican cavefish living in constant darkness, lost this circadian rhythm some time ago. In a newly published study in PLOS ONE, researchers compared the metabolic rate of both cave- and surface-dwelling Mexican tetra fish (Astyanax mexicanus). They hypothesized that…

No joke. George (the goldfish) had developed a rather large tumor over the past year and the owners loved the fish so much, they spent $200 to have the life-threatening tumor surgically removed:

Fight to save world’s rarest fish

Conservationists are trying hard to save the Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) from extinction. With less than 100 animals remaining, a captive breeding program was started at the University of California, Berkeley. As you can imagine from the image below, the geographic range of this fish is smaller than other wild vertebrates. They are only found…

Last known living rescue dog of 9/11

On this anniversary of 9/11 we remember not only the victims but also the heroes of that fateful day including countless first responders as well as their rescue animals that searched tirelessly for victims. The last known living rescue dog from 9/11 is Bretagne, a 15-year old golden retriever who returned to the memorial site…

Until now I thought I had come up with enough reasons to dislike mosquitoes, those tiny little blood sucking vectors of disease. With reports of the debilitating mosquito-borne virus chikungunya in the Americas (Carribean), I was ecstatic hear that researchers are working hard to find ways to control mosquito populations. As mentioned in a previous…