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Experimental Biology Day 4

Day 4 of the meeting turned out to be pretty exciting for a comparative physiologist as well. The first session that I went to was called “RNASEQ approaches to understanding extreme physiological adaptations.” Considering the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology section business and dinner meeting was the night before, I was impressed at my ability to…

Day 3 of the Experimental Biology meeting was arguably one of the most exciting for comparative physiology. Here are the highlights from Monday: Morning Seminars: Birgitte McDonald from Aarhus University, Denmark presented, “Deep-diving sea lions exhibit extreme bradycardia in long-duration dives.” Birgitte and Dr. Paul Ponganis measured the heart rate of California sea lions (Z.…

Epilepsy in sea lions

According to a press release from Stanford University, California sea lions develop epilepsy from exposure to a toxin produced by algae called domoic acid. The animals develop seizures which can result in memory loss, tremors, convulsions and even death. The hippocampal region in the brain of the affected sea lions shows similar damage as humans…

Don’t forget the veteran dolphins

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we must not forget to thank the dolphins (and more recently sea lions) that have been active members of the US Military. The US military used dolphins trained to find and disarm underwater mines in the Iraq War. Eight dolphins served as the first marine mammals in active combat as…