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. These researchers demonstrated that a ketone body, often thought of as waste products resulting from the use of fats for energy, can have protective effects against seizures caused by exposure to hyperbaric oxgyen.
Jose A Viscarra, Daniel E Crocker, and Rudy M Ortiz from the University of California, Merced (JAV and RMO) and Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA (DEC) were studying the effects of long-term fasting in Northern elephant seal pups that normally fast for 2-3 months after they wean. What they found was that the animals actually became resistant to the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin during this long term fast. In other words, they became more like a person with type 2 diabetes.
PonTi Tsou, Geetha Koneru, Luiz Finatti, Kara Bobka, James Frisbie, David L. Goldstein. Wright State University, Dayton, OH discovered that freeze tolerant Gray tree frogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) actually increase the ability for glycerol (a cryoprotectant) to be secreted by the liver cells in order to protect the animal's tissues during freezing.
The Pilla et al study is not surprising given the evidence that a ketogenic diet can suppress and even cure epilepsy.