Public / Press

Physiology is the study of how the body works under normal conditions. We use physiology when we exercise, read, breathe, sleep, eat, move, or do just about anything.

In this section you will learn "what’s new?" in human and animal physiology. Our information comes directly from the new scientific discoveries published in our research journals and presentations made by our members and other scientists at our meetings.

We explain physiology for the non-scientist through:

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Press Releases and Announcements

More than Just Eyes and Skin: Vitamin A Affects the Heart

Released April 29, 2016 - Vitamin A is important for heart development in embryos, but whether it has a role in maintaining heart health is unclear. A new study in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology finds that the heart is able to respond to vitamin A and the amount of vitamin A present has an effect. However, whether the effects are beneficial or harmful is still a mystery.

Jane Reckelhoff, PhD, Becomes 89th President of the American Physiological Society

Released April 20, 2016 - Jane Reckelhoff, PhD, was installed as APS president in April, immediately following the APS annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2016. Reckelhoff is a Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor, director of the Women’s Health Research Center, director of research development for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

New Officers Join Leadership of the American Physiological Society

Released April 20, 2016 - APS is pleased to introduce the new members of its leadership: President Elect Dennis Brown, PhD, and Councilors Jennifer S. Pollock, PhD; Willis K. Samson, PhD; and Harold D. Schultz, PhD. The new officers were elected by the APS membership and took office in April at the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego.

Health Improvements after Gastric-Bypass Surgery Start Well before Dramatic Weight Loss Begins

Released April 6, 2016 - New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting suggests that fat and blood sugar control and cardiovascular health start improving in the early stages of recovery before dramatic weight loss occurs.

Move Over, Polar Bear Plunge: Ice Swimming Is Next Big Extreme Winter Water Sport

Released April 5, 2016 - Hundreds of athletes around the globe are competing in one-mile ice swims. Performance and human physiological response in water 5 degrees Celsius or less has not been well-studied. Researchers will present new data on how age, gender and environmental factors such as wind chill affect ice swimming performance at Experimental Biology 2016.

The Down Side of Your Sweet and Salty Addiction: Rapid Onset High Blood Pressure?

Released April 5, 2016 - High levels of fructose similar to amounts consumed within the American diet may predispose individuals to fast-onset, salt-sensitive hypertension, according to New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting in San Diego.

Exercise Reduces Cardiovascular Risk Factors from Constant Stress

Released April 5, 2016 - Constant stress is associated with signs of poor blood vessel health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting in San Diego finds that aerobic exercise kept the blood vessels of stressed rats working normally.

Fat Stunts Growth of Tobacco Hornworm Caterpillars

Released April 4, 2016 - Tobacco hornworm caterpillars eating a high-fat diet are smaller than their counterparts eating a medium- or low-fat diet. New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting found that fat decreased the caterpillars’ food consumption, leading to the smaller body size.

Genetically Modified Mouse’s Brain Lights Up As It Thinks

Released April 1, 2016 - Scientists have developed a genetically modified mouse with brain cells that light up when active. The new mouse will allow scientists to see how the brain processes information. This study is published in Journal of Neurophysiology and is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

Do More Uphill Sprints! Higher Anaerobic Fitness Gives Edge to Mountain Ultra-Marathon Runners

Released April 3, 2016 - New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting suggests a runner’s pre-race anaerobic fitness capacity may be a key factor in determining who will have the fastest finishing times during grueling 50 km (31 mile) mountain ultramarathons.

APS 2016 Distinguished Lectureship Award Winners to Present Talks at Experimental Biology

Released March 31, 2016 - APS is pleased to recognize the outstanding honorees who will present their award lectures at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting in San Diego.

Nobel Laureate, Leading Experts Speak in APS President’s Symposium Series

Released March 30, 2016 - Leading research experts will discuss the physiology behind organ injury in alcohol abuse, the health impacts of diet, and adaptations to stress as part of the President's Symposium Series at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting in San Diego. The series is anchored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Lecture by Nobel Laureate Roger Tsien, PhD.

The Brain May Show Signs of Aging Earlier than Old Age

Released March 17, 2016 - A new study published in Physiological Genomics suggests that the brain shows signs of aging earlier than old age. The study found that the microglia cells—the immune cells of the brain—in middle-aged mice already showed altered activity seen in microglia from older mice.

Review Article Uncovers Clues to the Causes, Risk Factors for and Prevention of Drowning Deaths

Released March 17, 2016 - An international team of researchers have published an extensive review of scientific literature on factors involved drowning fatalities in the journal Physiology. They outline how the fear of drowning, fitness level, fatigue, intoxication and other factors can contribute to negative outcomes and highlight warnings for people who may be at increased risk of drowning, such as those with heart conditions.

Turning on Blood Flow Turns on Fat-Burning Brown Fat in Mice

Released March 1, 2016 - Increasing the blood flow in brown fat causes it to burn more calories in mice and may help treat obesity, a new study in the Journal of Applied Physiology reports. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

EB 2016 Highlights - APS News Update Special Edition

Organized by date, this special edition of our bi-weekly member e-newsletter features “can’t-miss” highlights from the APS EB 2015 program.

Aging May Worsen the Effects of a High-Salt Diet

Released February 9, 2016 -Age significantly impaired the ability of rats to get rid of excess sodium when exposed to a high-salt diet, according to research published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. Findings could have implications for salt consumption in the elderly; suggest older people could be at greater risk for the negative consequences of eating a high-salt diet.

Rat Study Shows that Renal Denervation Helps to Bring Drug-Resistant Hypertension under Control

Released February 9, 2016 - Most clinical studies have shown that renal denervation—a procedure that disrupts the nerves in the kidneys and prevents them from relaying signals—can treat drug-resistant hypertension, although a number have shown the procedure to be ineffective. A new study in American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology supports that renal denervation can treat hypertension and suggests that failures may be due to incomplete procedure. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

Small Reduction in Food Intake May Be Enough to Slow Polycystic Kidney Disease

Released January 28, 2016 - A small reduction in food intake—less than required to cause weight loss—dramatically slowed the development of a common genetic disorder called autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) in mice, a new study in American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology reports. There are no approved treatments for ADPKD in the U.S., and food reduction would be an ideal therapy because it most likely does not have side effects and is cost-effective, says the lead author.

Study May Explain Why Stroke Risk in Women Changes after Menopause

Released January 19, 2016 - Overactive microglia—the brain’s immune cells—may worsen the damage from brain injury after stroke or head impact. A new study in American Journal of Physiology—Endocrinology and Metabolism reports that a compound produced from estrogen called 2-methoxyestradiol calms overactive microglia. The findings offer an explanation for why stroke risk in women changes after menopause and point to potential treatments for treating brain injuries in men and women.

Not the Weaker Sex: Estrogen Protects Women Against the Flu, Study Finds

Released January 12, 2016 - A new study published in American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology finds that the female sex hormone estrogen has anti-viral effects against the influenza A virus, commonly known as the flu. The study supports why the flu may hit men harder than women.

Beyond Dance: Ballet Training Improves Muscle Coordination in Everyday Activities

Released January 5, 2016 - A new study in Journal of Neurophysiology reports that professional ballet dancers have more control over their muscles than individuals with no dance training. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

Still a Champion Runner at 80: Do Elite Athletes Have an Anti-Aging Secret in Their Muscles?

Released December 22, 2015 - Elite runners do not experience the muscle weakening associated with aging as non-athletes do. A new study published in American Journal of Physiology—Cell Physiology examines if their superb fitness is because their muscles have not aged.

Carbs, Not Fats, Boost Half-Marathon Race Performance, Study Finds

Released December 15, 2016 - Recent studies have proposed that burning fat instead of carbohydrates will improve exercise performance because the body's fat reserve is much larger than its carbohydrates reserve. A new study in Journal of Applied Physiology reports the opposite, finding that muscles rely on carbohydrates as their fuel source during prolonged exercise.

Study Links Environmental and Lifestyle Factors to Reproductive Problems, Infertility in Men

Released December 10, 2015 - Environmental and lifestyle factors are damaging men’s reproductive health and may be playing a large role in decreasing fertility rates in industrialized countries, a new study in Physiological Reviews reports. Socioeconomic influences and female reproductive health cannot solely be blamed for higher incidences of infertility, the study supports.

Study Suggests New Strategy for Treating Rare Neurodegenerative Disorder Menkes Disease

Released December 1, 2015 - Menkes disease arises from dysfunction in ATP7A, a protein that transports copper to cells, leading to brain development complications. Introducing working versions of ATP7A in the brain is considered the most direct therapeutic approach. However, a new study in AJP-Cell suggests that functioning ATP7A located elsewhere in the body, not necessarily the entire brain, can help treat the disorder. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

2015 APS News Update - Awards Special Edition (November)

As part of our mission to foster education, scientific research and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences, APS hands out more than 400 awards in the field of physiology each year totaling more than $1.2 million.

When Exercise Is Unhealthy for the Heart: Researchers Describe How Heart Problems and Sudden Cardiac Death Occur with Endurance Exercise

Released November 25, 2015 - Endurance exercise accelerates the development of heart problems in individuals with a particular genetic mutation, a new study finds. In mice with a mutated version of desmoplakin, a protein that maintains the heart wall, exercise made the heart walls come apart sooner. The findings offer insight into how to best manage exercise in individuals with the mutation.

New Biomarker Predicts Development of Preeclampsia at Six Weeks of Pregnancy

Released November 20, 2015 - Preeclampsia is generally diagnosed later in pregnancy, but new research reports that the protein copeptin can predict the development of preeclampsia as early as six weeks of gestation. The findings could lead to diagnosis of the disorder in the first trimester, improving care and potentially leading to the development of preventative measures.

Children Born to Women after Bariatric Surgery at Higher Risk of Obesity, Diabetes

Released November 19, 2015 - Weight-loss surgery can boost fertility in women and reduce the risk of pregnancy complications that commonly occur in obese women. However, a new study in rats suggests that weight-loss surgery alters mothers’ hormone and chemical balance, which harms offspring during gestation and later in life.

Sex Reassignment Surgery May Be Better for Transgender Women’s Health than Hormones Only

Released November 18, 2015 - Transgender women may be at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes compared with men and women in the general population. New research finds that transgender women who received only hormone therapy had poorer metabolic health than transgender women who underwent sex reassignment surgery in addition to receiving hormone therapy, suggesting that sex reassignment surgery may be metabolically protective.

Is Testosterone Therapy Safe?

Released November 18, 2015 - The increasing use of testosterone replacement therapy to treat reduced testosterone level in older men has been accompanied by growing concerns over its long-term safety. Two studies examining the health risks of receiving testosterone will be presented at Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Physiology and Gender conference, supporting opposite conclusions regarding risks.

Male Hormone Testosterone Cause of Sex Differences in Parkinson’s Disease Risk, Study Suggests

Released November 18, 2015 - Men are twice as likely as women to develop Parkinson’s disease. New research suggests that testosterone enhances the susceptibility of brain cells that control movement to damage from chemical imbalances, explaining the sex differences in the occurrence of Parkinson’s.

Genes May Determine the Side Effects of Menopausal Hormone Therapy, Study Suggests

Released November 10, 2015 - Cardiovascular disease risk in women increases after menopause and is associated with the drop in estrogen levels. Menopausal hormone therapy could slow the progression, but oral formulations also increase the risk of blood clots. A new study reports that whether a woman will obtain cardiovascular benefits from certain types of hormone therapy may depend on her genes.

Diet Lacking Soluble Fiber Promotes Weight Gain, Mouse Study Suggests

Released October 30, 2015 - A new study in American Journal of Physiology--Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology highlights the importance of the gut microbiome in maintaining intestinal and metabolic health and suggests that eating more foods high in soluble fiber may help prevent metabolic disease and obesity. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

Novo Nordisk Foundation Continues Support of APS Awards

Released October 28, 2015 - The Foundation will provide $100,000 over five years toward August Krogh Lecture and Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen Award. The awards are named in honor of physiologists August Krogh and Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen, who have made significant contributions to the field and also have unique ties to the Novo Nordisk Foundation and The American Physiological Society.

Clumsy? Ballet Might Help

Study in professional ballet dancers finds that ballet training may improve balance and coordination in daily activities.

New Study Explains Why You Bulk Up with Resistance Training, Not Endurance Training

Released October 20, 2015 - Research published in Physiological Reports shows that resistance and endurance exercises activate the same gene, PGC-1a, but the processes stimulated for the muscles to adapt depend on the exercise type. The study offers insight into why the physical changes from resistance exercise are so different than from endurance exercise.

Physiology and Gender Conference to Present Latest Research on Sex Differences in Disease Risk

Released October 13, 2015 - APS will host the Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Physiology and Gender conference Nov. 17–20, in Annapolis, Md. This meeting will bring together leading scientists studying the influence of sex and gender on cardiovascular, kidney and metabolic health and disease.

2015 APS News Update - Awards Special Edition

As part of our mission to foster education, scientific research and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences, APS hands out more than 400 awards in the field of physiology each year totaling more than $1.2 million.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Improves Blood Sugar Handling and Insulin Sensitivity, Study Finds

Released October 5, 2015 - Gastric bypass surgery can lead to remission of type 2 diabetes along with weight loss. A new study examines why, finding that insulin sensitivity of the body's main glucose (sugar) storage sites improve after gastric bypass surgery.

Lung Disease May Increase Risk of Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, Mouse Study Suggests

Released September 30, 2015 - Numerous studies have identified obesity and poor diet as risk factors for insulin resistance and diabetes. Now, a new study adds another risk factor to the list: inflammatory lung disease. The article is published ahead-of-print in the AJP - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

Age, Not Post-Op Infection, More Important for Kidney Transplant Success, Study Finds

Released September 22, 2015 - Infection by virus cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a major complication following kidney transplantation. CMV infection has been associated with increased kidney transplant failure and reduced patient survival. However, a new clinical study finds that age may be more important for long-term transplant and patient outcome.

For Veterans with Gulf War Illness, an Explanation for the Unexplainable Symptoms

Released September 10, 2015 - One in four Gulf War veterans suffers from Gulf War Illness, a condition characterized by unexplainable chronic fatigue, muscle pain and cognitive dysfunction. New research finds for the first time direct evidence that the cells of Gulf War veterans cannot produce enough energy to run the body, explaining the fatigue and slow down of the body.

Mechanical Ventilators: From Breathing Help to Breathing Handicap

Released September 10, 2015 - Researchers explore cell-level changes that weaken the diaphragm after prolonged ventilator use Abstract: Mechanical ventilators are routinely used in both surgical and emergency situations every day in U.S. hospitals. Though often life saving in the short term, prolonged use of ventilators can lead to diaphragm weakness, and problems commonly arise—roughly 20 to 30 percent of the time—when weaning the patient off of the ventilator. In a new study, researchers at the University of Florida provide insights into what causes the weakness on a cellular level. Their result could lead to strategies that hospitals can use to help prevent ventilator-related diaphragm damage.

High-Intensity Training Delivers Results for Older Men—But Not for Older Women

Released September 10, 2015 - High intensity training (HIT) is often recommended as a way to improve cardiovascular fitness in men and women, however, studies on these exercise regimens have focused on younger subjects. University of Copenhagen researchers looked at HIT effects in older males and females and found significant differences between men and women. They presented their results at the Physiological Bioenergetics conference in Tampa, Fla.

Chronic Drinking Disrupts Liver’s Circadian Clock, Contributes to Alcoholic Liver Disease

Released September 10, 2015 - Staying on an internal schedule is important for health, and disease can occur if the body’s internal clock is disrupted. A new study reinforces the importance of circadian rhythm, reporting that chronic drinking contributes to alcoholic liver disease because it impairs the liver’s production schedule of molecules that power it to run.

Could the Bioenergetic Health Index Become the Next BMI?

Released September 9, 2015 - A number of chronic diseases that have widespread effects on worldwide populations, such as cancer, neurodegeneration and cardio-metabolic syndromes, are known to have a connection to mitochondrial bioenergetics, the process by which cells create and use energy. “The bioenergetic health of an individual or group can serve as an early warning or the ‘canary in the coal mine’ to determine those with susceptibility to pathologies which stress the mitochondrion. It is clear that we urgently need new clinical tests to monitor changes in bioenergetics in patient populations,” said Victor Darley-Usmar of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and organizer for the “Physiological Bioenergetics: From Bench to Bedside” conference. The bioenergetic health index has the potential to be a new biomarker for assessing patient health for both prognostic and diagnostic value.

IV Administration of Endothelin B Receptor Drug Reduces Memory Loss, Oxidative Stress in Alzheimer’s Disease

Released September 4, 2015 - An estimated 5.3 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The five current FDA-approved AD medications only help mask the disease symptoms instead of treating the underlying disease. In a new study presented at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, researchers used IRL-1620, a chemical that binds to endothelin B receptors, to treat AD in rats.

International Experts Talk Cancer, Sickle Cell, Diabetic Nephropathy Therapies at Endothelin Meeting in Savannah

Released September 2, 2015 - Endothelin (ET) plays a role in many functions throughout the body, including blood vessel constriction and blood pressure regulation and in a number of disease pathologies. Insights gained through the study of ET have great therapeutic potential for health and disease. As ET experts convene for the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, the translational aspect of ET research will take center stage during the “Endothelin Therapeutics—Where Are We?” symposium.

Vitamin C: The Exercise Replacement?

Released September 4, 2015 - Exercise improves health in overweight and obese adults but can be hard to incorporate into a daily routine. New findings show that taking vitamin C supplements daily instead can have similar cardiovascular benefits as regular exercise in these adults. This study will be presented at 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics in Savannah, Ga.

New Hope for Lou: Unexplored Therapeutic Targets for ALS

Released September 3, 2015 - No cures exist for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and the only approved therapy slows the progression by only a few months. A new study identifies a promising unexplored avenue of treatment for ALS, the endothelin system. This study will be presented at 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics in Savannah, Ga.

One Protein, Many Fascinating Roles

Released September 2, 2015 - Endothelin is a peptide produced by cells in the blood vessels and has powerful vessel-constricting effects. Although mainly associated with its role in blood pressure control and cardiovascular diseases, it continues to appear in other physiological functions and diseases. This symposium, taking place at 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics in Savannah, Ga., will discuss its roles in diabetes, cognitive decline, sickle cell disease and skin pigmentation.

CPAP Works: Common Sleep Apnea Treatment Reverses Brain Function Changes Associated with Heart Disease

Released September 1, 2015 - CPAP machines are a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, but some people have a hard time adjusting and do not continue the treatment or are reluctant to start. A new study shows that CPAP is an effective sleep apnea treatment, finding that it reverses health changes that result in cardiovascular disease if the disorder is left untreated. This study is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the APSselect program.

This Week’s Articles in PresS Highlights

Released August 27, 2015 - Articles on the solution used to culture test-tube embryos and its role in future increased cardiovascular disease risk and the involvement of the Y chromosome in male disease and immune function are featured.

This Week’s Articles in PresS Highlights

Released August 19, 2015 - New treatments for fibromyalgia and a dairy-derived protein discovered to be a prebiotic that holds promise for treating gastrointestinal conditions and obesity are featured this week.

New Research Shows Why Statins Should Be Viewed as a Double-Edged Sword

Released August 13, 2015 - Statins have significant cardiovascular benefits, but also serious side effects. A new study finds that statin use impairs stem cell function, which helps in slowing atherosclerosis but hinders other body processes. Because of these effects, the study supports weighing individual risk when considering statins as a preventive measure.

Physiological Bioenergetics Meeting Focuses on Power Plant of Cells: The Mitochondria

Released August 13, 2015 - The second in the APS fall conference series, this meeting will assemble cross-disciplinary experts who study mitochondrial function and its regulatory mechanisms, with a special emphasis on translational and physiological mechanisms.

Endothelin-14 Conference to Present Cutting-Edge Therapeutic and Disease Findings

Released August 6, 2015 - APS will host the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics on September 2–5 in Savannah, Ga. The meeting will convene leading global researchers who study endothelin—a type of powerful peptide that constricts blood vessels, raises blood pressure and controls many other cellular functions throughout the body.

Resuming Exercise Soon After Heart Attack Can Improve Heart Recovery

Released August 3, 2015 - Many lifestyle factors cause heart disease, and exercise may not be enough to prevent heart attacks. A new study shows that regular exercise can still benefit the heart after a heart attack occurs. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

This Week’s Articles in PresS Highlights

Released July 23, 2015 - How the components of the Mediterranean lifestyle—with the exception of wine—work to combat cardiovascular disease risk and how drinking more beet juice can improve exercise performance and lengthen workouts are featured this week.

This Week’s Articles in PresS Highlights

Released July 15, 2015 - The link between PTSD and cardiovascular disease and treating liver cirrhosis with diabetes drug metformin are featured this week.

Can Four Fish Oil Pills a Day Keep the Doctor Away? For Healthy Seniors, Perhaps

Released July 6, 2015 - Omega-3 fish oil is a popular supplement because of its perceived cardiovascular benefits, but the scientific evidence has been conflicting. New research in Physiological Reports supports the claims for seniors, finding that healthy seniors who took omega-3 supplements every day had better cardiovascular health after 12 weeks of use.

July APSselect Research Highlights

Released July 1, 2015 - Brown adipose transplantation reverses type 1 diabetes in mice; heme oxygenase system as a potential therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular diseases; benefits of caloric restriction for muscle metabolism and mass during middle age; muscle signature of a champion sprinter are among this month’s selected articles.

Electrical Nerve Stimulation Can Reverse Spinal Cord Injury Nerve Damage in Patients

Released July 1, 2015 - Researchers find that nerve stimulation can improve the function of peripheral nerves damaged by spinal cord injury (SCI). This technique may be a new approach to preventing long-term changes in nerve and muscle function after SCI and improving SCI rehabilitation outcomes.This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

Promising New NSAID-Derivative May Be Well-Tolerated by Chronic Pain Sufferers

Released July 1, 2015 - Long-term use of naproxen (ALEVE), a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is often prescribed for chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis. However, because of NSAID-related gastrointestinal problems including stomach and intestinal inflammation and ulcers, many are unable to tolerate ongoing use. A new study, published in the American Journal of Physiology–Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, finds that a naproxen-derivative may provide both symptom relief and gastrointestinal protection. The research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

Why the Bloating During Menopause? Blame the Hormones or the Lack of Them

Released June 22, 2015 - Many women experience water retention and bloating when their hormone levels change, but how sex hormones affect water balance is not understood. A new study offers an explanation, finding that sex hormones can directly control how the body reabsorbs water.

Better than Stem Cells: Researchers Develop a Faster Way to Treat the Heart after a Heart Attack

Released June 16, 2015 - For healing the heart after a heart attack, stem cell therapies show promise but are slow to implement. Researchers develop a new treatment called microsphere therapy that can be kept on-hand and administered more readily than stem cells.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Diabetes: Researchers Find Out Why the Two Are Linked

Released June 4, 2015 - Nearly 50 percent of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) develop pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes before the age of 40, but the reasons for the correlation was unclear. In a new study in the American Journal of Physiology–Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers report that inflammation is the cause for the increased diabetes risk in women with PCOS.

E-Cigarette Vapor—Even when Nicotine-Free—Found to Damage Lung Cells

Released May 26, 2015 - With the use of e-cigarettes on the rise, especially among young people, research to uncover the health effects of e-cigs is becoming increasingly important. In a new study published ahead of print in AJP-Lung, researchers find that e-cig solution and vapors—even those that are nicotine-free—damage lung health.

A New Use for Statins: Asthma

Released May 26, 2015 - Researchers report that statins inhaled as a spray can treat symptoms of asthma. The findings support that statins should be explored as a new class of inhaler therapy for asthma.

APS Awards $446,000 to Its 2015 Undergraduate Research Fellows

Released May 20, 2015 - APS awards $446,000 to its 2015 undergraduate research fellows to spend an average of 10 weeks in the laboratory of an established scientist and APS member.

The Burmese Python in Wonderland: How the Snake Grows and Shrinks after It Eats

Released May 18, 2015 - The Burmese python's body and organs grow dramatically after it eats and then shrink after the meal is digested. This study is the first to link the extreme body changes directly to changes in gene expression and show how quickly gene expression shifts after the snake eats.

Cuban and American Physiological Societies Sign Historic Agreement for Research Collaboration

Released May 14, 2015 - Leadership of the APS and the Cuban Society of Physiological Science met in Havana to sign an agreement for the exchange of scientific information and resources between the two organizations. This partnership fits as part of APS’s goal of sharing breaking physiological research and will also facilitate more global interactions among Cuban, American and other international physiologists.

Fish Oil May Help with Diabetic Neuropathy

Released May 6, 2015 - New study reports that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can slow or reverse nerve damage from diabetes.

Researchers Find Clues that May Predict Recovery Outcomes Following Total Hip Replacement

Released May 4, 2015 - A cross-institutional team of researchers have identified a signaling substance (MuIS) that may predict patients who will have poor muscle regeneration outcomes following hip surgery. Testing patients for the presence of MuIS before surgery may help clinicians better plan for those who will need more intensive rehab post-surgery. This manuscript was chosen as an APSselect article for May.

New Hope for Short Bowel Syndrome

Released May 4, 2015 - Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have successfully made a small intestine that has the structural and molecular components of a healthy intestine. This article was chosen as an APSselect article for May.

Strength vs. Endurance: Does Exercise Type Matter in the Fight Against Obesity?

Released April 23, 2015 - Researchers look at which form of exercise—strength, endurance or a combination of both—work best in tandem with diet to reduce weight and change body composition among obese study participants. Results are published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Making the Heart Beat with Ultrasonic Waves

Released April 23, 2015 - Researchers from Drexel University demonstrate that ultrasound can increase the rate at which heart cells beat and describe the settings that can do so most effectively.

Caloric Restriction: A Fountain of Youth for Aging Muscles?

Released April 22, 2015 - Caloric restriction has been studied as a way to increase longevity in animals. Now, researchers explore how it may positively affect muscle and find that aging muscles receive the most benefit.

Tumors Prefer the Easy Way Out

Released April 16, 2015 - Researchers from Cornell University describe a new way cancer cells invade other parts of the body, identifying a new treatment target that may be more effective than current drugs.This article was chosen as an APSselect article for April.

On the Edge of Extinction: Tiny Pupfish Go without Breathing to Survive their Harsh Environment

Released March 31, 2015 - The endangered desert pupfish has made itself at home in the harsh, hot environment of Death Valley hot springs by using a surprising evolutionary adaptation: They can go for up to five hours without oxygen. Research will be presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on Tuesday, March 31.

NASA Astronaut-Scientists Speak at APS History of Physiology Group Symposium

Released April 1, 2015 - Astronaut-scientists from the 1998 NASA STS-90 Neurolab space mission will discuss what they learned about how the brain and nervous system work without gravity.

Diet Rich in Methionine—Found Most Abundantly in Eggs, Fish and Meats—May Promote Memory Loss

Released March 31, 2015 - Eating mostly protein in your diet? Research suggests a diet rich in eggs, fish and meats can lead to memory loss. Research will be presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on Tuesday, March 31.

“Ice It.” Why the Ubiquitous Advice Isn’t Healing Your Injury

Released March 30, 2015 - Does icing a serious bruise actually speed recovery time and assist in muscle repair? Researchers say no. Study results to be presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on Monday, March 30.

Blueberries Show Promise as Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Released March 30, 2015 - Roughly 8 percent of people in the US suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). SSRIs, such as Zoloft and Paxil, are the only currently-approved therapy for PTSD, but their effectiveness is marginal. LSU researchers have found that blueberries could be an effective treatment. Research will be presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on Monday, March 30.

Why Gastrointestinal Disorders Afflict Women More Often

Released March 30, 2015 - Women are more likely to have irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders than men. A new study suggests that it’s because the intestine’s nerve cells are more sluggish in women. Research will be presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on Monday, March 30.

More Reasons Why Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Is Important

Released March 30, 2015 - Losing several hours of sleep can slow the body’s metabolism, but what about losing only a few hours? A new study finds that metabolic effects are seen even when sleep is shortened by two hours. Research will be presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on Monday, March 30.

Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy Is Not Good for Mother or Baby

Released March 30, 2015 - Having sleep apnea while pregnant could make the baby more prone to metabolic disease as an adult. Research will be presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston on Monday, March 30.

Nobel Laureate, Leading Experts Speak in APS President’s Symposium Series

Released March 27, 2015 - APS President David M. Pollock, PhD, has organized a dynamic President’s Symposium Series for EB 2015. Focused on the theme “Physiology: Answers to Big Questions,” experts will discuss how physiology can uncover solutions for diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The series is anchored by Nobel Laureate Robert J. Lefkowitz, PhD.

APS Announces 2015 Society Lectureship Award Winners

Released March 27, 2015 - Masashi Yanagisawa, MD, PhD, Babette B. LaMarca, PhD and Jennifer S. Pollock, PhD to be awarded prestigious APS honors at Experimental Biology 2015.

Take Your Message to the Media! Attend the APS Communications Symposium

Alan Alda Center to host interactive workshop at Experimental Biology in Boston.

Cancer Drug Encourages Both Disease Regression and Loss of Taste

Released March 2, 2015 - Researchers at the University of Michigan have identified the pathway responsible for taste changes among users of chemotherapy drugs that treat basal cell carcinoma. Manuscript was chosen as an APSselect article for March.

EB Highlights Special Edition - APS News Update

Organized by date, this special edition of our bi-weekly member e-newsletter features “can’t-miss” highlights from the APS EB 2015 program.”

Experimental Biology 2015 Programming at a Glance

A sample of highlighted symposia from the six sponsoring societies for Experimental Biology 2015.

Press Passes Available for Experimental Biology 2015 in Boston

Free registration is available to credentialed representatives of the press, and an onsite newsroom will be available for media.

Older Adults: Double Your Protein to Build More Muscle

Released January 30, 2015 - University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences researchers find that older adults may need to double up on the recommended daily allowance of protein to efficiently maintain and build muscle. The article is published in the AJP—Endocrinology and Metabolism and is highlighted as part of the APSselect program.

An Interview with APS Executive Director Martin Frank, PhD

Dr. Frank talks to International Innovation about the Society’s successes, focus on support for young and underrepresented researchers, the Living History project and the future of physiology.

Mind over Matter: Can You Think Your Way to Strength?

Released December 31, 2014 - Ohio University researchers find that regular mental imagery exercises help preserve arm strength during 4 weeks of immobilization. The article is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology and is highlighted as part of the APSselect program.

APS News Update Special Edition #2: 2014 Awards Deadlines

As part of our mission to foster education, scientific research, and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences, APS hands out more than 100 awards in the field of physiology each year. Deadlines are fast approaching for a number of our awards.

Maternal Insulin Resistance Changes Pancreas, Increases Metabolic Disorders Risk in Offspring

Released December 1, 2014 - Researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center and the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School shed light on how changes to a mother’s metabolism lead to increased risk of insulin resistance, obesity and other problems in offspring.

Physiology Understanding Week 2014 Brings ‘PhUn’ to K–12 Students Across the U.S.

Released November 4, 2014 - Physiologists from across the country will visit classrooms to lead students in interactive activities that demonstrate how their bodies function and teach how medical discoveries are made during PhUn Week 2014 (November 3–7).

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Old Aortas

Released October 31, 2014 - Sargent College of Boston University researchers look for the root cause of age-related aortic stiffness—an early sign of cardiovascular disease—and uncover a potential therapeutic target for reducing or preventing its development. The article is published in AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology and is highlighted as part of the APSselect program.

APS News Update Special Edition: 2014 Awards Deadlines

As part of our mission to foster education, scientific research, and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences, APS hands out more than 100 awards in the field of physiology each year. Deadlines are fast approaching for a number of our awards.

Penguins Use Their Personalities to Prepare for Climate Change

Released October 8, 2014 - Birds’ individual personalities may be among the factors that could improve its chances of successfully coping with environmental stressors. Research presented at the APS intersociety meeting “Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology.”

Getting the Most out of Aquaculture: Pearls of Wisdom from Farmed Oysters

Released October 6, 2014 - Australian researchers are fitting oysters with biosensors to measure how they respond to changing environmental conditions or stressors on aquaculture farms. Their results have implications for achieving and maintaining ideal conditions for targeted species in aquatic environments.

Responses to Global Change: Acclimatize, Adapt or Die

Released October 7, 2014 - Human-driven climate change will put much of the Earth’s biodiversity at risk of extinction. This session will feature four presentations on how individual species are adapting to environmental changes. It will be presented on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at the APS Intersociety meeting “Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology.”

#CompPhys2014 Workshops Address Unconventional Careers in Science, Teaching in the IPhone Era

Released October 6, 2014 - The APS meeting “Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology” will feature workshops addressing two challenges facing physiologists today: finding a job and teaching physiology in the age of the smartphone.

Why Wet Feels Wet: Understanding the Illusion of Wetness

Released October 1, 2014 - Though it seems simple, feeling that something is wet is quite a feat because our skin does not have receptors that sense wetness. UK researchers propose that wetness perception is intertwined with our ability to sense cold temperature and tactile sensations such as pressure and texture.

Animal Physiology: A Looking Glass into Health, Disease and Environmental Adaptation

Released September 24, 2014 - New research, featured symposia and information on plenary sessions and workshops to be presented at the 2014 Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology meeting in San Diego. View the full meeting program at

Intense Exercise During Long Space Flights Can Help Astronauts Protect Aerobic Capacity

Released August 29, 2014 - Many astronauts experience a dip in aerobic capacity during long space flights. In an article published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, NASA researchers find that regular, intense in-flight exercise helps preserve cardiovascular stamina. The article is highlighted as part of the APSselect program.

Keep Calm Moms: Maternal Stress during Pregnancy Linked to Asthma Risk in Offspring

Released August 1, 2014 - Harvard researchers find that a single bout of stress during pregnancy can affect allergy and asthma susceptibility in neonates. The article is published in AJP – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and was chosen as one of this month’s APSselect articles.

APS Awards $386,000 to Its 2014 Undergraduate Research Fellows

Released July 22, 2014 - The APS is pleased to announce the recipients of its five summer fellowship programs for 2014. Fellows spend an average of 10 weeks in the laboratory of an established scientist and APS member.

Chinese Herbal Extract May Help Kill Off Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Released July 1, 2014 - University of Minnesota researchers find an ancient Chinese herb decreases a protective protein that helps cells survive allowing cell death in pancreatic cancer cells. The article is highlighted as part of the APSselect program.

APS Awards $72,800 to Its 2014 STRIDE Undergraduate Research Fellows

Released June 23, 2014 - APS has selected 14 undergraduate Fellows to spend the summer performing research in the laboratory of an established scientist and APS member. The APS Short-Term Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health-Related Research (STRIDE) program provides the opportunity for aspiring scientists with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to have an exciting research experience and to be immersed in the scientific process.

Stem Cell Therapy May Help Recondition Lungs Previously Rejected for Transplant

Released May 30, 2014 - International team of researchers use stem cells therapy to “recondition” abnormally functioning lungs previously rejected for transplant. Study could have implications for increasing the supply of suitable donor lungs. The article is highlighted as part of the APSselect program.

Prematurity Linked to Altered Lung Function During Exercise, High Blood Pressure in Adults

Released April 29, 2014 - Some preterm babies have lungs that develop abnormally. While long-term health effects of prematurity are still unclear, researchers have found that adults who were born early may have problems handling the pulmonary demands of exercise.

Heat Regulation Dysfunction May Stop MS Patients from Exercising

Released April 29, 2014 - Exercise-induced body temperature increases can make symptoms worse for some patients with multiple sclerosis. Researchers at Southern Methodist explore the underlying causes of the temperature regulation problems so MS patients can better reap the benefits of exercise.

Ready, Set, Hot!: Does Warm Weather Play a Role in Football Concussions?

Released April 28, 2014 - Heat and dehydration can cause a “perfect storm” of risk factors for concussion among competitive football players. University of Windsor researchers looked at the effects of extreme temperature on concussion rates during NCAA football games.

Road to the Fountain of Youth Paved with Fast Food…and Sneakers?

Released April 28, 2014 - Unhealthy lifestyle habits can accelerate the process of senescence (cell death) and the release of damaging substances from dying cells. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic for the first time demonstrate that exercise can prevent or delay this fundamental process of aging.

Nobel Laureate, Leading Experts Speak in APS President’s Symposium Series

Released April 27, 2014 - Highlights from APS President Kim E. Barrett’s special EB symposium series “Multiscale Physiology: Linking Cellular and Molecular Insights to the Health of Organisms and Populations.”

APS Announces 2014 Society Lectureship Award Winners

Released April 26, 2014 - James M. Anderson, MD, PhD; Kazuhiro Nakamura, PhD; and Michael Joyner, MD receive three of the Society’s most prestigious awards.

Fight Memory Loss with a Smile (or Chuckle)

Released April 27, 2014 - The stress hormone cortisol can negatively affect memory and learning ability in the elderly. Researchers at Loma Linda University found that showing a 20-minute funny video to healthy seniors and seniors with diabetes helped them score better on memory tests and significantly reduced their cortisol levels when compared to non-video watchers.

Archive of Teaching Resources Relaunches As Life Sciences Teaching Community

Released April 8, 2014 - New community offers thousands of free resources for life science educators. The Physiological Society, Genetics Society of America, and American Society of Plant Biologists join as scientific society partners.

Race Now or Later? Calculating the Best Time to Compete after Altitude Training

Released April 3, 2014 - In a new review article, researchers explore the ideal time to return to sea level and compete following training at high altitude. The research is one of 15 articles on hypoxia—this month’s highlighted topic in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

A Protein Could Be a Key Weapon in the Battle of the Bulge

Released April 1, 2014 - In a new study, researchers found that elevated levels of GDNF protein could help fight the weight gain and health problems associated with a high-fat diet. The article is published in AJP-Gastro and was chosen as one of April's APSselect articles.

EB Attendees: Save Time for Communication!

2014 APS Communications Symposium: Author and scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson, PhD, will present the interactive session “Storytelling: Mandatory Training for Today’s Scientists.”

Not Only Is She Thinner Than You…Her Muscles Work Better, Too

Released March 20, 2014 - In a new AJP-Endo study, researchers examined how muscle physiology plays into being and staying lean.

Genes May Thwart Seniors’ Exercise Gains

Released March 14, 2014 - A new study in Physiological Genomics examines the ACE I/D gene and how its variations -- the ID, DD, and II genotypes -- cause some seniors' to lose out on the benefits of exercise.

APS Elects New 2014 Officers

Released February 25, 2014 - APS announces its newly-elected officers for 2014. Patricia E. Molina, MD, PhD is the new president-elect. Barbara Alexander, PhD; Rudy M. Ortiz, PhD; and Bill Yates, PhD have been named to the APS Council.

The American Physiological Society Launches APSselect

Released January 31, 2014 - January 2014 marks the beginning of an exciting new initiative for the Society. Our new virtual journal, entitled APSselect, will highlight the “best of the best” of the some 250 papers published each month by the Society’s 10 research journals.

“The Sex of Cells” in the Lab

Released January 2, 2014 - At first glance one might think that a cell lacks features that would reflect its sex or gender. In fact, that is not true. Researchers are now discovering that the sex of experimental subjects—even cells—does matter in research.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Heart Defects May Be Caused by Altered Function, Not Structure

Released December 30, 2013 - Study utilizing using animal model finds fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) heart defects may be caused by altered function, not structure.

For Altitude Training, a Narrow Window for Success

Released December 12, 2013 - In a new study, researchers found that living between 2000 and 2500 meters above sea level offered the best performance enhancement compared to living at higher or lower elevations. These findings could help competitive endurance athletes and their coaches develop altitude training regimens that have the highest chance of success.

Quadriplegics at Risk for Serious Sleep Breathing Disorder

Released December 5, 2013 - New findings suggest that where the spinal cord is injured—in the neck, or lower—can affect the likelihood and type of breathing problems during sleep, including central sleep apnea. Understanding how and why patients’ nighttime breathing is affected could help doctors better manage these conditions.

For Obese Teen Girls, Aerobic Exercise May Trump Resistance Training

Released November 7 2013 - New findings suggest that for teen girls, aerobic exercise might be superior to resistance exercise for cutting health risks associated with obesity. Study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Vitamin C Could Ease Muscle Fatigue in COPD Patients

Released November 7, 2013 - New findings show IV infusions of vitamin C can improve skeletal muscle fatigue in COPD patients, further implicating the role of oxidative stress in the skeletal muscle problems that accompany the disease.

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