Chromium Picolinate May Lessen Inflammation in Diabetic Nephropathy
Released September 22, 2010 - Taking chromium picolinate may help lessen inflammation associated with kidney disease is the conclusion of a study comparing diabetic mice treated with chromium picolinate with those that received placebo. Mice who received the supplement had lower levels of albuminuria (protein in the urine), an indication of kidney disease. Untreated diabetic mice had marked immunostaining for interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 17 (IL-1 and moderate immunostaining for indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), an immunoregulatory enzyme that modulates the production of IL-6 and IL-17.
Harvard Fatigue Laboratory Brought Aid & Comfort to America’s WWII GIs
Released September 13, 2010 - During World War II, researchers at the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory tested materials, food, and clothing that were ultimately used in preserving the lives and limbs of the nation’s 16 million soldiers, also known as GIs. The lab examined everything from the best forms of insulation for cold-weather combat to the metabolic effects of a diet consisting solely of “pemmican,” a foodstuff consisting of 50% protein and 50% fat.
New Study Strengthens Link Between Everyday Stress and Obesity
Released September 1, 2010 - The effects of stress on the meal patterns and food intake of animals exposed to the equivalent of everyday stress on humans suggest that there is not only a short term impact – the stress can cause metabolic changes in the longer term that contribute to obesity. The findings were determined by use of the visible burrow system (VBS), an animal model of chronic social stress to produce stress-associated behavioral, endocrine, physiological and neurochemical changes in animals.
APS Announces New Position Statements on Animals in Research
Released August 31, 2010 - The American Physiological Society has adopted two new position statements on animals in research. The first policy position, “Animal Research is Essential to the Search for Cures,” is a broad statement of support for the important role that animal models continue to play in research and restates the need for research animals to be treated humanely. The second statement, “Guiding Principles for the Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research and Training” updates the code of ethics for APS members who work with animals.
Ant Colonies Shed Light on Metabolism
Released August 26, 2010 - A recent study of California seed harvester ants that examined their metabolic rate in relation to colony size may lead to a better appreciation for the social, six-legged insects, whose colonies researchers say provide a theoretical framework for understanding cellular networks. The researchers found that the metabolic rate of seed harvester ant colonies could not be predicted by adding and dividing the by-products of the metabolisms of all individual colony members. The team also found that the larger the colony, the lower its overall metabolic rate.
Second-Hand Smoke May Provoke Inflammatory Response in Lungs`
Released August 26, 2010 - A current study assessing how second-hand smoke affects the lungs of rats, and so far it appears that second-hand smoke triggers a complex inflammatory response. Two months of exposure by rats to second-hand smoke were enough to cause significant changes in the rats’ lung tissue, and the results were even more profound in rats exposed for four months. Also noted was increased numbers of white blood cells indicating an immune response.
Body Mass Index & Thrombogenic Factors In Newly Menopausal Women
Released August 26, 2010 - A study of a subset of women in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS), suggests that as Body Mass Index (BMI) increases, so do platelet reactivity and thrombogenic microvesicles and activated protein C in the blood—all of which contribute to the formation of atherothrombosis and associated cardiovascular events. Moreover, as BMI increases, so do traditional established cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-sensitive C-reactive protein.
Macrophages: The “Defense” Cells That Help Throughout the Body
Released August 26, 2010 - Microphages are antimicrobial warriors and play critical roles in immune regulation and wound-healing. They can respond to a variety of cellular signals and change their physiology in response to local cues. This presentation focused on how macrophages exist in nearly all tissues and are produced when white blood cells called monocytes leave the blood and differentiate in a tissue-specific manner. Immune-regulating macrophages produce high levels of the cytokine interleukin-10, which helps suppress the body’s immune response and may hold the key to developing treatments for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Climate Change and Its Effect on Bird Populations
Released August 4, 2010 - Researchers have found that during heat waves, increases in air temperatures of as little as two degrees Fahrenheit can double the rate of water loss in a small bird and importantly impact its survival time. Their research shows that during heat waves in the 2080s, small birds will show greater increases in water loss rates than larger birds leading to greatly reduced survival times in small birds. For small birds, survival times may be reduced by as much as 30-40%.
A “Crystal Ball” For Predicting the Effects of Global Climate Change
Released August 4, 2010 - By comparing different species to each other, as well as to members within a species that live in different environments, researchers are learning which physiologic features establish environmental optima and tolerance limits. This approach gives the scientific community a “crystal ball” for predicting the effects of global warming. New research focused on species whose body temperatures change in response to their environment and are commonly referred to as “cold-blooded to help predict which organisms will be forced out and which will continue to thrive.
Butterflies Shed Light on How Some Species Respond to Global Warming
Released August 4, 2010 - Natural relocation of species is not something that can be taken for granted is a conclusion reached by the study of two species of butterfly. Evidence suggesting that a number of genetic variables affect whether and how well a species will relocate. This research manipulated the temperature of the butterfly larvae’s environment could reveal how the two species might respond to global warming. The small butterfly has limited range inhibiting genetic makeup of the group does not spread very far. The larger butterfly can fly greater distances and its genes are more likely to be spread out over a larger range.
High Levels of Carbon Dioxide Threaten Oyster Survival
Released August 4, 2010 - New research on the effect of human-produced high carbon dioxide on oyster survival, growth and shell hardness suggests that creatures once thought to be fairly adaptable to changes in the environment may be in serious trouble. Juvenile oysters were affected the most by high CO2 conditions because they grow at a faster rate than the adults and need to use more energy for survival. The oysters tested displayed reduced growth of their shells and their soft bodies and younger oysters’ shells were also more fragile and prone to breaking, potentially making them more susceptible to predators.
Coastal Creatures May Have Reduced Ability to Fight Infections
Released August 4, 2010 -- Researchers have examined the effects of low oxygen and high carbon dioxide on ocean organisms’ immune systems. They have found that organisms in these conditions can’t fight off infections as well as animals living in oxygen rich, low carbon dioxide environments. Observing fish, oysters, crabs and shrimp, revealed these animals have a decreased ability to fight off infection of Vibrio bacteria when subjected to low oxygen, high carbon dioxide conditions. The scientists see evidence that sea animals fighting off infection lower their metabolism, which slows down other important processes like making new proteins.
Romantic Rejection Stimulates Key Brain Areas
Released July 6, 2010 -- The pain and anguish of rejection by a romantic partner may be the result of activity in parts of the brain associated with motivation, reward and addiction craving. A new research effort could explain why feelings related to romantic rejection can be hard to control and provide insight into extreme behaviors associated with rejection. Those who are coping with a romantic rejection may be fighting against a strong survival system that appears to be the basis of many addictions. The data help to explain why the beloved is so difficult to give up.
Hyperoxia May Slow Formation of Wrinkles
Released June 29, 2010 -- Oxygen may help combat the formation of wrinkles by lessening tissue damage done by UVB rays. In the study, mice that were placed in an oxygen chamber after exposure to UVB radiation developed fewer wrinkles and showed fewer signs of tissue damage than mice who were exposed to UVB radiation alone.
Muscles and Bones in Cahoots
Released April 27, 2010 -- Recent evidence supports the notion that bones and muscles are more interconnected than previously thought. Bones and muscles can release signals that directly affect one another’s function or disease state. Even more remarkable is that these systems seem to produce secreting factors that communicate to distant parts of the body. A collaborative group observed that mutations or defects in specific genes important for muscle function, also created changes in bones. The findings could have implications for the treatment of osteoporosis and other disorders associated with aging.
Brown Rice and Cardiovascular Protection
Released April 26, 2010 -- Brown rice might have an advantage over white rice by offering protection from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”), say researchers at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. New research suggests that a component in a layer of tissue surrounding grains of brown rice may work against angiotensin II, an endocrine protein and a known culprit in the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
Response to Repetitive Laughter Similar to Effect of Repetitive Exercise
Released April 26, 2010 -- Since the 1980s, California researchers have been studying the human body’s response to mirthful laughter and have found that laughter helps optimize many of the functions of various body systems. They are the first to establish that laughter helps optimize the hormones in the endocrine system, which leads to stress reduction. They have also shown that laughter has a positive effect on modulating components of the immune system, including increased production of antibodies and activation of the body’s protective cells, including T-cells and especially Natural Killer cells’ killing activity of tumor cells.
Predicting Risk for High Blood Pressure
Released April 26, 2010 -- There are racial differences in the activity of enzymes that make or break down a major regulator of blood pressure. New research results correlate with the bias of African Americans being more at risk for hypertension. The findings were that African American boys have more of the enzyme that makes the hormone that contributes to high blood pressure and African American girls have less of the enzyme that makes the hormone that protects against high blood pressure or hypertension.
A Blessing in Disguise
Released April 26, 2010 -- Anne Gingery from the Minnesota Medical School, Duluth, MN, investigated how specific factors released from the placenta of women with preeclampsia inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure syndrome in pregnant mothers that is caused when the blood supply in the placenta of the developing baby is restricted. The findings revealed that factors released during preeclampsia affect the stem cells of the mammary gland in some way that changes how the cells develop, which may affect protection against cancer.
SSRIs and Cardiovascular Health
Released April 26, 2010 -- A class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may provide a boost to cardiovascular health by affecting the way platelets, small cells in the blood involved in clotting, clump together. A research team found that depressed patients who have an associated risk of cardiovascular problems, the blocking activity of SSRIs may have a side-effect of preventing the serotonin uptake by platelets, making them less responsive to aggregation and may thereby improving the patients’ cardiovascular health.
New Device Helps Monitor Low-Level Physical Activity With a Cell Phone
Released April 26, 2010 -- Chinmay Manohar in the Department Endocrinology, Nutrition and Diabetes of the Mayo Clinic is designing a device to help motivate people to be more active. His team has developed a program that helps people monitor their normal day-to-day physical activity using an everyday device like a cell phone or mp3 player. His study, “Laboratory evaluation of the accuracy of a triaxial accelerometer embedded into a cell phone platform for measuring physical activity,” describes a program called the Walk n’Play that can be downloaded on the iPhone® and the iPod Touch for free through “iTunes.® This program will encourage Americans overweight or obese, and at risk for health problems to get out of their chairs and engage in physical activity.
Specific Hormone May Affect Bone Loss in Menopausal Women
Released April 25, 2010 -- A National Institutes of Health –funded study has found that diminished bone density is common among menopausal women and raises their risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures and subsequent complications. The traditional view is that sustaining estrogen levels after menopause is key to good bone health but researchers from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta suggest that another hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) may also be involved in decreasing bone mineral density during menopause. The data from the research provides an opportunity for further study into alternative treatments for osteoporosis.
Ohio State Professor Receives APS's Henry P. Bowditch Award
Released April 25, 2010 -- The American Physiological Society has recognized the importance of Dr. Janssen’s work by awarding him with the Henry Pickering Bowditch Memorial Award. The award is given to scientists younger than 42 years of age whose accomplishments are original and outstanding. In his research, Dr. Janssen focused on the mechanisms that affect how the heart relaxes between beats, and finding several proteins and protein modifications that could play a role in the process.
Harvard Researcher Receives APS's Walter B. Cannon Award
Released April 24, 2010 -- The American Physiological Society has selected Jeffrey Fredberg, Ph.D., Professor of Bioengineering and Physiology at Harvard University, to present the Walter B. Cannon Memorial Lecture at its Experimental Biology 2010 conference being held in Anaheim, California. The lecture is the Society’s pre-eminent award lecture and is designed to recognize an outstanding scientist for his or her contributions to the field. His contribution was for leading a research team who developed nanotechnologies for probing the mechanical properties of cells in the lab.
Variations In One Gene May Be Associated With Endurance Running
Released February 16, 2010 -- NR2F gene has been shown to have a role in endurance performance because of its role in producing mitochondria, a key cellular structure that produces energy, and reducing the harmful effects of oxidation and inflammation which increase during exercise. A new study has found that elite endurance athletes are more likely to have variations of the NRF2 gene than elite sprinters. This research effort, “Interaction between SNPs in the NRF2 gene and elite endurance performance,” appeared in Physiological Genomics is part of a larger body of research that is exploring the human genome and which aims to understand the genetic underpinnings of athletic performance.
What You Eat After Exercise Matters
Released January 28, 2010 -- The health benefits from aerobic exercise are realized after the most recent exercise session and these benefits can be affected by the food consumed afterwards. This is the key finding of the NIH- funded research study “Energy deficit after exercise augments lipid mobilization but does not contribute to the exercise-induced increase in insulin sensitivity,” appearing in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology (http://jap.physiology.org).
Tip Sheet: Latest Episode of Life Lines Available
Released January 19, 2010 -- Here you’ll find ideas and information about the short stories contained in Episode 29 of Life Lines (www.lifelines.tv), the podcast of the American Physiological Society. Topics and start times are: 1. How cardiac research on dogs led to understanding cardiac surgery - 01:02. 2. Development of the modern treadmill – 02:36 3. The reasons your memories aren’t perfect – 04:15 4. Why are we sensitive to hydrogen sulfide? – 06:20
The American Physiological Society Launches Animal Research Website
Released January 19, 2010 -- The American Physiological new website, www.animalresearchcures.org accompanies its new brochure Animal Research: Finding Cures, Saving Lives. Both respond to common questions about animal research, its need, form of regulation, and links to related sites. The Finding Cures website enables creation of links to specific sections of the brochure, provides a PDF of the brochure, and outlines how donations supports distribution of these materials to classroom teachers and scientists involved in public outreach. Finding Cures clearly articulates the complex issues surrounding the humane of animals in medical and veterinary research.