The Truth Behind The Reindeer That Don’t “Fly”
Released December 17, 2007 - Did you know that Alaskan and Canadian male reindeer shed their thick antlers at the end of mating season in early December? Or that the females also have antlers, but their thinner version stays with them throughout the winter? Physiologist Perry Barboza of the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska at Fairbanks, explains these and other interesting facts about Rudolph’s pals.
Physiologists Offer Santa Some Tips for a Cool Ride
Released December 17, 2007 - Santa Claus is well adapted to living in the subzero temperatures of the North Pole: He has a good supply of insulating fat and his plump physique and ample facial hair reduce the surface area exposed to the elements. Additionally, his clothing is made to combat the frigid air. These things help Santa adapt to the cold, but how will Santa cope with the heat when he travels to hot climates with his sleigh full of toys? Physiologist Lisa Leon has some tips for Saint Nick.
New Research Model Opens Way To Better Understanding Of Alcohol’s Role In Developing Alcoholic Chronic Pancreatitis
Released December 14, 2007 - A team of California researchers has now developed an animal model that reproduces three key responses in human alcoholic chronic pancreatitis. The results of their new study conclude that (1) alcohol impairs the ability to recover from acute pancreatitis, and (2) alcohol may sensitize the pancreas to chronic injury.
5th Annual Award to Researcher Investigating Links Between Pregnancy and Hypertension
Released November 13, 2007
Thinking Makes It So: Science Extends Reach of Prosthetic Arms
Released November 11, 2007 - Motorized prosthetic arms can help amputees regain some function, but these devices take time to learn to use and are limited in the number of movements they provide. A researcher has pioneered a technique known as targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), which allows a prosthetic arm to respond directly to the brain’s signals, making it much easier to use than traditional motorized prosthetics.
Putting the ‘PhUn’ in Physiology
Released October 29, 2007
Expecting an Afternoon Nap Can Reduce Blood Pressure
Released October 15, 2007 - Where does the benefit lie in an afternoon nap? Is it in the nap itself, or in the anticipation of taking a snooze? Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that the time just before you fall asleep is where beneficial cardiovascular changes take place.
Lead Exposure Accelerates Chronic Kidney Disease
Released October 10, 2007 - As Americans grow more concerned about lead levels found in children’s’ toys, a new study finds that lead exposure accelerates chronic renal disease by raising blood pressure and accelerating injury to kidney tissues and blood vessels.
Gender, Coupled With Diabetes, Affects Vascular Disease Development
Released August 15, 2007 - Diabetes is associated with the development of vascular (blood vessel) disease. As we age, vascular disease becomes more common. It has been thought that females may be more susceptible to the earlier development of vascular disease, as vascular changes are observed in females long before any significant development occurs in males. Now, a team of Georgetown University researchers has determined that the vascular activities in diabetic animals vary according to sex. This discovery may eventually have implications for the way males and females are treated medically in the future.
Does the Desire to Consume Alcohol & Tobacco Come From Our Genetic Makeup?
Released August 10, 2007 - In an attempt to find the genomic determinants underlying alcohol and tobacco use, researchers examined 120 families (approximately 900 individuals). The study team has identified chromosomal areas relating to alcohol and tobacco use.
The “Female Advantage” In Kidney Disease Doesn't Extend To Diabetic Women
Released August 8, 2007 - Women have a “female advantage” when it comes to chronic kidney disease. When compared to men, they have fewer and less severe episodes throughout most of their lives. That advantage disappears, however, when the woman is diabetic. For reasons still unclear, diabetic women are diagnosed with kidney and heart diseases almost as frequently as men. What is it about diabetes that predisposes a woman to develop renal disease at levels generally associated with her male counterpart? Researchers at Georgetown University’s Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging and Disease have identified a novel observation to help explain why.
Why Do Men And Women Respond Differently To The Same Disease?
Released August 8, 2007 - More than 100 research scientists will examine hormones, gender and how they can interact to cause heart and kidney disease. The conference, entitled Sex and Gender in Cardiovascular-Renal Physiology and Pathophysiology, being held August 9-12, 2007 in Austin, TX, is hosted by the American Physiological Society.
Acute Sleep Deprivation Leads To Changes In Nighttime Urine Production
Released August 8, 2007 - Our body’s production of urine follows a circadian rhythm. During the day, we experience greater urinary frequency; at night, urine production declines, enabling us to get uninterrupted sleep. The regulation of urine excretion during nighttime hours is influenced by many factors, including hormones, blood flow, and sleep-related factors. The mechanism behind the day/night changes is not yet clear. Danish researchers who have examined the urinary patterns of sleep-deprived volunteers have found that a lack of sleep leads to increased urinary output and more salt in the urine. The findings were found to be more prevalent in males than females.
Gender Differences In Renal And Other Genes Contribute To BP
Released August 8, 2007 - In a new study, researchers examined the differential contribution of genetic factors involved in regulating blood pressure based on samples drawn from a large community. They found significant differences in genetic contributors to blood pressure in males versus females.
Cardio Exercise Benefits In Male Vs. Female Hearts
Released August 8, 2007 - While cardiovascular disease occurs in both men and women, it does not affect them in the same way. Risk factors and protective factors for heart diseases are likewise unequal. The molecular mechanisms responsible for these differences are so far unknown, but some believe it is due to chromosomal linked genes or sexual hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. While the mechanisms behind the differences are unknown, the physiological differences are clear. A new study examining chronic exercise in male and female mice finds that moderate long-term exercise provokes a sex-dependent cardiac adaptation that is different for females versus males. The findings may eventually help improve treatment strategies for women and men with heart disease.
Estrogen Deficiency Can Lead To Obesity-Induced Hight BP After Menopause
Released August 8, 2007 - At menopause, women lose hormone protection against heart (cardiovascular) and kidney diseases, and are likely to become obese. A research team has tested the idea that estrogen deficiency in aged females may trigger the development of high blood pressure and obesity. The results of their study, using an animal model, suggest that estrogen depletion can have these effects.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Safe For Aging Men?
Released August 8, 2007 - For decades, older women have taken hormone replacements to replenish estrogen and progesterone levels lost to aging. More recently, testosterone (the most important male hormone) supplements have been used by aging men to improve their muscle mass, bone strength, libido and quality of life. The increased use has occurred despite the fact that the cardiovascular effects of chronic testosterone treatment in aging males are largely unknown, and the safety of testosterone replacement has not been evaluated. Researchers are using an animal model to examine potential links between testosterone supplements, and cardiovascular and renal disease.
Sugar, Spice And Everything Nice: Health Differences In Newborns
Released August 8, 2007 - Two new studies using an animal model may lead to a better understanding of sex-based health discrepancies found among some newborns.
Female Gender Provides An Advantage In Renal Diseases
Released August 8, 2007 - Sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone) are thought to contribute to health differences, as hormones may influence the body’s responses to renal injury. Estrogen especially may exert certain cellular effects on the kidney because it can suppress the growth of scar tissue as well as affect various growth factors which impact the kidney.
Research To Identify Markers For Menopausal Women At Risk For Deadly Blood Clot
Released August 8, 2007 - In women, hormone therapy is a risk factor for venous thrombosis, a blood clot forming deep inside the vein. A team of Mayo Clinic researchers has developed a novel concept that uses blood platelets to define thrombotic risk.
Grapes, Soy And Kudzu Blunt Some Menopausal Side Effects
Released August 8, 2007 - Menopausal women are at relatively high risk for memory loss, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Long-term hormone therapy replacement (HRT) alternatives are being sought to help address the symptoms. A team of physiologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has investigated the potential effect of grape polyphenols, soy and kudzu.
Exercise, Rest, Repeat: How a Break Can Help Your Workout
Released July 17, 2007 - Taking a break in the middle of your workout may metabolize more fat than exercising without a break. Japanese researchers have conducted the first known study to compare the two exercise methods—exercising continually in one long bout versus breaking up the same workout with a rest period.
The APS Announces New Program Making Research Results Immediately Available To Public
Released June 29, 2007
Hormone That Signals We Are Full When Eating Also Curbs Fast Food Consumption And Tendency To Binge Eat
Released June 7, 2007 - The synthetic form of a hormone previously found to produce a feeling of fullness when eating and reduce body weight, also may help curb binge eating and the desire to eat high-fat foods and sweets. The findings on fast food consumption and binge eating tendencies are based on a 6-week research study of 88 obese individuals.
Low Levels Of Funding Has NIH Scientists Scrambling To Stay In Lab
Released May 30, 2007
Four APS Members Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Released May 7, 2007
Prenatal Nicotine Exposure Can Lead To Cardiac Function Reprogramming as Adults
Released May 1, 2007 - At least 11 percent of American women smoke during pregnancy. Now, a new study using an animal model, provides strong evidence that the effects of maternal smoking during the prenatal period of life can lead to cardiac vascular dysfunction beyond the formative years and into adulthood.
Short-Term Use Of Statin Drugs Reduces Damaging Sympathetic Nervous System Overactivity In Heart Failure Patients
Released May 1, 2007 - One of the first studies to examine the effect of the popular statin (cholesterol) drugs on the sympathetic nervous system activity of human patients with heart failure.
Forensic Pathologists Tell Physiologists What Puzzles Them About Death
Released May 1, 2007 - Four pathologists present their insights at a symposium presented at the 120th annual meeting of The American Physiological Society.
The Eyes Have It: Eye Muscles May Provide Clues To Muscular Dystrophy
Released May 1, 2007 - The eye, often called the window to the soul, may become a window to the mysteries of muscular dystrophy, a debilitating muscle disease that often leads to death in early adulthood. Physiologists are intrigued that muscular dystrophy spares a few muscles of the body -- notably the vocal cords, some muscles of the pelvic region and the eye muscles. What is it that allows these muscles to escape the effects of this deadly disease while other skeletal muscles are so profoundly affected?
Select Groups Heavily Impacted By A Chemical Component Of Diesel Exhaust
Released May 1, 2007 - A study finds that exposure to a chemical component of diesel exhaust particles can compromise the ability of resistance arteries to regulate blood flow to bone marrow. Post-menopausal females, the elderly and males are most likely to be impacted, according to a new vascular biology study– using an animal model–presented at the 120th Annual Meeting of The American Physiological Society.
8 Plants From South Africa May Hold Potential For Treating High BP
Released May 1, 2007 - Medicinal plants are an integral part of African culture, one of the oldest and most diverse in the world. In South Africa, 21st century drug therapy is used side-by-side with traditional African medicines to heal the sick. While plants have been used in African medicine to treat fever, asthma, constipation, and hypertension, scientific analyses of the purported benefits of many plants is still scant. A team of researchers has now examined the effectiveness of 16 plants growing in the country’s Kwa-Zulu Natal region and concluded that eight plant extracts may hold value for treating high blood pressure.
Lap Band Gastric Bypass Surgery Improves Insulin Resistance
Released May 1, 2007 - A new study examining the overall and gender-related effects of laparoscopic gastric banding surgery on insulin resistance, body composition, and metabolic risk markers six months after surgery has found significant improvements in insulin resistance.
Study Identifies ‘Pre-Obese’ Children, Based On Activity Levels
Released April 30, 2007 - In a three-year longitudinal study of 41 children, researchers identified “pre-obese” children who did not have excess body fat and were not overweight.
Patients Smelling For First Time In Their Lives
Released April 30, 2007 - New discoveries about the biochemical basis of the majority of cases involving congenital smell loss.
Physical Fitness Reduces Hypertensive Influence Of Leptin On Blood Pressure, Regardless Of Body Fat
Released April 30, 2007 - Regular physical activity counts more than percentage of body fat in terms of systolic blood pressure - a measure of how hard the body has to work to pump blood against the resistance of the blood vessel walls.
Your Brain And Hormones May Conspire To Make You Fat
Released April 30, 2007 - Physiologists are unraveling the role that hormones and the brain play in urging you to eat more than you should. Some people’s hormones may be signaling their brains to send messages like “Eat a lot now,” and “Go for the fat and sugar.”
Aerobic Exercise Reduces Risk Of Coronary Artery Disease In People With Mild/Moderate MS
Released April 30, 2007 - In an effort to improve the health of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a team of researchers worked with individuals diagnosed with mild to moderate MS in an eight week aerobic cycling regimen. The investigators found that people with MS improved their aerobic fitness and reduced their level of coronary artery disease risk.
Hearts of Male And Female Rainbow Trout Are Different
Released April 30, 2007 - A new research study finds that sex differences in cardiac performance and metabolism exist in rainbow trout. These differences occur at a young age.
Iyengar Yoga Can Promote Well-Being In Women Breast Cancer Survivors
Released April 30, 2007 - A new study has found that breast cancer survivors who practice Iyengar yoga have changes in the way their immune cells respond to activation signals, which may be important for understanding how physical activity and meditative practices benefit the immune system.
Free Weight Training Gets Workers With Rotator Cuff Injuries Back On The Job
Released April 29, 2007 - Rotator cuff injuries involve those muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder and can be caused by pulling the arm out of place, by falls and other accidents. Researcher describes studies involving workers suffering work-related rotator cuff and lumbar fusion injuries, and the use of free weight training to help them return to work.
Drug Abuse During Pregnancy Inhibits Ability Of Placenta Cells To Uptake Folate
Released April 29, 2007 - A study using human placental cells may help explain how drugs of abuse used during pregnancy - including alcohol, nicotine, ecstasy, amphetamine and hashish - can produce toxic effects on the developing fetus.
How To Teach About Evolution In A Biomedical Context?
Released April 29, 2007 - Three of America’s best known voices in the debate about evolution in the teaching of science meet to discuss the issue on April 29, 2007. The symposium, entitled Teaching About Evolution in a Biomedical Context, is part of the 120th annual meeting of the American Physiological Society.
Breathing Easy: When It Comes To Oxygen, A Bug’s Life Is Full Of It
Released April 29, 2007 - Because of new imaging technology, researchers are getting a better understanding of a physiological paradox: how insects, which have a respiratory system built to provide quick access to a lot of oxygen, can survive for days without it.
Role of Mid-Brain In Integrating Heart & Respiratory Response To Exercise
Released April 29, 2007 - Oxford University researchers have examined several deep brain nuclei during exercise and concluded that the periaqueductal grey area (PAG), the small-celled gray matter adjoining or surrounding the cerebral aqueduct and the third ventricle in the midbrain, contains the greatest number of neural changes in connection with anticipation of exercise. The findings provide direct evidence implicating the PAG as a key area of the brain’s circuitry’s affecting cardiorespiratory response to exercise.
Animal Study May Explain Why Alcohol Consumption Increases Breast Cancer Risk
Released April 29, 2007 - For the first time, scientists have used a laboratory mouse model to mimic the development of human alcohol-induced breast cancer. They will present their findings at the American Physiological Society’s annual meeting.
Peptide Regulates Social Behavior, Has Positive Impact On Cardiac Response
Released April 29, 2007 - A team of researchers investigating the effects of oxytocin, a peptide produced by the brain that regulates social behavior, has found that it can prevent detrimental cardiac responses in adult female animals exposed to social isolation. The findings may provide further insight into how these mechanisms affect humans.
Oxford Physiology Professor Earns Walter B. Cannon Award
Released April 25, 2007 - While the subject of ion channels might seem abstract, these microscopic gates into individual cells can account for some astonishing phenomena: goats that fall flat on the ground when startled; pigs that shiver themselves to death; horses that suffer bouts of paralysis. Each of these conditions was traced to a malfunctioning ion channel. Oxford University Physiology Professor Frances M. Ashcroft, working with Exeter University Professor Andrew Hattersley, discovered another malady associated with ion channel malfunction: a rare genetic form of diabetes that strikes children and is known as permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus. The scientists’ discovery produced dramatic changes in the lives of children born with the disease. As a result of their research, these children have been able to switch from daily insulin injections to a daily pill, transforming both their lives and that of their parents. APS will present its highest award to Dr. Ashcroft.
University Of Texas Researcher Earns APS Bowditch Award
Released April 25, 2007 - James D. Stockand, a researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, studies epithelial sodium channels in the cells of the kidney, lungs and colon. His research may lead to a better understanding of how these cells regulate salt and could one day be used to control hypertension.
The “Elvis Experiments”
Released April 24, 2007 - More than 100 Washington-area high school students and teachers are participating in “The Elvis Experiments.” The experiments, named in honor of “the King,” were designed by educators at the American Physiological Society to help students participate in hands-on demonstrations aimed at showing the different factors that influence blood flow and blood pressure.
APS Urges Greater Research Funding For NSF, NASA
Released April 24, 2007
Erectile Dysfunction In Diabetes Is Due To Selective Defect In The Brain
Released March 15, 2007 - A new study sheds additional light on how erectile dysfunction (ED) interacts with diabetes. The study is another step in uncovering the link between the two disorders, and may lead to improved efficacy in treatments.
Research Physiologists Convene For 120th Annual Meeting
Released February 26, 2007
Metabolic Response To Colitis Varies Depending Upon Chronic Or Acute Inflammation
Released February 26, 2007 - Researchers, using an experimental model of colitis, have discovered that the effects of acute colitis were associated with decreased body weight, food intake, and body fat content. Chronic colitis was associated with reduced body fat content, decreased bone mineral density and attenuated use of energy, termed energy expenditure.
New Study Further Confirms Circadian Rhythm Exists In Athletic Performance
Released February 26, 2007 - A new study investigating the potential of a circadian rhythm in athletic performance adds further confirmation that it exists.
“March Of The Penguins©”: Surviving The Biting South Pole Cold
Released January 31, 2007 - Researchers conducted the first recordings of deep body temperatures in free ranging penguins throughout their breeding cycle by using long-term implanted data loggers. The researchers sought to assess whether male emperor penguins lower their deep body temperature during breeding and incubation.
Nicotine: The Link Between Cigarette Smoking and Kidney Disease Progression?
Released January 29, 2007 - Cigarette smoke is the most preventable cause of death and chronic disease in the United States. In addition to being a risk factor for cancer, recent epidemiologic studies suggest that cigarette smoke promotes the progression of kidney disease. The mechanisms by which cigarette smoke may accelerate some types of chronic kidney disease are currently unknown. A new study demonstrates for the first time that human mesangial cells (cells in the blood vessels of the kidneys) – are endowed with nicotinic receptors (cells that interact with the nicotine in tobacco) and may play an active role in the development of certain kidney diseases.
February 2: It’s Not Just for Groundhogs, Anymore
Released January 26, 2007 - Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2. These animals, and other hibernators, take a very sensible approach to winter: They slip into a state of suspended animation and let the worst of the cold weather pass. The cold prompts profound physiological changes in these animals, causing their normally fast metabolism to come almost to a stop during winter. With metabolism slowed to a crawl, the animal draws on its fat stores sparingly to make it through the winter. Hibernation has become the focus of interesting physiological research. The American Physiological Society has a variety of experts who can talk about all aspects of hibernation research and the implications it has for medical advances.
Active Ingredient In Common Chinese Herb Shown To Reduce Hypertension
Realeased January 17, 2007 - Many patients with high blood pressure have consumed danshen, a Chinese herb used in Oriental medicine that promotes blood flow and treats cardiovascular disease. Tanshinone IIA is an active ingredient of danshen. In a new study using an animal model, the scientists have found that tanshinone IIA does reduce blood pressure.
Elderly’s Ability To Manage Cold May Be Due In Part To Aging Processes Of The Body
Released January 17, 2007 - Physiology researchers investigate whether specific characteristics of the body are responsible for our ability to deflect the cold. In a new study, researchers have found that certain characteristics, which change with age, affect younger and older persons differently.
Like Salty Food? Chances Are You Had Low Blood Sodium When You Were Born
Released January 17, 2007 - A new study concludes that low birthweight babies born with low sodium (salt) in their blood serum will likely consume large quantities of dietary sodium later in life.