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Immune cell’s role in intestinal movement may lead to better understanding of irritable bowel syndrome

Immune cell’s role in intestinal movement may lead to better understanding of irritable bowel syndrome

Learning the role of immune-system cells in healthy digestive tracts and how they interact with neighboring nerve cells may lead to new treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine, in collaboration with other scientists, have reported the role of macrophages in regulating the contractions of the colon to push digested material through the digestive tract. The muscular lining of the intestine contains a distinct kind of macrophage, an immune system cell that helps fight infections Continue reading

Making a mental match: Pairing mechanical device with stroke patients

Making a mental match: Pairing mechanical device with stroke patients

The repetitive facilitation exercise (RFE) is one of the most common rehabilitation tactics for stroke patients attempting to regain wrist movement. Stroke hemiparesis individuals are not able to move that part of their body because they cannot create a strong enough neural signal that travels from the brain to the wrist. With RFE, however, patients get a mental boost. Continue reading

Protein’s ‘hands’ enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds

Protein’s ‘hands’ enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds

When it comes to infecting humans and animals, bacteria need a helping hand. Kansas State University biochemists have found the helping hand: groups of tiny protein loops on the surface of cells. These loops are similar to the fingers of a hand, and by observing seven individual loops on the surface of E. Continue reading

Huntington’s disease protein helps wire young brain

Huntington’s disease protein helps wire young brain

The protein that is mutated in Huntington’s disease is critical for wiring the brain in early life, according to a new Duke University study. Huntington’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes a wide variety of symptoms, such as uncontrolled movements, inability to focus or remember, depression and aggression. By the time these symptoms appear, usually in middle age, the disease has already ravaged the brain. Continue reading

Understanding of how hearing works advanced by new research

Understanding of how hearing works advanced by new research

Understanding how hearing works has long been hampered by challenges associated with seeing inside the inner ear, but technology being developed by a team of researchers that includes a biomedical engineer from Texas A&M University is generating some of the most detailed images of the inner ear to date. Continue reading

Stem cell type resists chemotherapy drug

Stem cell type resists chemotherapy drug

A new study shows that adipose-derived human stem cells, which can become vital tissues such as bone, may be highly resistant to the common chemotherapy drug methotrexate (MTX). The preliminary finding from lab testing may prove significant because MTX causes bone tissue damage in many patients. MTX is used to treat cancers including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer. Continue reading

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled Continue reading

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled. Continue reading

Adding sugar to high-fat Western diet could be worse than high-fat diet alone

Adding sugar to high-fat Western diet could be worse than high-fat diet alone

A high-fructose, high-fat diet can cause harmful effects to the livers of adult rats, according to new research published in Experimental Physiology , providing new insight into the effects of adding fructose to a Western diet high in fat. The study showed that short-term consumption of a Western diet, rich in saturated fats and fructose, is more damaging for healthy liver development than following a high fat diet alone. Continue reading

Adding sugar to high-fat Western diet could be worse than high-fat diet alone

Adding sugar to high-fat Western diet could be worse than high-fat diet alone

A high-fructose, high-fat diet can cause harmful effects to the livers of adult rats, according to new research published in Experimental Physiology , providing new insight into the effects of adding fructose to a Western diet high in fat. Continue reading