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Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

A nano-sized discovery by Northwestern Medicine ® scientists helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness. Scientists used a new super-resolution imaging method — the same method recognized with the 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry — to peer deep into brain tissue from mice with bipolar-like behaviors. Continue reading

Improving bladder function among people with spinal cord injuries

Improving bladder function among people with spinal cord injuries

People who have suffered spinal cord injuries are often susceptible to bladder infections, and those infections can cause kidney damage and even death. New UCLA research may go a long way toward solving the problem. A team of scientists studied 10 paralyzed rats that were trained daily for six weeks with epidural stimulation of the spinal cord and five rats that were untrained and did not receive the stimulation. Continue reading

Sugared soda consumption, cell aging associated in new study

Sugared soda consumption, cell aging associated in new study

Sugar-sweetened soda consumption might promote disease independently from its role in obesity, according to UC San Francisco researchers who found in a new study that drinking sugary drinks was associated with cell aging. The study revealed that telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — were shorter in the white blood cells of survey participants who reported drinking more soda. Continue reading

Conspicuous tRNA lookalikes riddle the human genome

Conspicuous tRNA lookalikes riddle the human genome

Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are ancient workhorse molecules and part of the cellular process that creates the proteins, critical building blocks of life that keep a cell running smoothly. A new discovery suggests that the number of human genomic loci that might be coding for tRNAs is nearly double what is currently known. Most of the newly identified loci resemble the sequences of mitochondrial tRNAs suggesting unexpected new links between the human nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, links that are not currently understood Continue reading

Dynamic motion of HIV as it readies an attack: Seen in real time, for the first time

Dynamic motion of HIV as it readies an attack: Seen in real time, for the first time

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed technologies that allow investigators, for the first time, to watch what they call the “dance” of HIV proteins on the virus’ surface, which may contribute to how it infects human immune cells. Their discovery is described in the Oct. 8 issue of Science , and is also a part of a study published the same day in Nature Continue reading

New pathway linking the brain to high blood pressure identified

New pathway linking the brain to high blood pressure identified

New research by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and the Ottawa Heart Institute has uncovered a new pathway by which the brain uses an unusual steroid to control blood pressure. The study, which also suggests new approaches for treating high blood pressure and heart failure, appears today in the journal Public Library of Science (PLOS) One . “This research gives us an entirely new way of understanding how the brain and the cardiovascular system work together,” said Dr. Continue reading

Scientists identify which genes are active in muscles of men, women

Scientists identify which genes are active in muscles of men, women

If you want your doctor to know what goes wrong with your muscles because of age, disease or injury, it’s a good idea to know what “normal” actually is. Continue reading

Spastic paraplegia: New light shed on cause

Spastic paraplegia: New light shed on cause

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered that a gene mutation linked to hereditary spastic paraplegia, a disabling neurological disorder, interferes with the normal breakdown of triglyceride fat molecules in the brain. The TSRI researchers found large droplets of triglycerides within the neurons of mice modeling the disease. The findings, reported this week online ahead of print by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , point the way to potential therapies and showcase an investigative strategy that should be useful in determining the biochemical causes of other genetic illnesses. Continue reading

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown Continue reading

Cardiorespiratory fitness is often misdiagnosed

Cardiorespiratory fitness is often misdiagnosed

A recent study by the University of Eastern Finland shows that scaling maximal oxygen uptake and maximal workload by body weight confounds measures of cardiorespiratory fitness. It has been a common practice in exercise testing to scale the results by body weight and, according to researchers, this practice should be abandoned. More reliable data on cardiorespiratory fitness can be observed by using lean mass proportional measures Continue reading