It’s Friday night and you are at a concert, wishing you hadn’t woken up at 4:45am to go to spin class. As the night wears on you get more tired and fall asleep on the train ride home. Why do you get tired the longer you stay awake? It’s not your muscles-- they could keep … Continue reading Too much phosphorylation, time to go to sleep!
Pandas are closely related to carnivorous mammals (like all the other bears), but they consume mostly bamboo. Their digestive tracts are short and adapted for digesting meat, not cellulose that is found in plants. In fact, they only digest about 20% of all the bamboo they eat, and they eat a lot of bamboo (30-60 … Continue reading Pandas are lazy!
While preparing a class about synthetic biology, I came across this older paper that actually shows a practical application for synthetic biology. Kemmer et al. describe a new technique for artificial insemination of cows in the Journal of Controlled Release (in 2011). I’m not condoning these practices in cows; that is a debate for another … Continue reading Release the sperm!
Humans are able to live in so many different climates, in a wide range of temperatures and yet our inner core body temperature remains nearly constant. This ability to thermoregulate has something to do, of course, with clothing and the ability to cool and heat our living spaces, but our bodies also offer many adaptations … Continue reading Throw another adipocyte on the fire
I am finally back from a very busy semester. I taught physiology classes at Mills College and UC Berkeley this semester, so I have been interested in new topics in human physiology. This week’s paper by Schippers et al. came out recently in Current Biology and describes adaptations that mice must make in order to … Continue reading Burning carbs in the Andes