Episode 15: Can Turkey Make You Sleepy?

Why do we feel sleepy after a big Thanksgiving meal? Is there something in the turkey? Are cranberries good for our kidneys? These are some of the questions our experts will explore. Chris I. Cheeseman of the University of Alberta will talk about tryptophan in turkey. (Begins at 3:17.) L. Lee Hamm of Tulane University School of Medicine will discuss what the research shows about cranberries and kidney health. (Begins at 8:58)

Kevin Heffernan (13:26) will talk about his study, aimed at trying to uncover why African-American men have a higher rate of hypertension than white men. The research team from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, found some early signs of vascular damage in young, healthy African-American men and found that measuring central blood pressure may be a better way of identifying those at risk.

Physiology in the News: (1:25)

Beta agonist drugs

Total time: 21:13


Episode 14: Halloween Science

Halloween is the theme for October, so we’ll talk about sleep paralysis, a condition that has been associated with stories of demon attacks during the night. We’ll talk to Allan Cheyne of the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada about this spooky phenomenon. (Begins at 3:46)

We’ll also talk to Alexandra Shapiro and Phillip Scarpace of the University of Florida in Gainesville about their study on fructose-induced leptin resistance and obesity. This study is a bit scary if you have a sweet tooth. The study appears in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. (Begins at 11:40)

Buzz in Physiology: What is a ‘Halloween” gene and how did it get its name? Lawrence I. Gilbert explains. And Bret H. Goodpaster will discuss his study that found that older people who diet without exercising lose more lean muscle mass than those who exercise without dieting. The study is important because older people tend to lose muscle mass as they age, and too much muscle loss may interfere with activities of daily living. (Begins at 1:46)

Total time: (23:06)


Episode 13: Is Quercetin a Flu Fighter?

Mice are less susceptible to the flu when they eat quercetin, a substance that occurs in fruits and vegetables. Researcher J. Mark Davis will talk about his study on stressful exercise, quercetin and the flu. Click here for the study. (Begins at 3:55)

In the wake of the summer Olympics, we asked Rick Lieber, of the University of California San Diego and the VA Medical Center San Diego, if the muscles of highly trained athletes could get much stronger and whether gene therapy, which is being developed for medical applications, could be used by to enhance performance in the future. (Begins at 12:56)

The Buzz in Physiology gives a quick look at a study that finds a possible link between your genes and activity level. And we detail a study on the benefits of hydrogen sulfide gas. We also talk to APS member Jim Hicks of the University of California Irvine about his involvement with the film, Wall-E. (Begins at 1:20)


Episode 12: The Brain and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The Buzz in Physiology: (Starts at 2:01) A quick look at studies from APS journals that have been in the news.

The Accidental Mind: (Starts at 4:17) How is your brain like an ice cream cone? David Linden, author of “The Accidental Mind” explains. Dr. Linden is the editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology and is a researcher and teacher at Johns Hopkins University.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: (Starts at 17:04) Research in sheep shows promise for understanding how maternal drinking causes cerebellar damage to the developing fetus. Timothy Cudd and Jay Ramadoss explain their study, which appears in the American Journal of Physiology. Dr. Cudd is at Texas A&M University, while Dr. Ramadoss is at the University of Wisconsin. Click here for the study. The link brings you to the abstract. Click on “Full Text (PDF)” in the right column for the full study.

Related Press Releases:

Young at Heart

The music that you hear at the beginning and end of the program is Body Notes, composed by scientist-musician (and APS member) Hector Rasgado-Flores. The San Diego Chamber Orchestra performs.

Running Time: 27:40