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Physiology

This tag is associated with 19 posts

Living Life to the Fullest: Enzyme Activity of Two African Mussel Species

Every day, our body performs a plethora of activities. We breathe, exercise, eat food, think, and socialize. Behind all of these processes is a legion of very small molecular machines at work. These little machines, called proteins, can be greatly affected by the health of their environment. How do they change in response to pollution? […]

A grey, striped shark rests on the seafloor.

One Fish, Two Fish, Climate Change, Who Lives?

There is variation within species, and this variation can lead to some individuals surviving better in the face of environmental change. But it is difficult to predict how animals will respond to an environment that is changing faster than they can evolve. Luckily, some scientists found a clever way to study how individuals might respond […]

How to Stay Alive without Oxygen: Marine Mammals, Diving, and COVID-19

The unique deep diving ability of marine mammals may give researchers a clue into the damaging effects of COVID-19 on humans. Elena GadoutsisI have always been happiest in nature – exploring forests, traveling to the ocean, or working with wildlife. After obtaining my MSc in Marine Environmental Management at the University of York, I have worked […]

Crude oil cripples sandpiper flights

Maggini, I., L.V. Kennedy, A. Macmillan, K.H. Elliott, K. Dean, and C.G. Guglielmo. 2017. Light oiling of feathers increases flight energy expenditure in a migratory shorebird. J. Exp. Biol. 202:  2372-2379; doi: 10.1242/jeb.158220. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill On the evening of April 20th 2012, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig rocked the Gulf […]

Seaweed antioxidants protect fish too

A new study suggests that feeding fish small amounts of antioxidant-rich seaweed can protected them from environmental challenges. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus […]

Candidate compass genes in fish

A team of American researchers use next-generation sequencing to ask: “magnetoreception, how does it work?” Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish to intermittent […]

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I […]

Now we got bad blood: Oxygen binding is not affected by haemoglobin subtype in Atlantic cod

Why do northern and southern populations of Atlantic cod have different haemoglobin subtypes? A recent study upsets over 50 years of theory. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

The whirling world of starfish larvae whorls

A close look at starfish larvae reveals the beautiful patterns they create while moving through the water. These tiny vortex machines can create lots of swirls around themselves to trap food, or they can let the water flow by them smoothly when they want to swim fast. Nicole CoutoI’m interested in how physical processes occurring […]

Warm water curtails sea snakes’ dives

Like frogs, sea snakes can uptake oxygen through both their lungs and their skin. How will these “bimodal breathers” cope with warm ocean temperatures? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the […]

Long-lived sharks challenge ageing theory

Greenland sharks can live to be over 400 years old. What can they tell us about ageing? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish […]

Young whales build baleen out of ribs

Juvenile bowhead whales put off gaining length and undergo severe bone loss to invest in growing their massive heads and baleen plates. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and […]

With a little help from my friends: sea turtles hatch together to save energy

Sea turtle hatchlings face long odds when they emerge from their buried nests. But at least they don’t have to dig themselves out alone. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the […]

Why don’t sharks go deep?

Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses […]

Icefish can’t keep their cool in warm water

The Antarctic climate is changing, and the increasing temperature is wreaking havoc on the physiology of endemic species. Will icefish, the Southern Ocean’s most abundant group of fishes, be able to cope with the metabolic consequence of life in warm water? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, […]

The coelacanth and its leftover lung

The coelacanth keeps surprising us! Rediscovered off the South African coast in 1938, these animals were once thought to have died out 66 million years ago. Newly characterized lung and fatty structures may have been a key adaptation for their survival in deep-water environments. Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in […]

Sound waves: dolphins in a noisy ocean

As human influence in Earth’s oceans increases, so does the background noise. How might dolphins cope with changes in environmental noise levels, particularly in areas where it has seen a substantial, recent increase? Do chattier dolphins have to invest more energy into their aural physiological systems? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster […]

Offspring inherit trait developed in parents

Damselfish offspring inherit a trait developed by parents raised in warmer temperatures. Lis HendersonI am studying for my doctoral degree at the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. My research addresses fisheries and climate change in the Northwest Atlantic. In my free time, I like to cook and spend time outdoors, sometimes […]

Crustaceans are smarter than you think

Ever wondered how your lobster behaves before it reaches your dinner plate? Caribbean spiny lobsters take advantage of a unique sensory system to survive in the wild. Recently, the spiny lobster has been hit by a deadly virus that is threatening population size. How do healthy spiny lobsters avoid other individuals with the disease? Sean […]

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