Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Going To Extremes To Improve Human Health

Date:
June 18, 2005
Source:
University of Oregon
Summary:
The rare ability to simulate -- in a laboratory setting -- environments as specific as a mountain top at 18,000 feet, and to change variables including temperature and relative humidity at will -- now belongs to scientists in the University of Oregon's Department of Human Physiology.

Chris Minson (left) and John Halliwell, co-directors of the University of Oregon's Exercise and Environmental Physiology Laboratories, are shown in front of the new environmental chamber. The chamber allows researchers to precisely simulate an infinite range of environmental conditions. "We have our feet in basic science and our eyes on the clinical literature," Halliwill said.
Credit: Photo credit: Jack Liu

EUGENE -- A new research tool will allow University of Oregon scientists to replicate an extreme range of environmental conditions in their quest to test and understand the human body's response to everyday stresses.

Related Articles


The instrument, called an environmental chamber, is a 12-foot-square room capable of simulating altitude up to 18,000 feet, holding temperature constant at a set point between 14 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and controlling humidity anywhere from 10 to 95 percent. The chamber is so finely tuned that it can swing from the coldest to hottest setting in 30 minutes.

"The presence of the environmental chamber at the University of Oregon will assure the next generation of researchers is well versed in both cutting-edge molecular methods and in traditional integrative, exercise, and environmental physiology." said John Halliwill, an assistant professor of human physiology. His research includes a special focus on sleep apnea which can set the stage for high blood pressure.

Halliwill, who also studies factors responsible for changes in blood flow to various regions of the body, co-directs the university's Exercise and Environmental Physiology Laboratories with Chris Minson, an associate professor of human physiology.

Minson said the chamber fast-tracks the university's clinical research program in cardiology, a partnership with PeaceHealth's Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene. About 40 physicians volunteer their expertise by teaching and assisting with research in the human physiology labs.

"The chamber allows us to monitor minute changes in the vascular and respiratory systems of subjects both at rest and when exercising," Minson explained. "It's already opening up new realms for our research mission."

One example of the chamber's potential is enhancing researchers' ability to explore fatigue. "Physical and mental fatigue may not be commonly perceived as work hazards, but fatigue often is a fundamental cause of accidents and injuries," Minson said.

Minson's work, which pertains to a range of disease conditions such as diabetes, involves uncovering the neural and vascular interactions in the skin during environmental heat stress. In the effort to understand why young women are more susceptible to fainting than men, he also studies how estrogen and progesterone influence blood pressure regulation.

Minson is the winner of a 2005 American Physiology Society's Outstanding Young Investigator Award (his second since 2000) and a similar national honor conferred in 2000 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

In addition to their well-established research programs, Halliwill and Minson share a strong commitment to training future researchers in environmental physiology. Currently, about 40 graduate students are enrolled in the Department of Human Physiology, which also has roughly 400 undergraduate majors. (The department, previously known as Exercise and Movement Science, underwent a name change in July 2004.)

"In this current day of rapid discovery in genetics and cellular biology, it is more important than ever that some attention be focused on the research-training of individuals who will make sense of the explosion of available information by connecting these discoveries to integrative physiological functions in the intact human being," Halliwill said.

###

A $250,000 Department of Defense grant and a $50,000 gift from Dave and Nancy Petrone of San Mateo, Calif. funded construction of the chamber. Major studies currently underway in the University of Oregon Department of Human Physiology are funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Oregon. "Going To Extremes To Improve Human Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050617235917.htm>.
University of Oregon. (2005, June 18). Going To Extremes To Improve Human Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050617235917.htm
University of Oregon. "Going To Extremes To Improve Human Health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050617235917.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins