Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

98.6 degrees Fahrenheit ideal temperature for keeping fungi away and food at bay

Date:
December 30, 2010
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
Two researchers have found that our 98.6 F (37 C) body temperature strikes a perfect balance: warm enough to ward off fungal infection but not so hot that we need to eat nonstop to maintain our metabolism.

Fungi. Tens of thousands of fungal species infect reptiles, amphibians and other cold-blooded animals, but only a few hundred harm mammals.
Credit: iStockphoto/Guntars Grebezs

Two researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that our 98.6 F (37 C) body temperature strikes a perfect balance: warm enough to ward off fungal infection but not so hot that we need to eat nonstop to maintain our metabolism.

Related Articles


"One of the mysteries about humans and other advanced mammals has been why they are so hot compared with other animals," said study co-author Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology & immunology at Einstein. "This study helps to explain why mammalian temperatures are all around 37 C." Dr. Casadevall also holds the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Chair in Microbiology and Immunology.

The research builds upon earlier work by Dr. Casadevall showing that the number of fungal species that can thrive and therefore infect an animal declines by 6 percent for every 1 C rise in temperature. This means that tens of thousands of fungal species infect reptiles, amphibians and other cold-blooded animals, but only a few hundred harm mammals. Such protection against fungal infection, Dr. Casadevall has speculated, could have been crucial for the triumph of mammals following the age of dinosaurs.

In this study, Dr. Casadevall and his Einstein coauthor, Aviv Bergman, Ph.D., professor and founding chair of systems & computational biology, devised a mathematical model that analyzed the benefits gained by body temperatures that protect against fungi versus the costs (in terms of extra food consumption) required to maintain body temperatures between 30 and 40 C. The optimal temperature for maximizing benefits while minimizing costs was found to be 36.7 C, which closely approximates normal body temperature (98.06 F).

"This study is a good example of how mammalian evolution has been driven by both external biological factors and internal physiological constraints," said Dr. Bergman.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Bergman, A. Casadevall. Mammalian Endothermy Optimally Restricts Fungi and Metabolic Costs. mBio, 2010; 1 (5): e00212-10 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00212-10

Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "98.6 degrees Fahrenheit ideal temperature for keeping fungi away and food at bay." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222121610.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2010, December 30). 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit ideal temperature for keeping fungi away and food at bay. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222121610.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "98.6 degrees Fahrenheit ideal temperature for keeping fungi away and food at bay." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222121610.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

Surfer Accidentally Stands on Shark, Gets Bitten

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A 20-year-old competition surfer said on Thursday he accidentally stepped on a shark's head before it bit him off the Australian east coast. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

Ebola Inflicts Heavy Toll on Guinean Potato Trade

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The Ebola epidemic has seen Senegal and Guinea Bissau close its borders with Guinea and the economic consequences have started to be felt, especially in Fouta Djallon, where the renowned potato industry has been hit hard. Duration: 02:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Genetically Altered Glowing Flower on Display in Tokyo

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) Just in time for Halloween, a glowing flower goes on display in Tokyo. Instead of sorcery and magic, its creators used science to genetically modify the flower, adding a naturally fluorescent plankton protein to its genetic mix. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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