Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Examine Extreme Temps and the Body’s Immunity

09.02.2010
Every year there are stories of seemingly healthy people who die because of heat-related illness. In fact, the Texas Department of State Health Services estimates that nearly 260 people succumbed to heat- related illnesses between 1999 and 2004.

Researchers at the University of Houston’s department of health and human performance are using an environmental chamber to investigate ways to identify risk factors of those most susceptible to heat and cold illnesses.

“Our group is interested in how exercise disturbs the immune system,” Associate Professor Brian McFarlin said. “Houston has a climate that is very prone to extreme amounts of heat, especially in the spring and summer months. Exercising in that environment may have very pronounced effects on the body and not really positive effects.”

The environmental chamber at the department’s Laboratory of Integrated Physiology resembles a giant cooler. At 10 feet by 10 feet, the temperature and humidity of the wall-to-wall stainless steel room can be adjusted from 120 degrees Fahrenheit to minus four degrees Fahrenheit. Subjects’ blood and body temperature are monitored as they work out on stationary bikes. McFarlin says other institutions have environmental chambers, but not many are used to collect data on a problem that has touched the lives of the very elderly and the very young.

“We are interested in developing potential risk factors that can be measured in an individual so that medical personnel can be alerted to those with an increased risk to cold or heat illness,” McFarlin said. “Those are the people you are going to want to watch very closely, and possibly implement aggressive hydration strategies and more monitoring techniques.”

McFarlin says elite athletes who push their bodies for marathons and other competitions place a lot of stress on their bodies, stress that can impact their immune systems for up to 24-hours after their aerobic activity. He says that individuals who are recreational athletes can suffer the same immunity suppression by exercising in, or being exposed to, extreme heat or cold.

“When you introduce an extremely hot or cold environment, that adds a whole other level of problem to the situation,” he said. “The most obvious is that your immune system is suppressed and you get a virus. You’ll get sick more easily.”

Researchers have used the environmental chamber for studies and in partnership with corporations, such as biotechnology company Biothera, to investigate how certain supplements can counteract the immune suppression that may follow exercise in extreme temperatures.

“We’re certainly interested in collecting data that we can publish, but we’re also interested in generating data that might be helpful to the larger population,” he said.

For more information on the UH department of health and human performance, visit http://www.hhp.uh.edu/.

Marisa Ramirez | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uh.edu
http://www.hhp.uh.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Chances to treat childhood dementia
24.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>