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/.
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News