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APS physiology brochure

APS physiology brochure - PHYSIOLOGY THE STUDY OF LIFE and...

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PHYSIOLOGY THE STUDY OF LIFE, and how genes, cells, tissues, and organisms function. THE STUDY OF LIFE, and how genes, cells, tissues, and organisms function.
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PHYSIOLOGY IS THE STUDY of life, specifically, how cells, tissues, and organisms function. Physiologists are constantly trying to answer key questions in areas ranging from the functions of single cells to the interactions between human populations and our environment here on earth, the moon, and beyond. Questions like . . . Why does blood clot in a wound but not while flowing through blood vessels? Can we prevent loss of bone mineral during space flights or confinement to bed? How does the nervous system convert stimuli into memories? What factors limit human athletic performance? What causes new genes to be activated and expressed in ailing hearts, and how does this contribute to poor performance of these hearts as circula- tory pumps? How does a person’s genetic inheri- tance predispose him or her to certain diseases later in life? How does a person’s gender affect his or her body’s response to physiological or environmental stress? How do organs repair themselves after damage due to stroke, heart attack, or other insult? Physiologists teach and mentor students in both the classroom and laboratory. Cutting edge cellular and molecular techniques often are used in physiology research. Physiologists apply basic research findings to human and animal studies. Physiologists work in clinical settings, drug companies, government agencies, and universities. What is PHYSIOLOGY? What is PHYSIOLOGY?
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Physiology is important because it is the foundation upon which we build our knowledge of what “life” is, how to treat disease, and how to cope with stresses imposed upon our bodies by new environments. Physiological studies of normal biological function provide the basis for understanding the abnormal function seen in animal and human disease (pathophysiology) and for developing new methods for treating those diseases (translational research). Many physiologists place great importance on the use of animal models as an important tool in their research.
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