Articles on Physiology

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The physiological response to sex is similar to that of exercise. from

Health Check: does sex count as exercise?

Sex can often be a pleasurable experience. But it also has benefits some reports have compared to those of exercise. So can sex really count as a workout?
If you’re not regularly active, extreme exercise and exercise in extreme heat is unwise. lzf/Shutterstock

Health Check: how to exercise safely in the heat

Exercise alone can be hard, but exercising in the heat is a whole lot harder. Put simply, this is due to the balance between how much heat the body generates and how much it is capable of losing.
Not all gross: mucus is vital for healthy airways. William Brawley/Flickr

Health Check: what you need to know about mucus and phlegm

We tend to notice mucus only when it’s abnormal and the sticky fluid is expelled from orifices. But actually it’s pretty amazing stuff. Every moment of our lives mucus is protecting our internal organs…
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating affects around 3% of the population. Jayel Aheram

Explainer: why do I sweat so much and how can I stop it?

Everybody sweats, some more than others. It’s a physiological reaction to heat and the body’s mechanism to regulate core temperate. Individual sweat rates vary and are influenced by factors such as ambient…
Our culture tells women there’s something wrong with them if they don’t orgasm. Gustavo Gomes/Flickr

Female sexual dysfunction or not knowing how to ask for what feels good?

The recently published Italian study suggesting women can only have clitoral, rather than vaginal, orgasms raises important questions about the medicalisation of female sexuality and sexual dysfunction…
World record holder – but for how long? Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

How low can marathon times go?

This fall Dennis Kimetto set a new world record in the marathon, clocking 2:02:57 at Berlin. He is the first man to run those 26.2 miles in under 2:03 and his time sparked speculation about when the two-hour…
No, I did not get a manicure before coming here today. Polygraph Shutterstock

Lie detectors and the lying liars who use them

As society becomes more and more dependent on machines to make important decisions, the use of technology for lie detection is becoming increasingly popular. But as much as we would like to rely on technology…
The heat is on. And referees can get it wrong. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Forget the players, World Cup referees are feeling the heat

There has been much hand-wringing over the problems that World Cup players are facing due to the environmental extremes they are exposed to in Brazil. There has been little sympathy for the men in black…
Dusting off the archives: Griff Pugh at work at altitude. Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Meet Griffith Pugh: the Everest pioneer you’ve never heard of

Scientists almost never get to be household names just for doing science. Most who impact the public consciousness, like Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking, tend to at least combine the science…
Thank goodness for black and white. Michael

Explainer: why do we blush?

Awkward and embarrassing, the human act of blushing raises many difficult psychological and physiological questions. Why should an emotional response take this particular form and does it serve any purpose…
Fight or flight? Bankers likely to opt for the second. BK and EP

Fear of risk linked to high stress hormone in bankers

In times of financial uncertainty and crisis, high stress reactions lead to traders becoming more risk averse, which drives pessimism and further falls in finance, according to a new study. This is because…
Shifting hemispheres? A good training plan must include time to acclimatise. Vox Efx

Athletes can beat the heat, even during an Australian summer

Two of Australia’s biggest international sporting events kicked off last week – the Australian Open in Melbourne and the Tour Down Under in Adelaide – coinciding with a heatwave over southeast Australia…
The physiological stress of the heat accumulates and takes its toll after two or three days. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Death in a hot climate: southern heatwave to take its toll

Hopefully the southern Australian heatwave is coming to an end – for now. But for health-care providers and death investigators, such as me, the fallout will continue for some time to come. It’s unclear…

Neuronal basis of crows’ intelligence

Tübingen neurobiologists Lena Veit und Professor Andreas Nieder have demonstrated how the brains of crows produce intelligent…

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