Measuring Elite Fitness, Part 3

For regular readers, you may recall that I have been involved with a multi-part study of elite Crossfitters. The research enterprise continued last week when I did a very challenging (and my first) test of VO2 max. One would think that elite Crossfitters have cardiac and respiratory output that rivals that of elite endurance athletes […]

Highlights from the Gordon Conference on Sleep Regulation

I have been idle the past week because I have been in Galveston, TX for a secret society meeting of sleep researchers. It wasn’t really secret, but it was an invite only conference limited to less than 200 participants worldwide. The focus of the meeting was the neural mechanisms of sleep, namely those studied in […]


More from my studious husband…. Here’s another contribution to my analyses of the CrossFit Open competition, and is continued from here, where I looked broadly at maximum and minimum placings among Open competitors,  and here, where I examined the frequency that athletes finished within the top 60 of a given Open workout and how that related to qualification for Regionals. […]

Refueling during the Crossfit Open: A Physiologist’s Perspective

The Reebok Crossfit Open simultaneously brings out the best and worst in me. I enjoy the physiological onslaught of pain and fatigue a few minutes into the workout coupled with the post-workout euphoria. I also enjoy the friendly competition in the gym or seeing one member of the community achieve a new goal, like a […]

More on predicting Regionals qualification from single Open workouts

Here is more from the brilliant, statistical mind of my husband. UPDATE –  Here are a couple of histograms illustrating the frequency of top 60 placings for competitors in a given year and region. So, an athelete, say, Emily Bridgers, completes 5 workouts during an Open. How often does she place in the top 60 during […]

Life sucks without Bmal1

The clock gene Bmal1 should ring a bell to my regular readers. Obviously, the qualifier “clock gene” indicates that Bmal1 is part of the molecular feedback loop that drives biological rhythms. Bmal1 also happens to be a priori in this molecular feedback loop because its transcription in the nucleus and translocation to the cytoplasm to […]

Measuring Elite Fitness

This past week, I had the opportunity to participate in an exercise physiology study that examined metabolic and cardiorespiratory output across intervals of high-intensity exercise. The study was specifically recruiting high-level crossfitters since interval training at high intensity is the underlying structure of most advanced training programs. I was stoked to participate because I have […]

Neury Thursday: Genotypic Insights on Dopamine, Modafinil, and Sleep

This seems like a no brainer. Dopamine is an arousal-promoting neurotransmitter (in most cases). It excites other nerve cells, and is the primary neurotransmitter of the central reward circuit. Dopamine agonists like modafinil have saturated the pharma market for years in order to combat daytime sleepiness and shift work. Nowadays, the focus has shifted to […]

Plant Neurobiology. Yay or Nay?

Very recently, I read an article written by Michael Pollan in The New Yorker  about a bizarre new sector of neuroscience: plant “neurobiology.” I put neurobiology in quotations because plant neurobiology turns out to be a bunch of snake oil, woo science, or whatever your term is for bullshit. The exciting new science of plant […]

5 Years of Dormivigilia

Five years ago, a few graduate students in the biology department and I decided that we wanted to become better science writers, professionally and publicly. Around the same time, the three of us also happened to co-found a campus group called The Kent State Freethinkers to provide a social and educational outlet for skeptics and atheists […]

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