"When hummingbirds are fasting, their kidneys stop filtering altogether," Martinez del Rio explained. "In mammals, when the kidney stops filtering it is called acute kidney failure and can have dire consequences." Hummingbirds experience renal failure daily, an adaptation that allows them to live for a time without a functioning kidney. Hummingbirds have both the guts and the kidneys needed to face the challenges of their watery and sugary diets," he said.
Information embargoed until lecture is completed, 3 p.m., Wednesday, October 11.
David R. Jones, University of British Columbia, Canada
Jones' forehead-slapping moment of scientific insight may be remembered as an important step in the study of blood pressure. After 40 years of scientific work, Jones realized that it is possible to determine the blood pressure of fish after they have died.
The process, which he discovered with graduate student Marvin Braun, makes it much quicker, less expensive and less technically demanding to study fish blood pressure. This field not only provides insight into the physiology of fish, but can shed light on the evolution of blood pressure and may eventually provide some valuable information about our own circulatory system.
The technique, which works best when done within six hours of the animal's death, works for fish of all sizes. It is effective at determining the mean blood pressure of the living fish, Jones said. His talk is entitled "Necrophysiological determination of fish blood pressure: a lesson for us all?"
Material embargoed until his lecture is completed, 9 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11.
Please go to http://www.the-aps.org/meetings/aps/vabeach/week.pdf for a copy of the entire program.