The Reason We Breathe

Today the Nobel Prize Committee announced that the 2019 Medicine Laureates will be William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza who have identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen.

Thanks to the groundbreaking work of these Nobel Laureates, we know much more about how different oxygen levels regulate fundamental physiological processes. Oxygen sensing allows cells to adapt their metabolism to low oxygen levels: for example, in our muscles during intense exercise. Other examples of adaptive processes controlled by oxygen sensing include the generation of new blood vessels and the production of red blood cells. Our immune system and many other physiological functions are also fine-tuned by the O2- sensing machinery. Oxygen sensing has even been shown to be essential during fetal development for controlling normal blood vessel formation and placenta development.

Nobel Prize Committee 07/10/19

The importance of such research is sometimes lost in the way we are taught about life, before the internet it was common for only minimal education was provided regarding nutrition and how the body works, if you wanted to know you had to go to University. Now we have an open sharing source of information compiled from international sources where we can look up pretty much anything we could possibly want to know. There is an opportunity for all of us to optimise our health by truly understanding our bodies. Body builders are on a constant quest for perfection and anything that will make that easier is worth knowing, if you are rehabilitating from an injury you want to give your body its best chance you can.

The internet has changed the way we learn, some one is bound to have already asked the question there is often a video answering any how-to questions you might have. There is now also scientific information readily available which can educate us far beyond a how-to video could, previously if you wanted that information you would have to be a medical professional with access to research papers, it enables you to make an informed decision for your body.

There are some who follow regimes blindly with no actual regard for their bodies, they don’t read they simply take the latest pill or injection and hope it works, then when it stops working because their body is out of sync and risk permanently damaging their health. Then there are those who care about their bodies, they think about what they are putting in it, they think about the long term effects not just the short term gain.

It pays to be aware of scientific discoveries as they can explain things you might never have understood otherwise. It can be equally dangerous as people may only use half the information but unfortunately that is a risk that science takes every time it publishes research.

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