Last week we had two new students start work in our lab. Cara and Gavin are doing Master’s degrees in Human and Applied Physiology at King’s College London. Ged (senior lecturer in the department) does a lot of the teaching on the course, and Vicky does a bit too, teaching the students about different ways to measure breathing and what happens to your breathing when you exercise or move into different positions (including turning people upside-down!).
Cara and Gavin started the course in September and have now finished all their lectures and exams. The final part of the course is for them to do a research project, which they will be doing in our lab between now and the end of August. The project they will be working on will be measuring how hard the breathing muscles work in healthy adults using our EMG measurement, so they will be asking lots and lots of adults without any breathing problems to come in and have EMG measurements made. We are doing this project so that we can get a really good idea of what is a normal amount of work for the breathing muscles to do, so that we can compare the numbers we get from people with breathing problems. This means we can use EMG to give us information about how bad people’s breathing problems are. We would also like to know whether things like being taller/shorter, older/younger, thinner/fatter, a man/woman or more/less muscly makes a difference to your EMG. Studies like this are really what physiology research is all about – making measurements of things that happen in the body and trying to understand why we get slightly different numbers from different people.
Gavin and Cara have made a great start and have measured seven people already! They have to write a very long essay (15,000 words!) about their findings at the end of the project, so they need lots more people to give them plenty to write about. If you think you might be interested in coming and taking part in this project, please do give us a ring (0203 299 2080) or send us an email (email@example.com).