The American Physiological Society Press Release

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APS Contact: Donna Krupa

Email: dkrupa@the-aps.org

Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @Phyziochick

The “Elvis Experiments”

Monday, April 30, 2007 @ 1:30 PM - Renaissance Hotel, Congressional Hall A

WHAT: More than 100 Washington-area high school students and teachers are participating in “The Elvis Experiments.” The experiments, named in honor of “the King,” were designed by educators at the American Physiological Society (APS; www.The-APS.org) to help students participate in hands-on demonstrations aimed at showing the different factors that influence blood flow and blood pressure.

On Monday, April 30, some 75 students and 23 teachers will use tubing, beakers and liquids of varying thickness to simulate the flow of blood in vessels to mimic some of the ways in which human blood travels 60,000 miles per day on its journey through the arteries, arterioles and capillaries and back through the venules and veins.

Students will have the following information to work from:

  • Just before Elvis went into hiding, his blood pressure was sky high. His arteries were full of cholesterol from too many peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Also, his heart muscle was thin and weak from lack of exercise and the extra salt caused his body to retain water, increasing his total blood volume. The doctors told him these factors would lead to a dangerous increase in blood pressure and heart failure.
  • Elvis, worried that he would die if things did not change, secretly hired a group of teenage physiology students to perform experiments on those factors that influence blood pressure. To honor him, the students agreed to undertake a series of experiments using the information about his diet and vital statistics that he left behind.  
  • The students will explore some of the factors that affect blood flow and blood pressure. They will learn how the radius and length of a tube as well as the thickness of the blood flowing through a tube affects flow rate of fluid, gain skills in designing an experiment, and use pancake syrup (full strength) to mimic the flow of blood.
  • The students will be working with APS member/scientists to help uncover the secrets of Elvis’ blood flow. 
  • The students will prepare a presentation for Elvis, in the event he is able to come out of hiding and join them at the Convention Center.

WHY:   The “Elvis Experiments” are part of a nationwide outreach effort by the APS to help students and teachers better understand the branch of science known as physiology.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease.

WHO: The APS is a nonprofit scientific organization devoted to fostering education, scientific research, and dissemination of information in the physiological sciences. From its beginnings in 1887 the Society has grown to more than 10,500 members today.  The Society publishes 13 widely acclaimed scholarly journals and recently posted over 650,000 pages of historical scientific studies online, some dating back to 1898.   

WHEN/WHERE:  The Elvis Experiments begin at 1:30 PM Monday, April 30, Renaissance Hotel, Congressional Hall A. To view the complete one-day schedule, please log on to: http://www.the-aps.org/education/EB/2007/EBworkshop07.html.

Media Contact: Donna Krupa, American Physiological Society, 301.634.7209 or DKrupa@the-APS.org

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.