Tag Archives: temperature

We’re 98.6 degrees for a reason

Why is the human body 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit? Some scientists have an idea:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers previously showed that every one degree Celsius rise in body temperature wards off about 6 percent more fungal species. So tens of thousands of fungi can infect reptiles and amphibians, but we can only be invaded by a few hundred fungi.

In the new work, the researchers created a mathematical model that weighed the fungal protection benefits versus the metabolic cost of high body temperature. And the optimal temperature was 98.1, quite close to what evolution figured out. The research was published in the open-access journal mBio. [Aviv Bergman and Arturo Casadevall, “Mammalian Endothermy Optimally Restricts Fungi and Metabolic Costs”]

Via 80 Beats.

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