When our body temperature drifts only a couple of degrees above or below normal, our mental and physical performance becomes impaired. Even modest rises in body temperature cause fatigue and exhaustion, issues of concern in hospitals, on the battlefield, and in sports. Professor Heller and his colleagues have found that removing heat from an athlete’s hands results in an increase of double or triple the rate of conditioning that might otherwise be expected. At the other end of the spectrum, some elderly people, those exposed too long to very cold weather, and patients with certain diseases may be unable to maintain normal levels of heat in their bodies. Professor Heller’s lab has created a “glove” that can quickly extract or insert heat in our bodies, which offers the potential for some amazing improvements in human performance, well being and comfort. Moreover, purposeful induction of hyperthermia or hypothermia has many potential therapeutic uses. And then there are hot flashes: can we do something about those? Professor Heller will share with us how and why this novel technology is being developed and its potential to improve the quality of human life and our bodies’ performance.
H. Craig Heller is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University.
Campus parking, entrance to the Cantor Arts Center and the Science lectures are free and open to the general public.