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98.6 Degrees Fahrenheit Is Ideal Body Temperature

Two researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that our 98.6° F (37° C) body temperature strikes a perfect balance: warm enough to ward off fungal infection but not so hot that we need to eat nonstop to maintain our metabolism.

“One of the mysteries about humans and other advanced mammals has been why they are so hot compared with other animals,” said study co-author Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology & immunology at Einstein. “This study helps to explain why mammalian temperatures are all around 37° C.” Dr. Casadevall also holds the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Chair in Microbiology and Immunology.

The research builds upon earlier work by Dr. Casadevall showing that the number of fungal species that can thrive and therefore infect an animal declines by 6 percent for every 1° C rise in temperature. This means that tens of thousands of fungal species infect reptiles, amphibians and other cold-blooded animals, but only a few hundred harm mammals. Such protection against fungal infection, Dr. Casadevall has speculated, could have been crucial for the triumph of mammals following the age of dinosaurs.

Read the original article at: Science Daily

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