AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

While applying to college, be glad you’re not a dragonfly.

We all joke about stress killing us or that we’d rather be dead from all the stress we’re going through. Seniors have to keep their grades up, applications are due, sports, music practice, making time for friends and now family coming over for the holidays. I know it can feel like your Aunt Sally is trying to headbutt you, but we should all be happy that as of right now, the stress were under isn’t actually killing us.

Stress is bad for your body and effects every cell in a negative manner. Stress also makes it harder to do the work that is causing the stress in the first place. A recent study has shown that juvenile dragon flies actually die if put under stress. These dragonfly larvae were faced with predators, the stress of the situation killed them. In dragonfly larva, the negative impacts of the increase in stress hormones was fatal. Even though the predators wouldn’t have eaten them, the thought was too much for them. A specific reason for death of the juvenile was a reduced immune system that was further compromised by bacteria or viruses.

The last thing you want to do while inundated with work is to get sick and not be able to perform at your best. Be careful, and be mindful that stress is bad for your health and that its not the end of the world if you don’t get an A on your next test.

Photo: CC Liscensed photo by Kroszk@

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Cheer up, its not depression, its just hypothydroidism




  1. nicleus2

    I find it interesting how certain organisms die from stress. Although stress will not directly kill us as human beings, it certainty can have negative effects on our health. Some of these effects result in health risks and even death earlier on in life. Check it out!

  2. carlybio12

    Although a stressful situation probably won’t kill you…it can make your hair turn gray. “Researchers have discovered that the kind of “genotoxic stress” that does damage to DNA depletes the melanocyte stem cells (MSCs) within hair follicles that are responsible for making those pigment-producing cells.” So try your best to avoid those stressful situations!

  3. biologiamaster

    It is interesting that a suppressed immune system lead to the death of the dragonflies in a stressful situation. While it seems much clearer in dragonflies that played a major role in their death to me it does seem as though the same thing happens in humans. Humans produce cortisol in response to stressfull situations, cortisol suppress the immune system. According to (, During a period of raised cortisol (from stress), immune system cells disappear from the blood. The part of the immune system most sensitive to increased cortisol levels are the Natural Killer Cells. Immune system function will plummet.

    Thus stress in humans leaves us vulnerable to pathogens that are ordinarily opposed by the immune system, indirectly killing us if the pathogen is lethal enough.

  4. ayl103

    I totally agree that stress has some serious effects on peoples body and it is completely not healthy to stress to much. Did you know that people have hair loss from stress? Studies have shown that women can lose up to fifty percent their hair after a really stressful event. Although it has been reported that stress can cause both men and women to lose hair, women are more likely to have hair lost than men. Here check this website for more information:

  5. gababoutbio

    while stress may not kill us humans, it absolutely alters our personalities. Here is a link to 50 things stress does to humans

  6. sweetasglucose

    love the title and I love the picture! It totally captures 1st semester senior year. If we were dragonflies, I don’t think we would have made it past the first AP BIO test!

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