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Top 10 concepts needed to understand human anatomy and physiology

Murray's start...

1. homeostasis
2. membrane transport / gradients
3. ?

Click on "Comments" and make your suggestions.



I’d love to work on the 10 concepts of A&P. What fun!
Here’s my first rough draft (I lean toward physiology so they are skewed in that direction):
1. Relationship between form and function

2. Homeostasis

3. Laws of thermodynamics constrain the organism

4. Control systems (feedback loops)

5. Variability and redundancy in the natural world

6. Levels of biological organization and emergent properties

7. Gradients

1) Homeostasis: How are the sensing cells of the hypothalamus (an example of a feedback regulator) like the target cells for follicle stimulating hormone? How are they different?

2) How do fluids move down a gradient? How do they diffuse? We ought to be able to make this striking clear without resorting to 3rd semester calculus.

3) development of a body plan (a three hour/1 week unit on how embryology DEFINES the adult body plan in vertebrates)

4) Emergent properties (thanks Margaret, for the title), namely: what can a syncitium of 10,000,000 cells do that 100 cells can't do?

5) epithelial control of transport, tissue migration and gradient formation

6) they say "no brain, no pain." What else do we miss we go acephalic?

1. All organismal structure and function is the result of cellular function.

2. All cellular function depends on various modes of selective transport of materials through the plasma membrane.

3. In any multicellular organism such as ourselves, all function depends on various modes of intercellular communication.

4. All cellular function depends directly or indirectly on the activity of enzymes.

5. All enzymatic activity depends on a heritable genetic code.

6. Anything that depends on a heritable genetic code is subject to evolutionary change through mutation and natural selection.

7. All human form and function is a result of the evolutionary history of the species, although not all form and function is evolutionarily adaptive.

8. Humans share a profound kinship with all living species, and consequently, much that is known about human form and function has been and can be learned from the study of other species.

Within the discussion of homeostasis, virtually all authors ignore the importance of biological rhythms (circadian or otherwise).
Our own text's author (Martini) only makes a passing reference to it in the special senses chapter(chapter 17,far removed from the chapter 1 discussion of homeostasis):
"This circadian rhythm affects your metabolic rate,endocrine function, blood pressure, digestive activities, awake-sleep cycle, and other physiological and behavioral processes".

After this impressive statement, nothing more is mentioned.

Why is this not up front in our discussions of homeostasis?

Well, is everything that's important actually foundational? Can we meaningfully discuss circadian rhythms of body temperature without some prior understanding of where heat comes from in the body and how heat is retained and lost? Which is more foundational the circadian rhythm portion or the basic metabolism portion? Or do they stand alone and, although overlapping, are totally independent of one another? What do you think?