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November 30, 2008



Which of the following is the most common organ transplanted in the U.S.A.?
a. heart
b. lung
c. kidney
d. heart and lung
e. skin tissues

November 29, 2008

Name This Tissue.


What tissue is this in the urinary system?

November 28, 2008

Assignment for Tuesday, Dec. 2nd

Download file

If you missed class last Tuesday (Nov. 25), you should complete the Urinary Reading Review--you need to click on the link, and then you can print the review off. We're going to be working with this at the beginning of class on Tuesday.

November 26, 2008

Indonesian AIDS Patients May Get Microchip

(JAKARTA, Indonesia) — Lawmakers in Indonesia's remote province of Papua have thrown their support behind a controversial bill requiring some HIV/AIDS patients to be implanted with microchips — part of extreme efforts to monitor the disease.

Health workers and rights activists sharply criticized the plan Monday.(See TIME's A-Z Health Guide.)

But legislator John Manangsang said by implanting small computer chips beneath the skin of "sexually aggressive" patients, authorities would be in a better position to identify, track and ultimately punish those who deliberately infect others with up to six months in jail or a $5,000 fine.

The technical and practical details still need to be hammered out, but the proposed legislation has received full backing from the provincial parliament and, if it gets a majority vote as expected, will be enacted next month, he and others said.

Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country and has one of Asia's fastest growing HIV rates, with up to 290,000 infections out of 235 million people, fueled mainly by intravenous drug users and prostitution.

But Papua, the country's easternmost and poorest province with a population of about 2 million, has been hardest hit. Its case rate of almost 61 per 100,000 is 15 times the national average, according to internationally funded research, which blames lack of knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases.

"The health situation is extraordinary, so we have to take extraordinary action," said another lawmaker, Weynand Watari, who envisions radio frequency identification tags like those used to track everything from cattle to luggage.

A committee would be created to decide who should be fitted with chips and to monitor patients' behavior, but it remains unclear who would be on it and how they would carry out their work, lawmakers said Monday.

Since the plan was initially proposed, the government has narrowed its scope, saying the chips would only be implanted in those who are "sexually aggressive," but it has not said how it would determine who fits that group. It also was not clear how many people it might include.

Nancy Fee, the UNAIDS country coordinator, said the global body was not aware of any laws or initiatives elsewhere involving HIV/AIDS patients and microchips.

Though she has yet to see a copy of the bill, she said she had "grave concerns" about the effect it would have on human rights and public health.

"No one should be subject to unlawful or unnecessary interference of privacy," Fee said, adding that while other countries have been known to be oppressive in trying to tackle AIDS, such policies don't work.

They make people afraid and push the problem further underground, she said.

Local health workers and AIDS activists called the plan "abhorrent."

"People with AIDS aren't animals; we have to respect their rights," said Tahi Ganyang Butarbutar, a prominent Papuan activist.

He said the best way to tackle the epidemic was through increased spending on sexual education and condom use.

SOURCE: Time Magazine. Available online ,

November 24, 2008

Class Calendar for 11/25-12/9


Tuesday, Nov. 25: Class session will be spent on words of the day. Be prepared to share your definitions with the class.

Tuesday, Dec. 2: Studyguides due for Chapter 18

Thursday, Dec. 3: Diagramming the Reproductive System

Friday, Dec. 4: Studyguides due for Chapter 19/Write Practice Test Qs.

Tuesday, Dec. 9: Review Practice Test for the Final

Tinkering with the Space Toilet


HOUSTON (AP) - Astronauts tinkered Sunday with a troublesome piece of equipment designed to help convert urine and sweat into drinkable water, which is vital to allowing the international space station crew to double to six.

Station commander Michael Fincke and space shuttle Endeavour astronaut Donald Pettit changed how a centrifuge is mounted in a urine processor, which is part of the newly delivered $154 million water recovery system. The centrifuge is a spinning device that helps separate the water from urine.

It was on rubber grommets to reduce vibrations, and Mission Control asked Fincke to remove them and just bolt the piece down.

"We're very hopeful for this, and if not, we have a few other tricks up our sleeves," Fincke said from the space station after the task was finished.

Flight controllers were heartened Sunday evening that the first test after the repairs showed no immediate problems.

As a last resort, Endeavour could bring the problematic part back to Earth for repairs when the shuttle departs on Thanksgiving. That option could complicate plans to add crew members to the station since several water samples need to brought back for tests before astronauts can drink from the contraption.

Samples will be brought back on Endeavour and in February on space shuttle Discovery.

The astronauts have been trying to get the system running for four days, but the urine processor has worked for just two hours at a time before shutting down. A normal run is about four hours.

The water recovery system, delivered a week ago by Endeavour, is essential for allowing six astronauts to live on the space station by the middle of next year.

"Without being able to recycle urine, that does take down some of our capability," Fincke said. "It's not necessarily a show-stopper but it's something that we definitely need to address."

Engineers were studying whether six people could still live at the station with the urine processor working two hours at a time, said flight director Courtenay McMillan.

"We don't know if it's a good idea to start and stop it multiple times," McMillan said. "We may be breaking something further until we really understand what's going on."

Flight controllers had hoped the water samples would have a mixture of 70 percent from condensation and 30 percent from urine. Given the problems with the processor, that ratio stands at 90 percent condensation and 10 percent urine.

Mission managers have decided not to extend Endeavour's trip by an extra day since the astronauts have enough water samples.

While Fincke worked on the processor, Endeavour's seven astronauts had part of the day off Sunday, except Pettit who gave up some of his off-duty time to work on the water recycler.

Astronauts Stephen Bowen and Robert "Shane" Kimbrough prepared for the fourth and final spacewalk of the two-week mission. The spacewalkers will finish cleaning and lubing a jammed joint, which allows the station's solar wing to rotate in the direction of the sun. They also will lubricate a twin solar-wing joint, which is running without any problems.

Question of the Day

Why is urine yellow?

November 21, 2008

Blank Nephron Image

View image

November 20, 2008

Anatomy of the Urinary System

This is a good video to preview the anatomy of the urinary system...

November 19, 2008

Excretory System Music Video: Good Preview for Urinary System

Class Plans for Thursday (11/20) and Friday (11/21)


Thursday, 11/20:
*Kidney Macroanatomy and Microanatomy
*Kidney Functions

Friday, 11/21:
*the processes involved in urine production: glomerular filtration, tubular reabsorption, and tubular secretion

NOTE: We need to work very hard this week because we only have one class session next week on Tuesday, Nov. 25th!

We have a total of six class sessions left for the semester: Th 11/20, F 11/21, Tu 11/25, Tu 12/2, Th 12/4, and Tu 12/9.

Kidney Anatomy


(1) Please explain the difference between the following in terms of function: the pelvis, medulla, and cortex.

(2) In which part of the kidney will you find the renal pyramids?

(3) In which part of the kidney will you find nephrons? (What is a nephron?)

November 18, 2008

Antibody-Mediated Immune Responses

Cell-Mediated Immune Response

CEHD First Year Experience Video from Sept. 2008

Cosmetic surgery addict injected cooking oil into her own face


A Korean woman addicted to plastic surgery has been left unrecognisable after her obsession led her to inject cooking oil into her face.

Photo: Saigo-Sinopix / Rex Features

Hang Mioku, now 48, had her first plastic surgery procedure when she was 28; hooked from the beginning she moved to Japan where she had further operations - mostly to her face.
Following operation after operation, her face was eventually left enlarged and disfigured, but she would still look at herself in the mirror and think she was beautiful.

Eventually the surgeons she visited refused to carry out any more work on her and one suggested that her obsession could be a sign of a psychological disorder.

When she returned home to Korea the surgery meant Hang's features had changed so much that her own parents didn't recognise her.

After realising that the girl with the grossly swollen face was indeed their daughter her horrified parents took her to a doctor. Once again the possibility that Hang had a mental disorder was raised and she started treatment.

However, this treatment was too expensive for her to keep up and she soon fell back into old ways.

Amazingly, she found a doctor who was willing to give her silicone injects and, what's more, he then gave her a syringe and silicone of her own so she could self-inject.

When her supply of silicone ran out Hang resorted to injecting cooking oil into her face.
Her face became so grotesquely large that she was called "standing fan" by children in her neighbourhood - due to her large face and small body.

As Hang's notoriety spread she was featured on Korean TV. Viewers seeing the report took mercy on her and sent in enough donations to enable her to have surgery to reduce the size of her face.
During the first procedure surgeons removed 60g of foreign substance from Hang's face and 200g from her neck.

After several other sessions her face was left greatly reduced but still scarred and disfigured.
And it would seem that even Hang can now see the damage she has done; she now says that she would simply like her original face back.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3439638/Cosmetic-surgery-addict-injected-cooking-oil-into-her-own-face.html

November 16, 2008

Bone Marrow Transplant "Cures" Sickle Cell Anemia

FRIDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A unique form of bone marrow transplantation is the only safe and effective cure for sickle cell disease, researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh report.

Traditional bone marrow transplants rely on heavy doses of chemotherapy prior to transplant in order to destroy a recipient's bone marrow so it won't reject the donated marrow. But that makes patients vulnerable to dangerous complications, something that's viewed as an unnecessary risk, because sickle cell disease typically isn't life-threatening, the researchers said.

This new transplant method relies on reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens, which are less toxic to patients and eliminate life-threatening side effects generally associated with bone marrow transplantation. This means transplants can be offered to patients with severe sickle cell disease.
The researchers at Children's Hospital, part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, reported that six of seven sickle cell patients who received RIC bone marrow transplants in the last decade now have donor marrow and are free of sickle cell disease symptoms.

The report was published in the November issue of the journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

"Bone marrow transplant is the only known cure for sickle cell disease. But doctors have avoided performing them in these patients, because complications from a traditional bone marrow transplant can be life-threatening," Dr. Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist and director of the Sickle Cell Program at Children's Hospital, said in a hospital news release. He helped develop RIC bone marrow transplants.

"Through the reduced-intensity approach we developed, the potential for complications is dramatically lessened. This study offers hope for a cure for thousands of patients with severe sickle cell disease," Krishnamurti said.

Sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder, affects about 80,000 people in the United States, primarily blacks. The disease can cause agonizing pain, strokes, damage to internal organs, and a shortened life expectancy.

What is the best defense in the human body against infection?


November 15, 2008

Drugs and NTSs

How do Prozac, cocaine, caffeine, and amphetamines relate to neurotransmitters?

November 14, 2008

Rare Treatment Is Reported to Cure AIDS Patient

Published: November 14, 2008 in The New York Times
Doctors in Berlin are reporting that they cured a man of AIDS by giving him transplanted blood stem cells from a person naturally resistant to the virus.

But while the case has novel medical implications, experts say it will be of little immediate use in treating AIDS. Top American researchers called the treatment unthinkable for the millions infected in Africa and impractical even for insured patients in top research hospitals.

“It’s very nice, and it’s not even surprising,? said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “But it’s just off the table of practicality.?

The patient, a 42-year-old American resident in Germany, also has leukemia, which justified the high risk of a stem-cell transplant. Such transplants require wiping out a patient’s immune system, including bone marrow, with radiation and drugs; 10 to 30 percent of those getting them die.

“Frankly, I’d rather take the medicine,? said Dr. Robert C. Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, referring to antiretroviral drugs.

Moreover, the chances of finding a donor who is a good tissue match for the patient and also has the rare genetic mutation that confers resistance to H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, are extremely small. Nonetheless, the man has been free of the virus for 20 months even though he is not using antiretroviral drugs, and the success in his case is evidence that a long-dreamed-of therapy for AIDS — injecting stem cells that have been genetically re-engineered with the mutation — might work.

The cure was announced Wednesday by Dr. Gero Hütter and Dr. Eckhard Thiel, blood-cancer specialists at Charité Hospital in Berlin. The case was described last week in The Wall Street Journal.

Attempts to use bone-marrow transplants in AIDS treatment have been made since the 1980s. In one case, a patient with both AIDS and lymphoma died of the cancer two months later, but was found to harbor no H.I.V.; it was not known if something in the transplant had protected him.

And in a famous 1995 case, Jeff Getty, a prominent San Francisco advocate for AIDS patients, received bone marrow from a baboon, which is resistant to the human virus. He survived 11 years, but died of AIDS and cancer; the transplant had not protected him but antiretroviral triple therapy had been invented in time to help.

Dr. Hütter said one of the 80 potential donors who matched his patient closely enough for leukemia treatment also happened to have the mutation.

That mutation, discovered in a few gay men in the 1990s and known as Delta 32, must be inherited from both parents. With it, the white blood cells produced in the marrow lack the surface receptors that allow H.I.V. to invade the immune system.

Even if it is prevented from replicating by drugs, the H.I.V. can lie dormant in lymph and nerve cells for years. But without the necessary receptors, any virus coming out of dormancy has no way to infect them.

Doctors say the case gives hope for therapies that artificially induce the Delta 32 mutation.

For example, Dr. Irvin S. Y. Chen, director of the AIDS Institute at U.C.L.A. , is working on using RNA “hairpin scissors? to cut out the bits of genetic material in blood stem cells that code for the receptors. The concept is working in monkeys, he said. Eventually, he hopes, it will be possible to inject them into humans after wiping out only part of the immune system with drugs. “I think that would carry no risk of death,? he said.

November 13, 2008

Back by Popular Demand: The Short Film "SCAB"

Tropfest Australia 2008 Finalist Film! Directed by Koichi Iguchi.
Learning is tough, especially when your tutor has something on his lip.

NOTE: This one is pretty unusual--we watched this in 251 ApH while people were working on their posters earlier this week. Watch it and get grossed out! Appreciate the funky Japanese background music!

US smoking rate is under 20 percent for first time


Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:12pm EST

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The number of U.S. adults who smoke has dropped below 20 percent for the first time on record but cigarettes still kill almost half a million people a year, health officials said on Thursday.

About 19.8 percent of U.S. adults -- 43.4 million people -- were smokers in 2007. That was a percentage point below the 2006 figure and followed three years of little progress, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report.

Smoking and secondhand smoke kill 443,000 people annually from cancer, lung disease, heart disease and other causes, the CDC said. Half of all long-term smokers, especially those who start as teens, die prematurely, many in middle age.

And smoking burns a large hole in the economy. Including direct health care expenditures ($96 billion) and productivity losses ($97 billion), the economic burden of smoking on the United States hit $193 billion per year, the CDC said.

"Even though we've come a long way, there's a long way to go," said Dr. Matthew McKenna, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.

Smoking became widespread in the United States when soldiers fighting in Europe in World War I were given cigarettes, which by that time were made by machines rather than by hand. After the war, smoking by women also became more accepted socially.

U.S. health officials began systematically tracking smoking rates in the 1960s. When U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued a landmark report on health hazards of smoking in 1964, 42 percent of U.S. adults were smokers. His revelations triggered a long but gradual decline.

Thomas Glynn of the American Cancer Society said the rate was now the lowest since just after World War I.

"We've begun to come full circle on this," Glynn said.

Glynn cited three major recent factors in driving down smoking: smoking bans in public places, higher taxes that drive up prices and more medications to help people quit.

The CDC said smoking still causes at least 30 percent of cancer deaths, including more than 80 percent of lung cancer deaths, as well as 80 percent of deaths from the lung ailment chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The CDC report found that 17 percent of women smoke compared to 22 percent of men. Whites (21 percent) smoked at higher rates than blacks (20 percent) or Hispanics (13 percent). Asian Americans were lowest (10 percent) and American Indians and Alaska natives were highest (36 percent).

Among people who never graduated high school, 25 percent smoked in 2007. Among those with undergraduate degrees, 11 percent smoked, while 6 percent of those with graduate degrees smoked.

"The tobacco industry is very good at creating confusion and misinformation. And the more education people have, the less likely they are to believe some of the myths and misinformation that the industry promulgates," McKenna said


November 12, 2008


Explain the difference between these two, please.

November 11, 2008

Nov. 11th Class Agenda

We are meeting in 227 ApH to work on posters today. The poster session is on Thursday--make sure you include the following information on your poster:

(1) The Name of the Disease or Health Condition
(2) Names of Your Group Members
(3) Symptoms
(4) Treatments/Cures
(5) Two Interesting Facts about Current Research (2005-present) Related to the Disease
(6) A Reference List of Your Four Main Sources
*You can use sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Web MD, as well as research reports from the University of Minnesota Libraries.

November 10, 2008

"Nice to Smell You": 'Odourprinting' could be used to identify people


Human beings could one day be identified by our smells, according to research that shows individual "odourprints" cannot be masked by diet.

Source: The Telegraph of the United Kingdom

Every person has a unique fragrance, similar to a fingerprint or DNA sample, which could be used to create a database of human scents, scientists said.

Eating powerful foods such as chili or garlic may change how we smell, but it does not disguise our underlying genetically-determined aroma, tests on mice have shown. Creatures who were given strong-smelling foods were still recognised by their peers.

The signature smells may have evolved to help in choosing mates and marking out territories.
Jae Kwak, lead author of the study at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, said that the research suggested that "odourprinting" could soon have a practical use.
"These findings indicate that biologically based odourprints, like fingerprints, could be a reliable way to identify individuals," he said.

"If this can be shown to be the case for humans, it opens the possibility that devices can be developed to detect individual odourprints in humans."

The tests used chemical analyses of urine as well as "sensor" mice trained to use their sense of smell to choose between pairs of test mice, who were fed different foods. The results were published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

November 8, 2008

Nervous System Practice Test Question

How many of the following are NTSs that are located only in the CNS?
*epinephrine *Glutamic acid *Serotonin *GABA *Dopamine *Glycine
a. none
b. one
c. two
d. three
e. four
f. five

November 7, 2008

Pig organs ‘available to patients in a decade'

The first organs suitable for transplanting, most likely kidneys, are expected to be ready within three years and, if tests are successful, their use could be widespread by 2018.

A herd of as few as 50 pigs is expected to be kept as breeding stock to provide organs “to order? and to slash waiting times for thousands of people needing transplants.

Professor Winston, of Imperial College, London, and his collaborator, Carol Readhead, of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, are leading research into transplanting animal organs into people.

They are attempting to breed pigs that have been genetically modified so that porcine organs are accepted by the human body instead of being immediately rejected.

Human immune systems are quick to react to “foreign bodies? but the scientists are confident that they are close to modifying the genetic make-up of pigs to “humanise? their organs and make animal-to-human transplants possible.

The humanisation process of the organs is expected to be achieved by breeding genes into the pigs, probably by injecting them directly into the parent boar’s testicles, that provoke a greatly reduced response in the patient’s immune system.

Patients who received pig organs would have to take immune suppressant drugs for the rest of their lives, but no more than those who received organ transplants from other people.

Dr Readhead said it was comparatively easy to bring about such genetic modification in mice, but the process is much harder in pigs and other large animals.

A “mini-pig? weighing about 100kg has been selected for the research because, while a quarter of the size of most of those grown for the meat industry, they are big enough to have organs of a similar size to adult human beings.

Pigs are regarded as ideal for animal-to-human transplants, xenotransplantation, and other research because of the similarity in the physiological make-up and because they get many of the same diseases, such as diabetes.

Dr Readhead said: “Our interest was to try to make transgenic pigs for biomedical research to understand human diseases better and eventually to try to make their organs suitable for xenotransplantation.?

Professor Winston said that “organs that might be transplantable? could be ready “within two to three years? and on the basis that research went smoothly they would be fully licensed and tested in as little as ten years. He expected the first “proof of principle? pigs to be bred next year."

Source: The Times of London, November 7, 2008

Nervous System Review PPT Available for Download

Download file

If you would like to download the PPT (it's huge--you will want to put it on a flashdrive or on your desktop), click on the link.

No Class Today--Friday, November 7th

Please check back here after 12 noon for a chance to review some PPT slides for the Nervous System AND check your email for additional review materials for your coop quiz on Monday...

November 6, 2008

Is That Really Paul Rusesabagina?


Great On-Line Review Materials

Need to review some of the basic information about the nervous system? Digestive system? Lymphatic system? Respiratory system?

Use this website to find some great materials, especially images of tissue.

November 5, 2008

poster session next Thursday (November 13)!!

Remember that you and your group should be preparing your poster for class next Thursday. We'll review the assignment and use the class time on Friday, November 7th to prepare for this exciting project.

November 6th Class Agenda

Nov 14 snowy skies.JPG

(1) Vocabulary Quiz (8-8:25AM)
(2) Review of Stroke Video (8:25-8:42AM)
(3) Review of Nervous System (8:42-8:50AM)

Quick Reminder: Vocabulary Quiz #2 on Thursday (Matching only)

Questions? Email JT...

November 2, 2008

Career Information: Physical Therapists


Current information on Physical Therapy careers: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos080.htm

November 1, 2008

What are the major functions of the Circle of Willis?


NOTE: Even though this information was covered in Murray's discussion of the cardiovascular system, you should make sure you have a strong understanding of this concept in order to do well on your third test in PsTL 1135.