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BIO304: Human Physiology

Unit 1: Introduction to Physiology   *The study of physiology requires you to grasp a few basic concepts. This brief unit will review concepts including the overall organization of the body and the definition of homeostasis. You may recall from anatomy that small chemicals come together to form cells, which combine to form four tissue types. These tissues create all of the systems found in the body including the cardiovascular, renal, and respiratory systems, among others. These systems work together to ensure that the body is at its optimal, balanced state, known as homeostasis. When homeostasis is compromised, disease ensues. This is most often when patients visit their healthcare professional, although regular well exams are also important in catching disease states that might not be as obvious.

Our understanding of medicine stems from research. In order to study physiology and diseases (pathophysiology), researchers use the scientific method. This guideline allows researchers to study science in a controlled way that eliminates bias. For example, if you were comparing laundry detergents, it would be unfair to use your dirtiest load for one brand and a less dirty load for the other brand. You would need to wash both loads with an even distribution of laundry (types of items and level of dirtiness) at exactly the same wash settings. The only thing that would change (or the variable) would be the detergent. Only then could you make an accurate comparison. The same is true for scientific research. You would not want to take medicine or use a product that was not appropriately researched. Of course, there are other aspects to this scientific method. As you work through the scientific method section, think about how our laundry detergent example fits into this process.*

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 4.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 1 hour

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - describe the physiology of tissues and the body systems in detail; - describe the concept of homeostasis; and - describe the scientific method.

1.1 Organization of the Body: Tissues, Organs, and Organ System   - Web Media: YouTube: Paul Andersen’s “Anatomy and Physiology Intro” Link: YouTube: Paul Andersen’s “Anatomy and Physiology Intro” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this entire video.
This video does a fantastic job of reviewing several terms and
concepts that are important in anatomy and physiology, including
homeostasis and the hierarchy of the body from small chemical
molecules all the way up to the complete human body. You learned
about tissues in anatomy, and this video will remind you of this
information, focusing on the important features of all four tissue
types. The video ends with a brief description of organ systems,
which will be the focus of this course. The more you know about
anatomy, the easier it will be to understand the structure-function
relationship that is key to studying physiology.  

 Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Biology Corner’s Anatomy and Physiology: “Chapter 1: Introduction to Anatomy” Link: Biology Corner’s Anatomy and Physiology: “Chapter 1: Introduction to Anatomy” (PDF) 
     
    Instructions: Read the notes linked above to get an overall description of how tissues make up organs and how organs work together to make up organ systems. Use the “Body Systems Concept Map” to test your knowledge of the structure and function of different organ systems.
     
    Reading these notes and exploring the concept map should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use:This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Biology Corner, and the original version can be found here.

1.2 Homeostasis and Feedback Systems   - Reading: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “Homeostasis Overview” Link: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “Homeostasis Overview” (HTML)

 Instructions: Click on the link above and read the “Homeostasis
Overview” section to gain an understanding of homeostasis and its
importance to overall body function. When homeostasis is lost,
disease ensues. For example, if you cut your skin, this is a very
simple example of how the loss of homeostasis could occur. The skin
is not able to maintain its protective barrier or carry out its
other functions; therefore, the normal activity in this area is not
in homeostasis. Another example is if your intake of iron decreases.
If your iron stores deplete, your production of red blood cells may
go down leading to a condition known as iron deficiency anemia. Your
body cells will get less oxygen and as a result your body will
reduce the amount of activity that you are able to do and you may
feel tired. In this example, the body as a whole is not functioning
at its optimal state; therefore, the body is not in homeostasis.
This reading will help you to better understand this concept.
Consider these examples as you learn more about homeostasis.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: YouTube: slackerbiz’s “Homeostasis” Link: YouTube: slackerbiz’s “Homeostasis” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this brief video to review homeostasis. Although the liver is listed with the renal system in this video, it is important to note that the liver is not a part of the renal system. The liver simply works with the renal system to maintain homeostasis.

    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Oklahoma City Community College: Dennis Anderson’s “Homeostasis Tutorial and Quiz” Link: Oklahoma City Community College: Dennis Anderson’s “Homeostasis Tutorial and Quiz” (HTML)

    Instructions: Work through the “Introduction,” “Individual Organism,” and “Cellular” sections of this tutorial. Make sure to click on “next” or any embedded links on each webpage for these sections. Click on the “Quiz” link to test your understanding. Try to write down your answers in your notes. Then, click on “Answer” to check your response against the sample answer. Make sure that you are have mastered homeostasis and positive and negative feedback concepts. This quiz may seem a bit difficult at this point, but by the end of this course these questions will be no problem!

    Studying this tutorial and completing the quiz should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.3 Scientific Method   Note: This section was reviewed in BIO101A: Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology. Return to BIO101A’s subunit 1.2.1: “The Scientific Method” for a refresher.

  • Assessment: McGraw-Hill Online Learning Center: Stuart Ira Fox’s “The Study of Body Function – Critical Thinking Exercises” Link: McGraw-Hill Online Learning Center: Stuart Ira Fox’s “The Study of Body Function – Critical Thinking Exercises” (HTML)

    Instructions: This assessment will test you on what you learned in unit 1. Complete this brief quiz to demonstrate your understanding of homeostasis and the body system concepts covered in this unit. These are critical thinking questions; take a second after reading each question to think about how the concepts you have just learned apply, and formulate a short, thoughtful answer. Click the “Submit Answers” button at the bottom of the page for instant grading and feedback.

    If the content related to any of the questions is unclear to you, please return to related material that we have already covered or refer back to your previous anatomy course. This can only reinforce your memory and understanding of the material.

    Completing this assessment should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.