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BIO304: Human Physiology

Unit 11: The Urinary System   The Urinary System, also known as the renal or excretory system, plays a significant role in filtering out the waste that our body produces. As we learned in the cardiovascular system unit, the heart pumps blood to the kidneys for filtration. The kidneys remove nitrogenous wastes and form urine to flush it from the body. The kidneys are also involved in water balance. Think about the last time that you were dehydrated. What color was your urine? Dark? This is because the kidneys excreted body wastes in as little water as possible to try and conserve. On the other hand, if you are well hydrated, you will likely find that your urine is light yellow to almost clear. Lesser known functions of the kidney include stimulation of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, regulation of electrolyte balance, and a major role in acid-base buffering. This unit will focus on these various renal activities.

Unit 11 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 6 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 11.1: 3.25 hours

☐    Subunit 11.2: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 11.3: 2.5 hours

Unit11 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - describe the structure and function of the organs of the urinary system; - explain the steps of urine formation and identify related organs; and - describe the role of the kidneys in regulating renal water and salt balance.

11.1 The Urinary System: Structures and Functions of the Organs   - Reading: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “The Urinary System” Link: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “The Urinary System” (HTML)

 Instructions: Click on the link above and read this webpage about
the urinary system, which is sometimes also called the renal system.
The kidneys filter wastes from the blood and form urine. Urine is
stored in the bladder and a series of tubes drain urine from the
kidneys to the bladder (ureters) and then from the bladder to
outside the body (urethra).  

 Reading this section should take approximately 2 hours.  

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

11.2 Functions of the Urinary System: Filtration, Reabsorption, Secretion, Excretion   - Reading: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “Formation of Urine” Link: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “Formation of Urine” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the section titled “Formation of Urine” to learn
the specific steps involved in creating urine for excretion.  

 Reading this section should take less than 15 minutes.  

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

11.3 Renal Water and Salt/Electrolytes Balance   - Reading: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “Maintaining Water-Salt Balance” Link: Wikibooks’ Human Physiology: “Maintaining Water-Salt Balance” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the section titled “Maintaining Water-Salt
Balance” to learn how the kidneys separate waste from molecules
necessary to the body (water, salt) in filtrate before excretion.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: YouTube: University of Rhode Island Animation’s “Diuretic Action in the Kidney” Link: YouTube: University of Rhode Island Animation’s “Diuretic Action in the Kidney” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Click on the link above and watch this brief video for a visual illustration of the process by which the kidneys help maintain a water-salt balance in the body.

    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.

  • Assessment: McGraw-Hill Online Learning Center: Seeley, Stephens, & Tate’s “Urinary System – Clinical Application” Link: McGraw-Hill Online Learning Center: Seeley, Stephens, & Tate’s “Urinary System – Clinical Application” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this example and respond to the questions that follow after working through the materials in this unit. Click the “Submit Answers” button at the bottom of the page for instant feedback.

    Completing this activity should take approximately 45 minutes.

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

  • Assessment: McGraw-Hill Online Learning Center: Stuart Ira Fox’s “Kidney Physiology Quiz: Multiple Choice 1”, “Kidney Physiology Quiz: Multiple Choice 2”, and “Kidney Physiology Quiz: Critical Thinking Exercises” Link: McGraw-Hill Online Learning Center: Stuart Ira Fox’s “Kidney Physiology Quiz: Multiple Choice 1” (HTML), “Kidney Physiology Quiz: Multiple Choice 2” (HTML), and “Kidney Physiology Quiz: Critical Thinking Exercises” (HTML)

    Instructions: Click on the links above and complete these quizzes to demonstrate your understanding of the urinary system.

    Completing these assessments should take approximately 1 hour.

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