Friday, December 2, 2011

Are Kids with Down Syndrome on the Road to Extinction?

We've just finished hearing about human genetic disorders. For most of these there is actually minimal treatment options and only support groups for parents. Here's an interesting article on one of the most common genetic disorders - Are Kids With Down Syndrome on the Road to Extinction?
What are your thoughts?
Please post by class on Monday, December 5th.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Power outage in San Diego

When I was checking up on the news this morning, I ran across this article on the black out in San Diego. I was curious to see what had happened, so I started reading it...and quickly became frustrated.

Why? What would make this article more valuable, if you were trying to prevent future occurrences, or even diagnose what went wrong?

Click here to read it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are you connected to the BioBlog?

Hey there, send me a quick note telling me and your classmates something about yourself.

Me? I love to sing and I enjoy hearing about new bands. See if you can figure out where I am in that shot of my a Capella group.

You should be able to sign into blogger using your College Prep email. Please include your name & period in your posting name so I can easily tell if you're in 5th or 6th period biology. Thanks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Endocrine Hypothalamus and Pititary

Click here for a great animation, overview and quiz about the regulation and interaction of hormones.

Water Transport in Plants/ Xylem!

Activity that explains this. Click HERE

For one on phloem look back to February.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

EPTAS after the afterword

After reading the afterword, please reflect on the following:
  1. Why do you think Dr. Sanders shared her story of her sister in the afterword?
  2. Did your understanding of autopsies change after reading this? How important do you feel they are? What do you think about the prevailing trend around autopsies it fine, or should we try to reverse it?
Think back on the whole book, and your experience reading it while trying to learn about human anatomy and physiology. Please help me understand your overall impression of EPTAS.
  1. Did it help provide perspective, or connect the material we were studying to the "real world" in a helpful way? 
  2. Did you enjoy reading the book? 
  3. Would you still have read the book if you didn't have to do as many (or any) blog posts?
  4. Did you find that the process of reading each others responses & posting enriched your learning experience in some way?
  5. Would you recommend that next year's juniors read this book, or do you have another that you think would be better?
Post by end of the school day on Friday, June 3rd.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

EPTAS after chapter 10

In Chapter 10, Digital Diagnosis, Dr. Sanders takes us on a journey from 1976 to 2009, examining the potential of utilizing the power of computers to analyze and diagnose patients. Computational analysis of complex data is what computers excel at, after all...shouldn't they be able to help?

Please answer the questions below by class time on Wednesday, June 1st.
  1. What stood out for you in this chapter?
  2. At the end of chapter 9, Dr. Sanders had mentioned implementing a "checklist system." After reading  chapter 10, do you think computerized diagnostics or implementing checklists would have a more positive impact on patients in the next 5 years? What about in the next 30 years? Do these tools address the same issues, and if not, what key issue are they still missing?

Friday, May 27, 2011

EPTAS after chapter 9

In this chapter, Sick Thinking, Dr. Sanders explores diagnostic error.
  1. How important is diagnostic error in the field of medicine? As a potential patient, are you worried about it? Do you think more research should be done around this issue? 
  2. What stood out for you in this chapter?
Please address the questions above before Saturday, May 28th.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Osmoregulation and Excretion Overview Video

The first half of the video below is about thermoregulation, which we discussed earlier this year. You can watch it to review, or skip to 5 minutes in, where Mr. Andersen starts discussing osmogregulation and excretion.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Human Physiology Review Quetions

Follow this link to a site with excellent thought questions about human anatomy and physiology. There are a bunch of questions (33!) that cover many different aspects of the different body systems we studied.


Osmogregulation Activities

Structure of the Human Excretory System

Nephron Function

Control of Water Re-absorption

These activities should be a good way to review the material and see if you know your stuff!

Friday, May 20, 2011

EPTAS after chapter 8

In Part Three of her book, High Tech, Dr. Sanders looks at how testing has changed how medicine is practiced. Please address both questions below by class time on Monday.

  1. There are many different kinds of medical tests that were mentioned in this chapter; would you trust the results from all tests equally? Please explain with an example.
  2. What point is she trying to make by focusing on Lyme disease?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gas Exhange: How it Works

This video gives a nice overview and explanations of general questions 3 and 4. Would probably be a good idea to check it out!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

EPTAS after chapter 7

Dr. Sanders focuses on hearing and its importance to medicine and the art of diagnosis in Chapter 7, and in particular, its importance for studying cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. What did you see in this chapter that was surprising? Please reflect on the chapter, what you found interesting, how it related to your case study, and comment on at least one other student's comments. (whoever posts first, please make a 2nd shorter post responding to a classmates ideas)

Post before Saturday, May 7th.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Circulatory/Respiratory CASE STUDIES General Questions

  1. Trace a drop of blood from the heart to the body and back to the heart. 
  2. Distinguish between arteries, veins and capillaries both functionally and structurally.  Describe the composition and functions of blood.
  3. Describe the mechanics of breathing. Include the relationship between pressure and volume.  
  4. How are oxygen and carbon dioxide transported in the blood? 
Diagrams will probably be very helpful when answering these questions. Please try to be thorough, but concise. Try to avoid repeating yourself. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Circulatory/Respiratory CASE STUDIES presented as Wikispaces


Create a Wiki account:

Go to and create an account for your group. Name the account “Period_RespiratoryCase1” (for example) so we know what case study is being presented. Simply follow the on-screen directions to build your site.

Wiki Permission = Protected
Wiki Type - K12 Education
Wiki Name = “P3Circulatory1” or whatever
Manage Wiki - Invite your group members(need email account) + teacher
Build your site!

What to include in your Wiki:

The purpose of your Wiki is to educate other students in the class about your case study. You can assume that your audience knows the basics about how the circulatory and respiratory systems work, but you need to clearly explain all of the specific aspects of your case study. Be sure to include:

1. An introduction to your patient (age, sex, symptoms, whatever history is relevant)
2. An overview of the basic issue/condition/problem faced by your patient
3. A discussion of what’s causing the symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, and how it should be treated. This part of your Wiki should essentially answer the questions presented in your case study. Don’t write them out as answers though – present the information in an interesting, clear way that will share your understanding of the patient’s condition with your fellow students.
4. Include links to relevant sources used to find your information.

Pictures: Place at least two (but preferably more) figures, diagrams, photos etc. to illustrate your case study. Engage your viewer with interesting images.

Video/animations: Embed at least one video or animation in your wiki, again, illustrating some aspect of your case study. Try to find videos that pack a lot of relevant information into a short amount of time. Use your best judgment to find examples that are accurate and clear. Under EDIT menu go to Widgets and Video. Follow the onscreen directions. Check with your teacher if you aren’t sure.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

EPTAS after chapter 6

This chapter focused on touch, which we had explored a bit earlier. Have your views changed? What did you see in this chapter that was surprising? Please reflect on the chapter, what you found interesting, and comment on at least one other student's comments. (whoever posts first, please make a 2nd shorter post responding to a classmates ideas)

Post your response by class time on Monday, May 2nd.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

EPTAS after chatper 5

Dr. Sanders focus on sight and vision and their importance to medicine and the art of diagnosis in Chapter 5. What did you see in this chapter that was surprising? Please reflect on the chapter, what you found interesting, and comment on at least one other student's comments. (whoever posts first, please make a 2nd shorter post responding to a classmates ideas)

Post before leaving on retreat.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Endocrine System Overview

This 9 minute video is a terrific overview/review of the Endocrine System. I would recommend watching BEFORE you do tonight's reading, as it will help highlight the key ideas and give good context for that information.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Endocrine System: Hormones!

This coming week we'll be delving into the endocrine system; looking at hormones and how they function. One of the best examples of hormones and how they function is found in understanding our reproductive systems: how we develop to become sexually mature, and how we regulate our reproductive systems once they are "online," so to speak.

I am fascinated and amazed by what our bodies do, and look forward to discussing them in class. That being said, I realize it can be difficult to talk about (or watch videos about) some of these things. So I am asking you to watch the 45 minute episode of Body Story embedded below so that we can use it as a basis for our discussion, but not have the awkwardness of watching it together in class.

You should have finished watching it by class time on Tuesday, April 19th.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

EPTAS after ch. 3 and 4

Prepare for an in-class discussion of these questions on Friday, when we will look at the results from the survey I sent out:
  • What do you think about the mandate that limits residence to an 80 hour work week?
  • Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Sander's take on it? 
  • What benefits and costs do you see from this mandate? 
  • What do you think could or should be done to address the costs? 
  • Do you think that technology will help or hinder these problems/issues?

Please post your response to the following questions by Friday evening:
  1. Dr. Sanders mentions several "unintended consequences of good medicine." Please pick one and elaborate/explain.
  2. Dr. Sanders mentions the power of touch. What does she say about touch, and do your own experiences resonate with what she says? This article from 2006 explores a different aspect of touch,  medicine and the immune system. Taking both of these perspectives into account, if you were designing a training program for doctors, what might you have them do to prepare them for touching their patients?
  3. The final statement in chapter 4 is very charged. Please address and assess Dr. Sander's assertion.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

EPTAS after ch. 1 and 2

After reading Chapter 1, what are some surprises or comments you have on how doctors really diagnose patients? Did you find the reading interesting? Scary? Reassuring? Please share your thoughts.

After reading Chapter 2, how did Dr. Fitzgerald go about determining her diagnosis? What mistake did she make? Why do you think happened? Was this a realistic scenario?

Alternative chapter 2 prompt:

At the end of chapter 2, we hear about a new program for Yale's students on their first day, and Dr. Angoff mentions a bridge of education. Please reflect on these questions:
  1. How is your College Prep education changing you? What bridge are you crossing now?
  2. How do you expect your university experience will change you? How is that bridge similar and different to the one you are crossing now? Which is more significant?
  3. What important aspects of you do you want to hold onto?
  4. As you think about potential careers, are there others (besides medicine) that cause a similar division between the practitioners and those they serve?
  5. What are the costs & benefits of these divisions?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Good article on what causes muscle soreness, and what can help alleviate delayed-onset-muscle-soreness (DOMS).

Great NY times article on dynamic stretching - check out the video with the article!

Good website on the Physiology of Stretching.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Every Patient Tells a Story

After reading the Introduction-
Doctors are the mostly highly trained professionals in the world and still make diagnostic errors. What was the key step that allowed the doctor's to save Crystal's life? In light of the introduction, what might you do in the future to ensure doctors made the correct diagnosis and course of treatment? Or do you just trust the process and allow doctors to occasionally make mistakes?Please respond to this post before class on Thursday, March 17th.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brain Rules!

After reading the chapter on Exercise (pdf) visit and investigate TWO of the rules. Then, write a brief summary of what you learned regarding the brain.
  • Do these "rules" ring true for you?
  • Are you going to change anything about your lifestyle now that you've read about these rules?
  • According to the research presented on the site, how we might re-design the school day, the classroom, and the lecture?
  • How might you change your study habits, or daily routine to take advantage of this research?

Please post your response by 3pm on Monday, March 7th.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Translocation of Phloem Sap

Click here to launch the interactive.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pollen Development

Water Transport in Plants

Please click here to find the interactive slides about transpiration.