Introductory Human Physiology

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Below are the top discussions from Reddit that mention this online Coursera course from Duke University.

In this course, students learn to recognize and to apply the basic concepts that govern integrated body function (as an intact organism) in the body's nine organ systems.

Metabolic Pathways Biology Organ Systems Medicine

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Taught by
Jennifer Carbrey
Assistant Research Professor
and 1 more instructor

Offered by
Duke University

Reddit Posts and Comments

3 posts • 19 mentions • top 9 shown below

r/AskReddit • comment
229 points • UnsinkableRubberDuck

Coursera is one that does this.

Duke university offers one on physiology to help you understand how your body systems work together (useful for overall better science literacy).

Johns Hopkins has one on Covid-19 epidemiology to understand the spread and outbreaks.

If you want to learn more about the immune system, there's an Intro Immunology course by Rice university.

For Canadians (and others), there's one on Indigenous Canada that give context and history to the Indigenous populations and culture. This is a good one to check out as it will provide a different way to see the country and its peoples, and maybe help change the conversation we have around FNMI (First Nations, Metis, Indigenous) people.

r/depressionregimens • post
2 points • carlsonbjj
Introduction to Human Physiology class on coursera (Duke Univ.)
r/homeschool • comment
1 points • HildaMarin

We enjoyed Duke University's Introductory Human Physiology:

They also have a variety of US history courses including Age of Jefferson, The Kennedy Half-Century, America Through Foreign Eyes, and a few others. They used to have a survey of US Constitutional law from U. Va but I can't find it just now.

edx doesn't have as many for US history specifically, but Columbia's Civil War and Reconstruction is not bad.

r/PAstudent • comment
1 points • blushingscarlet

Also check out the Duke physiology Coursera course ( Emma Jakoi is the physiology lecturer at the Duke PA program and this is basically the same course that the PA students get.

r/Mcat • post
2 points • aznbeggerap
Sharing a resource that was helpful for me

Hi all, just want to share a resource that I find quite useful for the MCAT. Introductory Human Physiology from Duke that is available on coursera ( ). Hope some finds it as helpful as it did for me!

r/medlabprofessionals • comment
1 points • anonymous_coward69

You can always take it online. UC Extension and Coursera are an option, but there are other schools that offer it if you look online

r/medschool • comment
0 points • Cyberjest3r

Hey, there is a great physiology course on Coursera that you can take (audit) for free, or pay for a certificate. Here’s the link

r/GAMSAT • comment
1 points • SydGAMSAT

As a group, students with strong physics / maths backgrounds do quite well on the GAMSAT. Maths especially emphasises the type of thinking that's valuable for S3.

>realistically do I have a chance to learn the content in time and practice for the exam to get an acceptable result?

Impossible to say without knowing you, but what you're describing has been accomplished before by others in your position. That is to say, it's not impossible. But it'll definitely require a lot of focused work in the next few months and a bit of luck on the day.

I'd recommend starting with Chem. MIT Opencourseware has a pair of great courses covering physical and organic chemistry which would be appropriate starting places. Supplement them with a chemistry textbook from your local library, and perhaps some quick'n'dirty websites like Khan Academy or chemwiki or whatever.

There's a good starter physiology course which is worth doing. Supplement with some biochem if you can find it. Again, MIT opencourseware have some options but we're potentially approaching the limits of what you can get through by March.

r/Showerthoughts • comment
1 points • serious_sarcasm

They are wrong, for the most part.

The heart is contains what are called "autorhythmic" cells. These are muscle cells that do not require stimulation from the nervous system.

This is why a heart completely removed from the body will continue to beat. All the central nervous system does is fine tune the beating.

The baseline rate of the heart is dictated by the fastest autorhythmic cells, which are called the pacemakers. In normal physiological systems the pacemakers are the SA node.

The SA node is in the right atrium. It triggers the right atrium to beat which pumps blood into the right ventricle. The signal then travels to the AV node and through the Purkyně fibres down to the base of the heart. From the base of the heart the signal cascades through up through the muscle cells in the ventricles which pumps blood to the lungs (right ventricle) and the body (left ventricle).

The reason the signal travels to the bottom of the heart and then the heart muscle constrict upwards is that all of the blood leaves the heart through the top. So, the heart muscle fibers actually twist like a helix, and constrict form the bottom to allow as much blood to be pumped out as possible.

The way signals in the heart travel from the SA node through this complex system is what are called Gap Junctions between the cells. These gap junctions are literally pores on the membranes of the cell which are surrounded by proteins which keep the pore of one cell closely bound to the pores of adjacent cells. The locations of these pores are highly regulated (you don't regrow heart cells).

Now, the way a striated muscle (skeletal muscles and cardiac muscles, as opposed to smooth muscles) contracts is sort of complicated. There are two protein chains in close proximity to each other. One is like a bunch of little hands sticking, and the other is like a rope with handholds. The rope is anchored to a giant protein disc, which is anchored to a "tansmembrane" protein, which is then anchored to the connective tissue surrounding the cell. To regulate when the hands can grab the rope, the rope is covered in another protein which blocks the handholds. To move this protein calcium has to bind to it, and when calcium binds to it it moves out of the way and allows the hands to grab the handholds. Then the hands pivot using energy from ATP bonds to pull the rope which shortens the muscle and causes contraction.

The issue is that if calcium is allowed to just float willy-nilly around the cell it will precipitate out solution and crystallize (this is how bones are formed, and unregulated it causes a disease where the soft body tissues calcify). To prevent your muscles from becoming fossils inside of you, the calcium is stored in specials sacks, and are bound to another chemical.

Before I go on you need to know that there are three types of "gated "channels in the membrane of cells - voltage gated, ligand gated, and mechanically gated. They are gated, because some mechanism is preventing whatever is supposed to pass through the channel from being able to. A voltage gated channel has a protein which changes shape in depending on the electric potential on either side of it. A ligand gated channel has a protein which changes shape when a particular chemical attached to (and that specificity comes from the shape of the protein). A mechanically gated channel is exactly what it sounds like, when the membrane changes shape due to some force the protein also changes shape.

So when a muscle wants to contract they have to release the calcium from that sack. In skeletal muscles a nerve sends a signal down its axon in the form of an electrical gradient created by a concentration of sodium ions near the membrane of the cell. When enough sodium enters a local area it reaches a threshold that opens voltage gated channels. Those voltage gated channels allow even more sodium into the cell opening more voltage gated channels. The reason the voltage gated channels open is because sodium ions have a charge, so a gradient of sodium ions is also an electrical gradient (which is what voltage is - electric potential). When that signal reaches the synapse (where the nerve almost touches the target cell) it opens specials channels in the membrane which allow a few calcium ions into the nerve cell. Those calcium ions then trigger a cascade of responses which culminate in acetylcholine being released into the synaptic cleft (the gap at the synapse). Acetylcholine then binds to a ligand gated channel in the muscle cell which allows sodium to enter the muscle cell. If enough sodium enters the cell a voltage threshold is reached and another signal is sent along the surface of the cell until it reaches the special sacks in the muscle cells containing the calcium. Once there a mechanical gated channel opens in the special calcium sack which releases a huge flood of calcium into the cell.

Heart cells are more complicated a bit more complicated.

What is most important is that autorythmic cells are kind of "leaky" to sodium ions, and so sodium is constantly leaking into the cell. Meanwhile, the cell is using ATP to try and pump sodium and potassium out of and into the cell to maintain a gradient (gradients are how all work is done in the entirety of the universe). Things want to move down a gradient. Heat dissipates into cold areas, water flows down hill, chemicals want to disperse evenly throughout a fluid. When enough sodium leaks into the cell the threshold is reached, and the cell "fires" which concludes in the heart cell contracting.

Want ends up happening is that instead of some stimulus creating the gradient, the autorythmic cells are so leaky to sodium that they are constantly being triggered with a regular time interval. If this occurred in a skeletal muscle you would have a severe twitch.

To conclude, the heart begins beating because some sodium leaked into the SA node creating what is called an "electrochemical" gradient.

If I were to take a stem cell, and force that stem cell to form into a cardiac muscle cell, and then put that muscle cell into a solution of saline (salt water), the cell would start beating.

But hey, don't take my word for it. Here is a video of it in action:

More sources: