Anatomy and Physiology
The Blackford Centre
Anatomy and Physiology syllabus
The fascinating topics you’ll cover on the course
We cover everything you need to know in fourteen modules.
- The processes that the skin is responsible for, including regulating body temperature
- The 3 layers of the skin, and their role
- 6 jobs that skin does, including giving us immunity
- What is homeostasis?
- How does the body regulate temperature?
- 3 accessory organs of the skin: hair, nails and sweat glands
- The glands that produce malodorous sweat
- What is the function of ear wax?
- What causes acne?
- 7 skin abnormalities, including jaundice
- How birth marks are formed
- The 3 levels of burn
- 3 skin cancers and how treatable they are.
2. Holding it all together: the Skeleton
- The role the skeleton plays
- How the body moves
- How the skeleton supports the soft tissues
- How bone marrow produces blood cells
- How the body stores minerals
- The 4 main types of bones and their roles
- How the skull is designed
- How the skull supports teeth, nose and the eye
- Why only 7 of our 12 ribs are true ribs
- How the vertebrae protects the spinal cord
- Vestigial organs: the bones the body no longer needs
- The bones of the limbs
- The pelvic girdle and its role in child birth
- The four types of moveable joint, and what they do.
- How bones are structured
- The most common injuries of the bones including the 7 types of fracture
- Pain and inflammation of the joints: arthritis and its symptoms
- How the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown: possible origins
- Osteoporosis: types of treatment
3. Muscles: more than just running about
- The 5 characteristics shared by all muscles
- How muscles help communication and heat production and controls passageways in the body
- The three types of muscles: skeletal, cardiac and smooth and their role
- How muscles are arranged
- How muscles are connected to the skeleton
- The four issues you need to learn when studying muscles: anatomical name, common name, location, action
- The major muscle groups in the human body, and what they do.
- Muscles you need to know about
- Common diseases of the muscular system: strains, bruises and avulsions
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myasthenia gravis
4. The Nervous System: How our brain knows what’s going on
- The four types of cells in the nervous system and what they do
- The functions of the nervous system: collecting information, integrating information from the brain and moving muscles
- The major types of cells
- The two parts of the nervous system: central and the peripheral
- How the brain works
- The four lobes of the brain, and the parts of the body they control
- The importance of the hyperthalamus
- Why the spinal cord is important
- Common injuries and diseases of the nervous system including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Multiple sclerosis, and its cause
- Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms
5. The eye and the ear: mysterious and beautiful
- How the ears are an extension of your nervous system
- The 3 chambers of the eye and what they do
- How each part of the eye has a specialised function
- The structure of the ear
- How the pinna amplifies sounds
- The role of the tympanic membrane
- How info is carried from the ear to the brain
- The Organ of Corti and its 20,000 hearing cells
- How the ear manages your sense of balance
- Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism and their causes
- Colour blindness and genes
- Diabetes and the eye
- Nyctalopia (night blindness)
- Conduction Impairment: foreign objects in the ear, tumours and ear wax
- The role of the stapes, or hammer bone
6. The Endocrine System: our hormones
- How hormones are releases, what they do, and how this is linked to many different diseases and disorders
- The endocrine system and its glands
- Hormones and what they do.
- Testosterone and oestrogen
- Feedback loops in the endocrine system.
- The hypothalamus and how it controls the pituitary gland, which responds to information that the brain senses
- Prolactin and milk production
- Growth hormone and its control of the growth of bones and tissues.
- How corticosteroids control the immune system, the body's response to stress, the amount of water in the body, and sexual function.
- How the adrenal medulla helps the body respond to stress
- T4 and T3 hormones and how they break down food to produce energy
- T-cells and their role in the immune system
- The pineal gland and how it controls sleep
- Insulin and glucagon, controlling sugar in the blood for energy
- Hyper thyroidism and the importance of iodine: Hot flushes, fatigue and irritability
- Hypo thyroidism: hair loss, weight gain, hoarse voice.
- Diabetes: the three main types
7. Blood and circulation
- How the body maintains its heart beat and blood pressure
- The main types of blood vessel, and their jobs
- Systolic and diastolic pressure.
- The five steps the heart must follow to successfully pump blood
- Why blood is a very complex substance
- How platelets stop bleeding
- The four blood groups: A, B, AB and O
- Who are the ‘universal receivers’?
- How people with blood group O do not produce antigens
- Anaemia: 400 types.
- Iron deficiency.
- Light headedness and brittle fingernails.
- Hypertension and its treatment
8. The lymph system. Staying healthy
- One of the most overlooked systems of the body
- Keeping the body germ-free
- Immunity: keeping out invading microbes that cause disease. Viruses, protozoans and intestinal worms
- How we remove dead and damaged cells
- The role of bone marrow
- What the spleen does
- The role of the tonsils
- Why fevers can be good for you
- The body’s mechanical barriers
- What is phagocytosis?
- How Neutrophils are the first cells to show up at the site of injury
- How adaptive immunity allows us to respond differently to each pathogen
- How our body remembers pathogens
- How vaccination works
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- AIDs and HIV and its stages
- Opportunistic infections
9. How we breathe
- Inhalation and exhalation: moving air to and from the lungs
- Other roles of the respiratory system including olfaction (smell), voice production.
- The role of the larynx and pharynx
- Bronchioles, alveoli and how gas diffuses in the body
- Laryngitis, sinusitis, and the common cold
- Pneumonia, lung abscesses and bronchitis
- Asthma: its symptoms and causes
- Emphysema: the destruction of the alveoli in the lungs. Its symptoms.
10. The urinary system
- How we filter the blood, dispose of waste and regulate our fluids
- Urine and its composition
- How the brain controls micturition (urination)
- Bacterial infections in the urinary tract
- The kidney and its one million nephrons
- How the kidneys produce over 180 litres of filtrate a day, but only 2 litres of urine
- Kidney stones and their treatment
- Proteinuria and its causes
- Urinary tract infections
11. The digestive system
- How we break food down
- The role of microvilli
- The accessory digestive system, including salivary glands and the gall bladder
- The mouth, including teeth, tongue and salivary glands
- How rugae help us digest food
- The role of peristalsis
- What the small intestine does
- How the liver produces bile
- The chyme
- Bacterial fermentation
- Super foods to help the digestive system
- Tooth decay
12. How we reproduce
- Gametes: sperm and eggs
- Sperm temperature
- The 64-day development of sperm
- 300 million sperm cells a day
- Sperm survival times
- The role of the bulbourethral glands
- Phases of the female menstrual cycle. Flow, follicular, and luteal.
- The prostate gland: benign and malignant tumours
- Yeast infections and candidiasis
- Prostrate cancer
- Tumours: benign and malignant
13. Cells and tissues
- There are 200 types of cells in the human body, each with its own unique function.
- The nucleus: the brain of the cell.
- The plasma membrane: the gatekeeper
- Cytosol: holding the organelles in place
- Cilia and flagella: including inside the nose, and the sperm cell.
- Mitochondria: the power house of the cell
- DNA and the double helix
- Of the 3 billion pairs of DNA, 98% apparently do nothing, and are called junk DNA
- The life cycle of a cell (your brain has 35 million nerve cells)
- Down Syndrome
- The types of connective tissue. Cartilage, bone and blood
14. Disease and Illness. How we get sick
- The difference between disease and illness
- Changes in the body due to injury, inflammation, cell death, and other causes
- Injuries caused by lack of blood flow, chemicals, and immune system reactions.
- Apoptosis. Programmed cell death
- Tumours: carcinomas and sarcomas
- The loss of homoeostasis
- Multifactorial diseases. Acute versus chronic diseases
- Infectious diseases, caused by pathogens.
- Flu and the common cold
- Mental illness, from claustrophobia to Alzheimers
- Deficiency diseases, associated with malnutrition
- Degenerative diseases more frequently seen in the elderly
- Social diseases, shaped by social factors, such as purity of water, job, and drug abuse
an advisor on