Sunday, May 1, 2011

Objective 44, 45, 46, 47: Respiratory system

Objective 44: Locate and identify the functions of each respiratory system structure
Objective 45: Characterize the neuronal network that controls respiration
Objective 46: Relate breathing to cellular respiration
Objective 47: Decide how arterial carbon dioxide concentrations affect ventilation

Wow, I'm surprised that I am able to gather that many objectives in one blog. That really shows you how similar all of these processes are and how our body works together to accomplish tasks. Our textbook's website (MyA&P) provides an excellent Interactive physiology website that gives in-deph animated tutorials. On this website, I went under the respiratory system tab and reviewed the anatomy review and control of respiration. The videos remind me of a mini animated powerpoint, but it is ten time better than that because the site allows you to interact with it on certain topics. Since i'm a visual learner and I prefer animated videos showing me the topic, I am more than thrilled that this site had what I was looking for.

The anatomy review video was amazing in showing me the location and informing me of the function of the respiratory system. There are certain points in the video where I was able to click my mouse on certain structures of the respiratory system and it would zoom in, giving me a closer view of the structural make-up. Interacting with this visual lesson was a big help, and gave me a little more insight on the respiratory system than just reading alone. The control of respiration video was beneficial in helping me understand the neuronal network that controls respiration and how carbon dioxide affects ventilation. To be honest, I didn't know that there were inspiratory neurons in the medulla. I always knew, from previous classes, that breathing was controlled near the brain but I was never quite clear how. This video also broken down the effect CO2 on ventilation at the end with a flow chart. So, it goes like this. An increase of PCO2 in the blood cause a decrease in pH, which stimulates the peripheal chemoreceptors to send nerve impulses to the respiratory center. This causes a decrease in pH in the brain, which stimulates central chemoreceptors to send nerve impulses to the respiratory center. The respiratory center then stimulates the respiratory muscles, which increase the ventilation and helps the blood get back to normal levels.

Trying to relate breathing to cellular respiration was another one of my big challenges. It seems no matter where I looked for the information, there was nothing on how the two were similar. I finally found one site that made the topic less foggy for me. So, basically breathing is related to cellular respiration because it provides the mechanism for gas exchange. Cellular respiration requires the intake of oxygen to perform. Cellular respiration breaks down energy-rich molecules to harvest ATP, and then ATP is used for basically all the work that the cells perform. While I was trying to find the answer to what cellular respiration really is, I came across this Cellular Respiration video that relates cellular respiration to examples in life. It was extremely helpful for me.

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