Sunday, May 30, 2010

FREE image of cerebral tracts

I recently posted a new image to the FREE Image Library at The A&P Professor website.  This one is an amazing map of white matter tracts in the cerebrum that was made using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) tractography.  Click on the thumbnail to see the large version of the image (and the source with copyright/use info).

This image could be used in a PowerPoint slide in your class to make a dramatic point about the structure and function of the brain, eh?

If you want some background on how this image was made:
Estimating the Confidence Level of White Matter Connections Obtained with MRI Tractography.
Gigandet X, Hagmann P, Kurant M, Cammoun L, Meuli R, et al. 
PLoS ONE 2008 3(12): e4006. 

Want more information on the FREE Image Library at The A&P Professor website . . . and tips on how to use it?  See my recent article in this blog.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New blog feature

This blog now has a new feature . . . AnswerTips. If you double-click any word or phrase in this blog, a floating box will appear with additional information.

You can use this handy feature to:
  • look up the meaning of an unfamiliar term
  • find the acronym or abbreviation of a term (or, conversely, find the meaning of the acronym)
  • get a written and audio pronunciation guide for a term
  • find the word origin and word parts of a term
  • find related links
Try it right now by clicking this term . . . erythropoietin (used in a recent blog posting).

Now try it on ANY other word in this or any other post on this blog.

Yes . . . I've also added this feature to The A&P Professor website that serves as a resource-rich companion to this blog.

Oh, and another thing . . .YOU can add this feature to your online syllabus, class notes, blog, wiki, or other online resource for FREE!  It's incredibly easy. You can automatically and instantly give your students access to audio pronunciations (especially useful for ESL students) and definitions to unfamiliar terms.

If you want to see how that works, check out this example from my course website: Learning Outline for Skin.

And did I mention that AnswerLink is free? 

Just go to to learn more.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Latest in blood doping

The subject of blood doping has come up a few times in this blog.  Recently, we heard the latest in the Floyd Landis blood doping story . . . now, after years of vigorous (and costly) denials, cycling champion Landis has now admitted that he DID dope to prepare for competitions.

Landis states the he used EPO (erythropoietin) to increase his hematocrit to improve performance during cycling events.(EPO is pictured here.)

He has also stated that Lance Armstrong, another champion cyclist, gave him EPO and discussed his own blood doping experiences with Landis.  Armstrong denies these claims.

Listen to the story from NPR:

I have an article on doping at The A&P Professor website that includes a lot of resources, as well as tips on using the topic of doping to engage students in a deeper understanding of human structure and function.
K. Patton
The A&P Professor, accessed May 21, 2010
[Tips and resources regarding doping for A&P courses.]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Artificial life?

Once they "get" the basic idea of molecular genetics, my A&P students become fascinated with those teeny-weeny molecules can have such huge impacts on the structure and function of the body.  On the drive home from campus today, I heard a great story on NPR about the announcement by Craig Venter that his team has successfully created a living, reproducing cell using completely synthetic DNA.  

They did this by using yeast cells to assemble smaller, synthesized bits of DNA and transferring it to living cells, which then reproduced the genome in offspring cells. 

While this is a long way from the claims (and concerns) of "creating artificial life," it is a huge discovery.

If you want to hear more about this, listen to the story yourself at Scientists Reach Milestone On Way to Artificial Life.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Encouraging students to start their library

Today, I posted an entry at The A&P Student blog encouraging students to begin a personal library of professional books.  I encouraged them to start with their A&P textbook.

Many students sell their textbooks back to the bookstore as a regular thing . . . without stopping to realize that SOME textbooks should be going into their individual professional library.
A professional library is the set of references that a student can begin to build NOW and continually add to throughout their professional career. Such individual libraries serve as indispensable tools to help professionals survive and excel in a health-related career.

For health professionals, the A&P textbook will be needed for  upcoming health professions courses and clinicals/practicums. It will also serve well later, when students finally begin their careers.

You may want to post one or more of these links to share with your students:
[Recent blog post from The A&P Student]
[Blog post from The A&P Student from May 2009]

[Brief article from my Lion Den collection of Study Tips and Tools]