Sunday, September 13, 2009

FREE anatomic bookmarks for your students

To help you help your students, I'm still offering those FREE "anatomical eyeball" bookmarks for your students!

Some of you have already received and distributed yours. But the rest of you should act now . . . while supplies last!

The bookmark is a whopping 2" by 7" printed on thick card stock—not one of those wimpy little bookmarks others give away. OK, nobody else gives away such anatomical bookmarks (as far as I know) but this is an unusually large size for a bookmark.

On the obverse side is an anatomically correct rendering of an eyeball in its bony orbit on the (anatomical) right and the eyeball partly covered by the palpebrae (lids) on the left. When you distribute them to your class, you might even take the opportunity to quiz them on anatomical directions (anatomical left and right vs. the viewer's left and right) to hone some skills, eh?

The reverse side contains information about The A&P Student blog.

The blog is mainly aimed at undergraduate college students but is also useful for high school students and even students in professional studies (medicine, allied health, etc.).

Just email me at and tell me how many packs of 50 bookmarks you need for your class. And tell me where to send it (it MUST be a school address).

But wait!

That's not all!

Act now, and I'll throw in a few FREE humerus bookmarks for your own use!

That's right! These anatomic bookmarks (of the same sturdy structure as the eyeball bookmarks) feature a human humerus on one side and The A&P Professor hip logo on the other side.

You can use them yourself . . . and have some spares to share with your colleagues.

So, again, email me NOW at and tell me how many packs of 50 bookmarks you need for your class. And tell me where to send it (it MUST be a school address).

Virtual Microscope (and other FREE stuff)

Have you ever been to the Blue Histology website? Produced by the School of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of Western Australia, and sponsored by Olympus, this site is chock full of excellent histology images (often at several magnifications) that you and your students can use for FREE.

One of the nifty features at Blue Histology is their VScope which is a virtual microscope that can help students figure out some basic things about changing magnifications, using the diaphragm, and other essential skills for light microscopy.

They assert that their VScope is not an ideal simulator of the real microscopy experience, even going so far as to intentionally mispel the title of their project as "Vurtial Microscope." And it's not ideal, especially with an old computer and slow connection speed. But it's still pretty cool and still good for some "at home" exploration when an actual microscope is not available.

Check it out at

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Inflammation images

Some interesting images of the inflammation seen in early stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were released recently.

These images use a special type of fluorescent dye that is activated by the infrared radiation released at the site of inflammation. The intent of the project is to develop a way to detect such inflammation at an early stage of RA, when there's still time to help avert some of the damage produced by this condition.

However, the images can be useful in your A&P course when discussing the process of inflammation. The images are a dramatic example that contrasts the heat present in a normal hand versus the heat produced by hands that are inflamed.

To access the images go to:
Rheumatism Video Discloses Center Of Inflammation At An Early Stage.
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) (2009, August 29).
ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2009
[Press release with associated images. Be sure to click the images for the larger view.]

High-fat diets may reduce muscle and cognitive abilities within days

Recent research at the University of Cambridge shows that rats fed on a high-fat diet have markedly reduced muscle and cognitive function within a few days of a change to the high-fat diet, compared to rats fed on a low-fat diet.

The results were reported in The FASEB Journal recently and summarized in a press release published at Science Daily.

Of course, this happened in lab rats . . . not humans.  So we have a long way to go before we can establish specific human nutritional guidelines.  And the low-fat diets were very low, compared the average American diet.  But the high-fat diet fed to rats approached that consumed by many who eat mostly junk food . . . and some on high-fat, low-carb diets (however, the high-fat rat diet wasn't particularly low in carbs).  

Even though there are more questions to answer, these results are remarkable and may prove to be an important milestone in understanding human metabolism.  And may someday affect how athletes prepare for competitions . . . and now students prepare for exams.

For example, researchers claim that the high-fat diet changes the expression of the UCP3 (uncoupling protein) gene.  UCP3 "uncouples" oxidative phosphorylation from ATP synthesis by allowing protons to "leak" across the inner mitochondrial membrane, thus disrupting the proton gradient that drives ATP synthase. (Chapter 27 in my Anatomy & Physiology textbook illustrates the normal function of the proton gradient.) 

Such respiratory uncoupling would explain the reduced physical and cognitive ability seen in the experiments. This could be a very useful trail to follow, eh?

Want to know more?

Do High-fat Diets Make Us
Stupid And Lazy? Physical And Memory Abilities Of Rats Affected After 9

University of Cambridge (2009, September 5).
ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 6, 2009
[Plain English summary of the results and their implications]

Deterioration of physical performance and cognitive function in rats with short-term high-fat feeding.
Murray et al.
The FASEB Journal, 2009; DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-139691
[FREE abstract of the original research article]

{Photo taken by Muu-karhu