Finally, A 2nd Year Student

// February 9th, 2009 // Study

I’m gearing up for a new semester of uni – my first as a 100% full-time student. That means FOUR papers this term – haven’t done that many since 1989! Should be interesting.

If anyone is interested, here are the deets. All medical papers this time – no horrible physics or calculus, yay!

BMED2801 – Cell Structure and Function
This unit of study begins with a discussion of the unique morphology of unicellular prokaryotic organisms (bacteria, fungi and viruses) followed by the structure and function of human cells. A strong understanding of cellular structures is essential for an appreciation of whole body function. Basic cell structure is examined by focussing on cell specialisation and tissue organisation in humans. The structure and function of excitable cells such as nerve and muscle will lead to a discussion of membrane potential, synaptic transmission and neuromuscular junction. The unit of study then gives an introduction into how gene expression is regulated during development, and how the cell cycle is controlled to coordinate programmed events such as differentiation and cell death. This allows discussion of the consequences and treatment of abnormal tissue growth (cancer).Practical classes not only complement the lecture material but also introduce students to a wide range of technical skills, tissue processing and bacterial cultivation.

BMED2802 – Molecular Basis of Medical Sciences
This unit of study extends pre-existing understanding of the way in which genetic information is stored, transmitted and expressed. Students will be introduced to the role of enzymes in the catalysis of cellular reactions and the pharmacological strategies employed to exploit our knowledge of these mechanisms is then discussed. Intracellular signalling cascades, cell to cell signalling and pharmacological intervention in these processes is covered. The molecular basis of drug action and the use of DNA technology in drug design will be discussed. Students will then cover the application of medical genetics to the study of advanced gene expression, recombinant technology, cloning and gene products, transgenics and the linkage and mapping of genes including reference to DNA fingerprinting and the human genome project and gene therapy. The technical skills taught in the practical classes include the use of restriction enzymes, the separation of DNA molecules using electrophoresis, the inspection of chromosomes, linkage mapping, gene transfer and the measurement of gene expression.

BMED2803 – Cardiac, Respiratory and Renal Function
The maintenance of constant conditions in the human body is dependent on thousands of intricate control mechanisms. This unit of study examines many of those homeostatic processes with specific reference to major apparatus such as the respiratory, cardiovascular and renal. The structure and function of the cardiovascular system is discussed and cardiac output, blood pressure and blood flow are studied. Discussion of the respiratory system embraces the structure of the respiratory organs and description of the mechanism of the transport of gases to and from cells. Similar treatment of the renal system involves anatomical and histological investigation of kidney structure and a physiological description of kidney function. Practical classes are designed to nurture the same generic attributes taught in BMED2801 and BMED2802 but, in addition, students are introduced to a wide range of anatomical and physiological technical skills. Specifically, students will investigate the structure and function of the heart and blood vessels, the components of the respiratory system and the kidney – all at the cellular and organ level. Students will also conduct experiments (often on themselves) which show how heart rate and blood pressure are controlled, how breathing is regulated and how urine output is modulated in response to both physiological and pharmacological stimuli.

BMED2806 – Sensory and Motor Functions
This unit of study examines how neural and motor systems are adapted to sense and respond to changes in the external environment. After consideration of the basic anatomical organisation of the nervous and sensory systems, the way in which nerve signals are integrated and coordinated in response to external stimuli are covered in more detail. Various senses such as vision, touch and hearing are studied, together with a discussion on motor reflexes. The receptors involved in normal modes of communications are discussed before specific examples such as the fright and flight and stress responses are considered. This is complemented by discussion of the effects of drugs on the nervous system, with special reference to pain and analgesics. An appreciation is gained of how toxins and infections can perturb the normal neuromuscular co-ordination. Thus, pharmacological and pathological considerations, such as the use of poisoned arrows and muscle paralysis and viral and tetanus infections, are studied in concert with relevant physiological concepts.In practical classes, students perform experiments (often on themselves) to illustrate the functioning of the senses and motor control and coordination involving both stretch and flexor reflexes. In addition, students extend their anatomical expertise by examining the structure and function of the nervous system and the skeleton (especially the vertebral column, the thorax and the limbs). Practical sessions also include the effects of analgesics on experimental pain and case studies of tetanus and botulism.

2 Responses to “Finally, A 2nd Year Student”

  1. Karen says:

    Oh la la – goodluck, looks like crazy crazy speak to me, but obviously you are gonna love it! Will you be entering a period of destitution as a full time student…or are you still the breadwinner and thusly superwoman?

  2. emily says:

    Still breadwinner, but Jan is still the happy recipient of the Single Parenting Payment until July, which is a very helpful subsidy for higher education. Yes it will be good, a bit nervous of course but excited!

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