Monday, December 19, 2005

Lab comparisons

Finally the lab comparisons.
We stand fourth amongst all other 264 sections. Go from right to left, sections are ranked in higher to lower order. See how close things are.

Click on the thumbnail.

P.S. : If any TA feels that above chart should not be displayed, please let me know and I will take it off.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

final lab grades

Guys you rock, our lab has the highest avg. for Tuesdays practical exam and only 0.2 points behind for being first in avg for final lab grade compared to other Tuesdays lab.

Click on the image thumbnail. You will find grades by your last four digits of People soft #. Note that final exam grades are subject to change after regrading.

Grades are scattered over an entire range. Those who messed up a little in practical exam have a drop in final grades as compared to others in class. Dont stress out. Keep your fingers crossed as I cannot critique on over all grades as final grades are compared with other lab classes.

I will keep on posting statistics as and when I get and over all standing of this class as compared to other sections. This will happen only when Penny passes this information to me.

It was wonderful teaching you all.

Good luck,
Merry Christams.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Exam times + Practical review information

Exam times
Final practical exam for our section (section 6) will be on Tuesday, December 6 at 8:00pm. Please come atleast 15 mins early.

Please feel free to contact me either by mailing me on if you have any doubt about topics covered till now.

Practical review hours

Practical review will be held on Thursday december 1 from 9:00am - 7:00pm and on Friday December 2 9:00am - 5:00pm.
I will be there on Friday from 9:00 to 11:00 am.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Graded lab work for pickup

Please pick up your graded labwork from the room outside Penny Dobbins office (enter through Rm 7 and take left inside, you will find a note saying "FIND YOUR WORK HERE".)
All the material is in Green folder with my name on it. Please let others know about this.

I have stapled all your work by your name, so search your name and you will find all your work in following order: Quiz 9,10,11,worksheets of Endocrine,CNS and your theory exam.

More coming up.......


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Quiz 10 + 11 guide + Endocrine: lab preview

Quiz 10 + 11 guide
For quiz 10 there will be identification questions from sheep brain, brain model, cow eye, eye model, ear model, slides.
For theory please follow the CNS, eye, ear etc etc lab preview notes which seems to be extensive. Click on this link: CNS,eye,ear,stretch reflex: lab preview Feel free to e-mail me if you have any doubts of CNS etc etc lab.
Also we shall be having another quiz (Quiz 11) from last lab of Endocrine . This will be open book.

Endocrine: lab preview
Main focus of this lab is anatomy, histology and regulatory functions of different endocrine organs.
Though the quiz will be open book, I personally think there is lot of information in this lab that you need to remember. Especially the histological section (you have lots of slides).

Couple of experiments that we will be doing:
1) Study of Antidiuretic hormone (ADH): Use frogs for this purpose. Since ADH assists in water reabsorption, the frog that has been injected with ADH will weigh more if kept in water. This can be known by weighing frog at 0 hr and then on at 30 minutes interval for two hours.

2) Role of Thyroid hormones: We will be demonstrating this in mice that are either normal, hypothyroid, or hyperthyroid and measuring their rate of oxygen consumption in Scholander respirometer. Decide which group wants what kind of mice. Group with hyperthyroid mice needs to take extra care of mice.

3) Oxytocin induced milk release: We will not be able to do this experiment as females failed to get pregnant however you need to know the theory behind this experiment.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

NOTE + Quiz 9 guide + CNS,eye,ear,stretch reflex: lab preview+ grades

I shall not be teaching this weeks lab. Liz will be coming to teach you
Make sure one member from each group wears short so that you can perfom stretch reflex experiment

Quiz 9 guide
- Comparison between SAP and CAP
- How can CAP be applied to clinical applications
- Program used for SAP and the results obtained
- How and why were alpha and beta peaks different when recorded?
- What is the threshold stimulus, conduction velocity and latency
- Refractory periods both relative and absolute
- Different kind of graphs that you got as results

CNS,eye,ear,stretch reflex: lab preview
In this lab we again identify few specimens: You will be given sheep brain structures on it, cow eye & we will have an ear model for stucture identification. Either of these will be kept in final exam for structure identification.

Sheep brain: Pages 95-97 Atlas
Cranial nerves: Page 91, fig 9.11 Atlas

Two ways to remember names of cranial nerves:
Oh Oh Oh To Touch And Feel So Good Velvet AHhhh…

On Old Olympic Towering Top A Fin And German Viewed Single Hops

Spinal cord: Can be divided into White matter and Gray matter.
-White matter consists of myelinated fibers
-Gray matter consists of cell bodies, dendrites and unmyelinated fibers which are subdivided into dorsal horns and ventral horns. Know function of dorsal and ventral horns.
-Identification of spinal cord model and slides of cerebellar cortex(cerebellum), cerebral cortex, spinal cord.
-Different cell types: Neruons and glia(different kinds of glial cells).
-Neurochemistry: Slides specific for different neurotransmitters

Cow eye dissection
Do the blind spot test

Model of ear
Do the test with audiometer

Other test of senses:
Two point discrimination

Mechanoreceptor study:
You will also be given cockroach leg with an aim to understand the sensory
mechanoreceptors. Try comparing this with hairs on your hand.

Stretch reflex:
Here you will try study the myotactic or stretch reflex. When you hit your knee with hammer, sensory neuron will transmit information to spinal cord. Spinal cord generates response which is passed onto motor neurons and you can see kicking of your leg (reflex). We will be using this knee-jerk response model to study myotactic reflex.

Quiz 7: Class avg: 89.70, High:100, Low: 70
Worksheet 8: Class avg: 94.26, High:100, Low: 85

Friday, October 28, 2005

Quiz 8 guide + Action potentials in nerve: lab preview + Grades

Quiz 8 guide
By far most predictable questions you can have from what we have done in lab.
Go over entire theory of
- How food is really digested
- Role of muscles in digestions (those wave like movements & grinding of food). Remember these muscles and their actions. Pretty much entire first page in your lab manual.
- Three different neurotransmitters and their mode of action. The flowchart that I drew should be enough.
- What things will they effect i.e. frequency, amplitude, muscle tone, velocity and how will they effect i.e. increase or decrease and under what conditions i.e. if you add different neurotransmitters singly or in combination or when you stretch and under effect of anoxia.
- Also should be known is the fact that the stretching exercise was done to resemble an action of muscle when you gobble food.
- Most interesting of all know your calculations and what was the solution that you used to keep your intestine into and why did you use it. (These are kind of more applied questions related to your lab).

Action potentials in nerve: lab preview
- How do nerves carry our signaling and at what rates? This is what we want to learn from this lab.
- Upon stimulation nerves generate action potential. Each nerve is composed to many axons. In the first part of the experiment we will try to generate Single Action Potential (SAP) using the simulator program APSIM
- In second part we will give you frogs sciatic nerve that is a bundle of three axons (alpha, beta and gamma). This will generate Compound Action Potential (CAP) upon stimulation i.e. you anticipate to record the responses from all three axons. However the response from the gamma subunit is weak that we cannot visualize. But we will get responses from alpha and beta subunits.
- Third thing will be study of refractory period
I will leave first part on you to finish. Probably neither Faeez or I will be there to help you because taking out sciatic nerve is one great Halloween treat for TA’s.

Quiz 6: Isometric contraction
Class average: 81
Highest: 100
Lowest: 72.5

Worksheet 7: Isotonic contraction
Class average: 98.82
Highest: 100
Lowest: 90

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Quiz 7 guide + smooth muscle lab preview + grades

Quiz 7 guide

Isotonic muscle contraction

- Once again should know difference between isotonic muscle contraction and isometric muscle contraction.
- Why or how does isotonic muscle contraction.
- How does load affect contraction, speed of contraction and change in muscle length. From this you can calculate work.
- The general trend of graphs: relationship of muscle shortening to load, isotonic contraction with increasing, relationship of velocity of contraction and load.
- Remember how you calculate the velocity [v=y(distance)/x(time)] and work (work= force x distance).
- Change in the set up of isometric contraction and isotonic contraction. This means if someone puts a setup on the exam with muscle you should know what experiment they are referring to. Also another difference in the set up is that of 5mm adjustment. You use 5g weight in isometric and the knob in isotonic contraction.

ATP and Muscle contraction

- The introduction section of contraction. The entire theory behind how the contraction occurs. I really prefer you read the sliding filament theory in your textbook (pg: 291-292). On further pages you will get description of the contraction cycle. While reading I would also recommend to take a look on the animation in your Interactive Physiology CD-Rom that came along with your textbook.
- Optional: And since you have reached these pages why not to go ahead and read on muscle tension, and isotonic & isometric contraction.
- Plus the results: What happened when you added ATP to the muscle.
- I will not ask something like what is the % contraction of a muscle that you might be calculating using the values of original length and post-treatment lengths given to you. However for the final exam I cannot assure anything so just remember it.
- Good animation of above process available online at
Thanks to Emily for sharing this.

Properties of smooth muscle action lab- preview

- We shall be using small intestine of mice to understand action of smooth muscle. This means that how smooth muscle is involved during digestion of food through small intestine (theoretically), how nervous system controls this process with help of different neurotransmitters (experimentation).
- Since you are accustomed to the programs that we use it should not be a big problem. The only this that you need to take care of is always maintain the temprature at 37 C of tyrodes solution inside the beaker where you have the piece of small intestine.

Class averages

Quiz 5 (Membrane potential & Excel)
Avg: 76.47
High: 90
Low: 34

Worksheet (Isometric contraction)
Avg: 92.94
High: 95
Low: 90

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Quiz 6 guide + isotonic lab preview + grades

I appreciate sincere and honest evaluations that few of you gave to me. Those who did not hand in yet can do so as it helps me know how comfortable you are with this lab and what more can I do for you? I shall be elaborating everything as I was asked to do. Those who hate to read long things, forgive me/get use to it.

Also read comments posted by Matthew and Allison last time. Do you have any more inputs to what they have to say?

Muscle microanatomy
Should be able to identify any labeled region on EM of skeletal muscle or on slide (the same that you did on your worksheet)

Isometric muscle contraction
- Definitions of contraction, tension, load and what is isometric contraction.
- It is important to understand the length tension curve as shown in figure 2 in lab manual that demonstrates under what circumstances of muscle length you will see either increase or decrease in tension. Also important is the role of cross-bridge formation by actin and myosin filaments that results in tension.
- Plantar flexion and dorsi flexion (once again I apologize for this).
- Should remember how you dissected the muscle (gastrocnemius), where did you tied the knot (at Achilles tendon) & what bone did you cut (tibiofibula). Also remember how you went for hanging this muscle on the clamp and force transducer (This is trivial right now, however during final exams there will be few questions where someone might actually put an experimental setup and ask you to identify the error in experimental set up)
- What is recruitment, maximal stimulus and frequency modulation?
- The general trend (graph, figure 7 in lab manual) of muscle response to increasing stimulus frequency. You are expected to remember and label (if asked to) the threshold stimulus, recruitment, maximal stimulus, frequency modulation & tetany.
- Keep all three graphs that you generated with you. If you have handed me one graph for a group feel free to print the saved graph from computer. This one’s a useful data.

Isotonic muscle contraction lab preview
- Try to correlate differences between Isometric and Isotonic muscle contraction.
- How Isotonic muscle contraction works?
- Again you have three different graphs
- Procedure for muscle preparation remains to be the same. I will give you frog’s leg. First measure the plantar flexion and dorsi flexion and dissect the same way.
- Notice the difference in the experimental set up as compared to isometric. I would like to know from you why do we have this difference.
- In another experiment, we shall be playing with isolated muscle fibers and try to see how calcium and ATP effects the physiological length. Again for this we have a simple theory that calcium and ATP is required for actin and myosin to form cross bridges helps them slide.


More to come....
class average of last quiz & worksheet

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quiz 5 guide + general

Things to be expected:

from Excel
Atleast one question from this section. This will be to test how much you have learnt excel over the past 4 labs.

Membrane potential
What is a membrane potential, resting potential, action potential.
The Nernst equation
Nenrst potential for ions (both negative and positive)
Parallel conductance equation
What equations are used for single ions and multi ions
Under what circumstances your cell gets depolarized, hyperpolarized.
How will changes in concentrations Na, K and Cl, both intracellularly and extracellularly affect the membrane potential as well the latency and amplitude of the membrane potential?
How stimulus-response relationship (all-or-none response) works?

One question from upcoming lab of isometric muscle mechanics. It is going to be a long one so come prepared

Please donot forget to bring back TA review sheets. These will be helpful to me. Feel free to write what-so-ever is appropriate.

Also I will be giving mid term grades.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Quiz 4 guide + answers to Quiz 3

Quiz 4 guide

6 questions from EMG lab.
Make sure you go over entire theory of EMG lab from lab manal.
3 identification questions from dorsal view of cat (can be sudivided into parts)
1 question from upcoming lab.

Answers to quiz 3

QUIZ # 3: Muscular Anatomy.

Q1: Which of the following muscles have same function? (10)
1. Temporalis
2. Masseterc
3. Digastric
4. Sternocleidomastoid
Options: a) 1 and 2
b) 2 and 3
c) 1 and 4
d) 2 and 4
Ans1: a) 1 and 2

Q2: _________________ of muscles (any one) exists as a single muscle in human in contrast to cat
A2: Trapezius or deltoid

Q3: a) ____superficial fascia____ is loose connective tissue that binds skin to muscle.

b) The movement where there is straightening of joint (or spine) that results in an increase of the angle of a joint is called ___extension_____ (5 points each)

Q4 & 5: Identify muscles on HE Man. (10 points each)
A4: sartorius or vastus lateralis (A muscle that is not to be remembered was labelled, so I am giving points to those who identified muscles closest to tensor fasciae latae)
A5: vastus medialis

Q 6 to Q 10: Identify muscles on cat (10 points each)
A6 semitendenosus
A7 mylohyoideus
A8 flexor carpi radialis
A9 pectoralis major
A10 sartorius

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Cat muscles lab info + Quiz 3 guide

Hi guys,

I am disappointed with few people who left their plates without washing properly. Make sure that from next time things are cleared up properly. Please let others in your group know about this. If you donot check for updates here and miss something I shall not be responsible for that.

Quiz 3 guide:
Expect identification questions from cat muscles and lower human muscle man
Know function of muscles
I did not discuss this with you in the class however you should be knowing this
a) Muscle structure
b) Body movements
This is on the first page of Human Muscle Anatomy lab in the lab manual

Please let other know about this.

Plus there will be one question from upcoming lab.

I am attaching ventral and dorsal view of cat here. The same you guys have colored. Click on the picture to get full view of it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Quiz 2 guide

Sorry guys could not put this before weekend.
Please know theory of skeletal system from manual
Surely there will be many identification questions both of skeletal system and human muscles (upper body only)
Also know theory of human muslces (related to upper body only)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Lab pics

I shall put all the pics individually with a link to some server hosting pics (not until sunday)
For the moment I have made montage of 4 pics I had and kept here. I also wish to include names of you all in the picture only when I know who is who :-)

Sorry guys, thats the best I could get on camera phone.

Any suggestions for these pics, want to put some funny names or whatever. Just write it by clicking on comments or let me know during lab.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

lab 2

I found some useful links for study of bones and human muscles.
I will keep on updating things here as and when I find them more.Your inputs about similar helpful sites are welcome

Bones and skeletal system

Interactive for human muscles

Interactive for cat muscles (some of them might be redundant)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sample quiz 1 questions

After talking with few in the last lab I felt I should be putting sample quiz questions just to give you a feel of what you can expect:

1) : Cells of _____________________ are joined by specialized membrane junctions called intercalated discs.
a) Cardiac muscles
b) Skeletal muscles
c) Smooth muscles

2): Name four accessory structures of skin.

3): True or False. The nucleolus moves fluids or particles across the cell surface.

Monday, September 05, 2005

lab 1 + Quiz 1 guide

Structure of Quiz 1:
There will be 10 questions. 9 questions will be from what we did in first lab and 1 question will be from upcoming lab 2. Out of these 9 questions 2 will be identification questions.

Must know for Quiz 1:
a) Microscope, the parts of microscope. If someone labels a particular part of microscope you must be able to identify that.
b) Calculation of magnification factor
c) Cytology: Function of different organelles in cell + role of methyl cellulose when you are trying to analyze behavior of a living cell.
d) Histology of tissues: Must be able to identify different slides that you saw as well as theory for each of them.
Refer chapter 3 Histology in you atlas.
[ I also found two good websites on which there are pictures of slides that you saw. You can visit these sites and do self-study]

e) Study of skin
f) Identification of structures on long bone.

REVIEW section at the end of muscle tissue will be very helpful if solved.

List of slides you saw:
A) Connective tissues
Loose (Aerolar) connective tissue
Adipose Tissue
Human blood
Hyaline cartilage
Elastic cartilage
epithelial tissue
frog skin
stratified squamous epithelium
columnar epithelium
cuboidal epithelium

B) Muscular and neural tissues
skeletal muscle
smooth muscle
cardiac muscle
muscle composite
giant multipolar neuron

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tips to get better grades

1) To get more out of PNB lab course, make sure you read everything relevant to that days lab from lab manual before coming.

2) Donot finish your work hastily just because it is night class. Take your time till 9:30 pm and I will extend all possible help. Try doing a good job when it comes to cat dissection, bones and observing slides.

3) Keep all quizzes and worksheets with you, they will be helpful for final lab exams.

4) If you have friends in other sections, have a look on their quizzes or even photocopy/write down the questions asked in it. This will help you to prepare for the final lab exam.

5) Please attend all theory classes regularly. Try to intergrate knowledge that you get from theory classes into your lab class.

6) Try to meet with your group people or others from your lab class once a week for 45 mins to 1 hr and discuss with them what has been done and predict what kind of questions might be asked on quizzes. It is easy to do this.

These tips are based on my experience from past three semesters and inputs from students like you. If you have any more suggestions that you think can be helpful to your labmates, please let me know by clicking on comment link below and I will be glad to post it here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Welcome to PNB 264-Section# 6,

I am sure everyone of us will have a great learning experience at Physiology and Anatomy Laboratory. General information about the syllabus, lab policies and subjective grade information have been attached here. The same things have been handed to you, however if you lose it somehow you can find it right here by clicking on thumbnails below (please keep on scrolling down there is more after syllabus).

This blog site will remain a medium of communication between everyone of us. I will be posting quiz tips and sample quiz questions relevant to the lab class.

If anyone of you has any question simply post it here (you donot have permission to post anything rightnow, once I have your email id's you will be invited to be a part of this blog). However you can still comment on any of the postings. For example: If John (I donot know who he is) has some question and is confused he can post it or mail me so that I can post it saying John has a problem. Everyone of us can comment on it to make sure his problem gets solved. I will consider this to give additional 10 points so make sure you write your name when you comment (max points available 50)

Similarly if you want me to go over something or want to comment on my style of teaching and want me to improve you can just comment on it. Or if anyone has an interesting website (no dirt please :-) ) relevant to our material that could be helpful to rest of the class you can go ahead and post it. This also might help you to get 10 more subjective points which accounts separately than helping someone to solve their question (max points available 50).

Also I would like to emphasize on the point that we all will be adhering to lab policies strictly. Two things I personally prefer are cleanliness and not copying directly from someones worksheet. Special circumstances shall be determined by Penny Dobbins. If for any reason you are unable to attend any lab, please let me or Penny know in advance so that we can arrange a makeup for you.

Keep yourself up to date by visting this site.

Good luck & have fun, for god sake its a night class.