Human Physiology Assignment: Critical Thinking
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Task: These questions require you to draw on knowledge gained in this module, and the assigned readings, to help you construct your answer. These questions have been designed to make you think about the subjects covered.
You should select 4 of the 6 questions to answer. Each question contributes 25% to the overall assessment mark. Each answer should be approximately 400 words (not including citations and figure legends) and written in appropriate scientific English.
You are reminded that you should not plagiaries – please ensure all answers are you own.
Stephen likes going to the gym however, he feels very inadequate when he compares himself to the regulars. Their muscles, gleaming like an oiled Adonis in the flickering, fluorescent lights of the gym (If lecturing doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll write the next best seller…) make him feel like a bit of a weakling. Enter William who is a bit of a bad egg and offers Stephen some steroids. After a while of taking these anabolic steroids Stephen begins to notice his muscle mass increasing but also a few less desirable physical and mental side-effects kicking in. Discuss the role of endogenous androgenic steroids in human physiology and what are the potential adverse effects from anabolic steroid miss-use and what is the physiological reason behind this?
A novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) has recently been reported in China. As of January 21st 2020 it is thought to have infected 1700 individuals and killed 4. The virus is believed to have originated in livestock and transmission is currently limited to individuals who have had significant contact with animals. There is significant concern that this virus will soon adapt to become proficient at spreading from person to person. When infected individuals develop a severe respiratory infection which can progress to a fatal pneumonia. Discuss the features of modern life which will both aid and hinder the spread of this novel virus.
In January 2020 a new discovery was announced in which scientists from Cardiff University have been able to reprogram immune system cells to target cancer. Previous chemotherapies have largely been un-targeted and as a result can cause significant harm to the patient. An example of a cancer which can be treated with the new method is metastatic prostate cancer. Discuss the screening methods currently used to identify prostate cancer and how various treatment strategies (i.e. surgery, chemotherapy, immune-modulating agents etc.) have improved patient prognosis.
Dylan has a peptic ulcer. Discuss the likely cause of this ulcer and some of the treatments which could be used to manage the condition.
The combined oral contraceptive pill has revolutionized many aspects of society by allowing individuals to control their reproductive cycles, indeed it is widely believed to have played a large role in increasing the levels of female educational and economic engagement. Discuss how the combined oral contraceptive pill is able to regulate fertility with reference to the regular menstrual cycle. Include in your answer a brief explanation about why many women are concerned about the risk of blood clots when on the pill.
Wendy, an otherwise fit lady in her 30s, was out at dinner with some friends when she experienced agonizing pain in her abdomen which radiated up to her shoulder-blades. She was rushed to hospital where clinicians soon diagnosed her as having gallstones and operated on her using key-hole surgery to remove her gall-bladder. Within 48 hours she was home and with doctor’s orders to avoid eating fatty foods, none the less she was feeling a bit down so she treated herself to some Ben and Jerrys (Cookie dough if anyone is interested!). Shortly after finishing the pot (honestly, who leaves a pot half finished?) she experienced severe diarrhea. Discuss briefly the role of the gall bladder in healthy physiology and why Wendy experienced digestive distress after the removal of her organ. In your answer include a reflection on the biology of stone formation and why she was discharged from hospital so quickly following her laproscopic surgery.