Archive for November, 2011

IVF role play

Friday, November 25th, 2011

sperm injection into egg on wikimedia commons

We are going to try something a little different to help us learn about the process of IVF, and the ethical considerations that go along with it.  Here’s the situation:

A couple have been trying to conceive for over 3 years.  They have had 2 miscarriages. They are considering IVF as their next step. The man is really keen to go ahead with it, but his wife is skeptical.  They have an appointment with a doctor who is a specialist in the area of fertility and IVF.

What to do:

  • Get into groups of 3.
  • Each person will have their own role to play – decide who is going to be the doctor, who is going to be the woman and who is going to be the husband.
  • The doctor must become knowledgeable about the process of IVF, so that s/he can explain it to the couple and answer any questions they may have.
  • The woman must be ready to listen, but also have a well thought out list of concerns about the negative aspects of this treatment and the ethical considerations she is worried about.
  • The husband must have his arguments ready as to why he thinks the treatment would be a good next step for them, and address any of his wife’s concerns.
  • Spend about 30-40 mins researching your role.
  • Role play the interview between the doctor and the couple.
  • Reflect on the process – what difficulties did you find? Is there a “right” answer to this problem? Include your thoughts in a comment on this post.

Human reproduction

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Egg and sperm by Wellcome Images on flickr

No – it’s not a picture of a sunflower.  Look closely!

Here is what we will cover in the core material.

  • Draw and label diagrams of adult male and female reproductive systems.
  • How do hormones control the menstrual cycle? (Link to Endocrine system)
  • Relate hormonal changes to thickening of uterine lining, ovulation and menstruation.
  • What are the roles of testosterone in males?
  • Explain the process of IVF and discuss the ethical issues associated with it.

A good presentation can be found here.  Some great videos on this unit have been produced by NOVA.  Watch in segments or all at once.

Higher level material in this presentation.  We need to learn the details of spermatogenesis and oogenesis.  Your textbooks are pretty good on this as well, so read the relevant chapters.  We’ll get into the processes of fertilization, pregnancy and childbirth.

The kidney

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
YouTube Preview Image

OK – this is the next-to-last section of the syllabus before we begin our options.  Here are some of the key points we’ll learn:

  • What is excretion? (And what isn’t)
  • How to draw and label a diagram of the kidney.
  • What a nephron is, how to annotate a diagram of one to help explain the processes of ultrafiltration and reabsorption.
  • What is osmoregulation, and what role do hormones play in it?
  • What are the differences between concentrations of various components in blood and urine, and the reasons for those differences.

We’ll again use this wonderful presentation from Mr S Taylor as well as our textbooks.  In addition, once we’ve completed this topic, you could watch this video.  It’s a little complicated, so I wouldn’t recommend watching it at the start, but after we’ve covered some of the theory.

Another useful review powerpoint from Mr Hobbins: 11.3 The Kidney

Enjoy!

 

How do you make a hormone?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Illu_endocrine_system from wikimedia commons

Ask Mr. Hobbins the answer to that one!

Next up is the Endocrine System, which consists of glands that produce hormones that travel in the bloodstream to various sites of action.  We’ll look at this from the perspective of coordination and control, so will be defining the term homeostasisand looking at examples of this in the body.

Questions we’ll tackle:

  • What is the endocrine system and how does it function?
  • What is homeostasis and how does it work?
  • How is body temperature is regulated?
  • How are blood glucose levels maintained?
  • What’s the difference between type I and type II diabetes?

Another great presentation from Mr Taylor.