Pancreas – 6 in 60

6in60, BEDA 2018

Hello and welcome to the last of four 6 in 60s for BEDA! Last week I talked all about the kidneys and for this last organ we’re moving not too far away to the pancreas.

  1. The pancreas is a gland organ located in your abdomen and is around 6 to 8 inches long.
  2. It is part of the digestive system and produces insulin and other important enzymes and hormones that help break down foods.
  3. A healthy pancreas makes about 2.2 pints (1 liter) of enzymes every day.
  4. Enzymes, or digestive juices, are secreted by the pancreas into the small intestine. There, it continues breaking down food that has left the stomach.
  5. The pancreas also produces the hormone insulin from the endocrine portion of the pancreas and secretes it into the bloodstream, where it regulates the body’s glucose or sugar level.
  6. The islets of Langerhans (located within the pancreas) are responsible for regulating blood glucose. Too little insulin production will increase the risk of diabetes, and blood glucose levels will rise.
pancreas diagram anatomy

image via achingao.net

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The Kidneys – 6 in 60

6in60, BEDA 2018

Hello and welcome to the third of four 6 in 60s for BEDA! We started with the skin, then last week we looked at the pineal gland. This week we’re looking at the kidneys!

  1. The function of the kidney is to filter extra water and toxins from the blood. The kidneys produce urine to flush out this extra water and any toxins. They are along with your liver the bodies own way of doing a “juice cleanse” all the time!
  2. Kidneys were one of the first organs to be donated. Because humans can live with one kidney many kidneys are given by live donors.
  3. Kidneys are built up from nephrons. The nephrons work like tiny filters that remove waste materials from our blood. Each kidney can have up to 2 million nephrons.
  4. To look after your kidneys and prevent kidney damage is to make sure you stay well  hydrated and give your kidneys lots of water!
  5. The kidneys also make hormones. These hormones help regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and promote bone health.
  6. The waste products in the blood can occasionally form crystals that collect inside the kidneys. Over time, the crystals may build up to form a hard stone-like lump. These are whats known as kidney stones. Some small ones pass through the system painlessly where as larger ones may need surgery to remove.
Image result for kidneys diagram

Image Credit – DigiKalla

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The Pineal Gland – 6 in 60

6in60, BEDA 2018

Hello and welcome to the second of four 6 in 60s for BEDA! Last week I talked all about the largest organ of the human body, the skin. This week we are talking about the smallest, the pineal gland.

  1. The pineal gland is located near the centre of the brain.
  2. The gland produce melatonin. This is an essential hormone that helps regulate our body clock and gets us off to sleep
  3. The pineal gland was given it’s name due to it’s shape. It looks like a pine cone!
  4. Tumors on the gland are called pinealomas but fortunately there are very rare.
  5. Cells known as pinealocytes are responsible for the creation and secretion of the melatonin.
  6. Absence of light is one of the key triggers for the gland to start producing melatonin which in turn makes us feel sleepy. That’s why humans tend to sleep best in the dark.
Image result for pineal gland diagram

Image credit – PsyPost

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The Skin – 6 in 60!

6in60, BEDA 2018

Hello and welcome to the first of four 6 in 60s for BEDA! I once did a month of organ related 6 in 60s which you can find here. So I’m back to bring you another four! Today we’re starting off with the largest organ the skin!

  1. There are two general types of skin, hairy and hairless (glabrous) skin. Glabrous skin can be found on your palms and the soles of your feet.
  2. The skin plays a vital role in protecting the body from pathogens, excessive water loss, insulation, production of vitamin D, temperature regulation and sensation. We wouldn’t be able to exist without it.
  3. The skin is built up of several different layers and components which each have a different task (see the picture below)
  4. Skin varies in thickness around the body, its thinnest on the eyelids and thickest on the palms, soles of your feet and bum!
  5. Skin pigmentation is controlled predominantly by genetics.
  6. Skin changes over time and is the biggest sign of aging. This includes the skin wrinkling which is cause by a loss of elasticity
Anatomy of the skin with melanocytes; drawing shows normal skin anatomy, including the epidermis, dermis, hair follicles, sweat glands, hair shafts, veins, arteries, fatty tissue, nerves, lymph vessels, oil glands, and subcutaneous tissue. The pullout shows a close-up of the squamous cell and basal cell layers of the epidermis above the dermis with blood vessels. Melanin is shown in the cells. A melanocyte is shown in the layer of basal cells at the deepest part of the epidermis.

Image Credit: National Cancer Institute

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6 Scientific Things in 60 Seconds: Number 50 – The Best of 6 in 60

6in60

As you may have guessed from the title of this blog, this is the last episode of 6 in 60! There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly I’ve been writing this series pretty much since the start of ThatBiologist and I need a change. Secondly I start my masters in two weeks and I’m moving to London on Saturday (eeep). It’s going to take me a little bit of time to get comfy in my new routine, although of course I’ll keep writing! The other big thing is I’m starting a new series to replace 6 in 60 of which you’ll find out about in a few weeks!

Anyway to round up this epic series that lasted 50 episodes and started way back in January 2015, here are my 6 favourite facts from 6 in 60!

  1. The largest shark ever known was the megalodon but it’s now extinct. It lived approximately 15.9 to 2.6 million years ago and biologists say it looked like a stockier, larger version of the great white shark.
  2. In 2008, up to one third of the total fish catch in UK waters was found to be discarded. Most that are discarded do not survive after being thrown back into the sea so discarding is a waste of resources as well as a conservation threat.
  3. There is no difference between male brains and female brains, although each brain is slightly different to the different balance of hormones in each person.
  4. Each hand has 27 bones, and each foot has 26, which means that together the body’s two hands and two feet have 106 bones. That is over half the bones in an entire human skeleton.
  5. Using antibiotics too often, or for diseases that don’t need them, like colds and flu (caused by viruses) can stop the antibiotics working (known as antibiotic resistance). MRSA (methicillin-resistant or Multiple-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a resistant form of a common bacterium found on the skin, which can cause infections after surgery.
  6. The body contains approximately 0.2 milligrams of gold that is most diffused with our blood. However, you would need to bleed 40,000 people dry just to collect enough blood to make an 8-gram souvenir.

Source

Fact 1 = Thinking Big

Fact 2 = Fishing

Fact 3 = Brain

Fact 4 = Skeletons

Fact 5 = Bacteria

Fact 6 = Blood

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6 in 60: Number 49 – Suns out Guns out!

6in60

Hello! I really hope its lovely and sunny with you today, because its time to go to the gun show! That’s right today we’re talking about muscles, just for a minute let’s go!

  1. Muscle can be defined as a band or bundle of fibrous tissue in a human or animal body that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body.
  2. There are three different kinds of muscle – smooth, cardiac, and skeletal muscle.
  3. There are more than 600 muscles in the body, doing everything from pumping blood to moving food through the intestines, to helping lift heavy objects.
  4. Muscles are the most dense thing in your body. They make up approximately 40% of your body weight.
  5. To take one step, you use 200 muscles.
  6. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.

1109_Muscles_that_Move_the_Tongue.jpg

Hope you’ve enjoyed todays episode. Make sure you check back here next Tuesday for a very special 50th episode of 6 in 60!

Sources

The first fact came from that dang dictionary. 2 and 3 came from this site. Fact 4-6 came from this degreed article.

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6 in 60: Number 48 – Skeletons

6in60

Hello! So on a similar theme to last weeks 6 in 60 I thought we would look a little deeper at skeletons, all in just a minute, lets go:

  1. The human skeleton is made up of 206 bones.
  2. The functions of the skeleton are to provide support, give our bodies shape, provide protection to other systems and organs of the body, to provide attachments for muscles, to produce movement and to produce red blood cells.
  3. The vast majority of adults have 24 ribs (12 pairs), but about one in every 500 people has an extra rib, called a cervical rib.
  4. Each hand has 27 bones, and each foot has 26, which means that together the body’s two hands and two feet have 106 bones. That is over half the bones in an entire human skeleton.
  5. The smallest bone in the human body is the stirrup bone, the stapes, one of the 3 bones that make up your middle ear; measuring 2-3 millimeters. It is shaped like a “U.”
  6. The femur is the strongest bone in the human body. It extends from the hip to the knee.  It can resist a force of up to 1,800 to 2,500 pounds.

Sources

The first two facts come this site. The second two come from livescience and the last two come from an excellent blog called degreed.

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6 in 60: Number 47 – Blood

6in60

I thought for the next 3 blogs we would look back into the human body and look at blood, skeletons and muscle. Enjoy!

  1. Blood can be defined as the fluid that circulates in the principal vascular system of low red blood cell counthuman beings and other vertebrates, in humans consisting of plasma in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended.
  2. Blood pH is held from 7.35 to 7.45 making it slightly basic.
  3. There are four main blood groups (types of blood): A, B, AB and O. Your blood group is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents. Each group can be either RhD positive or RhD negative, which means your blood group can be one of the eight types
  4. Scientists have estimated the volume of blood in the human body to be eight percent of body weight.
  5. The body contains approximately 0.2 milligrams of gold that is most diffused with our blood. However, you would need to bleed 40,000 people dry just to collect enough blood to make an 8-gram souvenir.
  6. Coconut water can be used in emergencies as a replacement for blood plasma. This is because coconut water possesses identical properties to that of human plasma, and since it can be safely injected directly into the bloodstream.

Sources

I got the first from just a standard dictionary (yes I still use them!). The second fact is from medicnet but you can find this all over the internet. The third fact comes form this nhs page. The last three facts come from medical daily which can be found here.

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6 in 60: Number 46 – Sharks

6in60, The Shark Tank

the shark tank

Hello! Welcome to Day 2 of The Shark Tank, hopefully this one will give you some basics on sharks!

  1. There are over 400 species of shark from the 8-inch-long dwarf lanternshark to the 40-foot-long whale shark.
  2. Sharks are carnivorous and eat fish (including other sharks) as well as larger animals such as seals.
  3. Shark populations around the world are in rapid decline. Sharks grow relatively slowly, take many years to mature and produce relatively few young. These characteristics make sharks, like this porbeagle, particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation.
  4. The average shark lives to be 25 years old, but some can get as old as 100! They live so long because their chances of contracting a disease are low. Their skeleton is made up entirely of cartilage, which drastically lowers the likelihood of developing a tumor and strengthens their immunity.
  5. Unlike humans, whose upper jaw is a fixed part of the skull, a shark can dislocate and protrude its upper jaw to help it grab and hang onto prey.
  6. Sharks are especially susceptible to the moon’s control of ocean tides. The phase of the moon can affect sharks’ eating habits and draw them closer to shore

Sources

Just two sources today, the first three come from the WWF. The last three come from shark guardian.

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6 in 60: Number 45 – Famous Scientists

6in60

I’ve written a lot about scientists in my monthly scientist series, catch it here if you’ve missed it. Today I thought I’d go and throw 6 of my favourite facts about 6 of my favourite scientists, simple, let’s go!

  1. Marie Curie was the youngest of five children and was born to poor school teachers.
  2. Unlike most researchers, Jane Goodall named the animals that were part of her studies, normally numbers were assigned in order to remove the possibility of the researcher becoming attached to the subjects.
  3. Galileo enrolled to do a medical degree at the University of Pisa but never finished, instead choosing to study mathematics.
  4. In honor of his work and influential contributions, Louis Pastuer was made a Grand Croix of the Legion of Honor, a prestigious French order.
  5. Alexander Graham Bell didn’t have the middle name “Graham” until he turned 11 when his father gave it to him as a birthday present. He’d earlier asked to have a middle name like his two brothers.
  6. In his early years Edwin Hubble was a skilled athlete as well as a bright student, competing and achieving highly in track and field

Hope you’ve enjoyed this eclectic mix! Next week will be a ThatBiologist special, we’re going to be dipping into the world of Sharks in The Shark Tank with a new blog every day!

the shark tank

Coming Next Week

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