6 in 60: Number 29 – Brain

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The last one for this mini series is going to be about the brain. Now it is clearly far too complex to cover everything in a minute but here’s just 6 facts!

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  1. A definition of the brain is “An organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity”.
  2. The brain has two sections called hemispheres. The left side of the brain is dominant in languages and the right side is in charge of spatial abilities, face recognition and processing music.
  3. The corpus callosum is a thick band of nerve fibres that divides the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
  4. The average brain weighs three pounds.
  5. Diseases of the brain include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Diseases such as these can limit the normal function of the human brain.
  6. 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.

The Sources

The definition of the brain came from the oxford dictionary. The second fact comes from live science. The third fact is from the biology about page. Number four comes from the alzheimers association.  The fifth fact comes from this fact sheet.The sixth fact came from an article from the New Scientist about research completed at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

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6 in 60: Number 28 – Liver

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Hello, if there is one underrated organ in your body its most likely your liver. Therefore you can definitely spend a minute learning about this bad boy and saying thank you!

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  1. The liver is one of the largest organs in the human body and weighs approximately 3 pounds.
  2. The liver converts the nutrients in our diets into substances that the body can use, stores these substances, and supplies cells with them when needed. It also takes up toxic substances and converts them into harmless substances or makes sure they are released from the body.
  3. The liver comes in two lobes, the right lobe is larger than the left lobe. They are connected by a strip of connective tissue that anchors the liver to the abdominal cavity.
  4. When our liver tries to break down alcohol, the resulting chemical reaction  can damage its cells. This damage  can lead to inflammation and scarring as the liver tries to repair itself, this is called oxidative stress.
  5. You can live with only half a liver. Liver transplant is one of the few organ transplants that can come from a living donor.
  6. A common sign of a damaged liver is jaundice, a yellowness of your eyes and skin. This happens when bilirubin, a yellow breakdown product of your red blood cells, builds up in your blood.

The Sources

The first three facts although are commonly known I got directly from the U.S National Library for Medicine. The fourth fact came from drink-aware. The fifth fact comes from the NHS organ donation. The sixth fact comes from the BBC information page on the liver.

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6 in 60: Number 27 – Lungs

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Another Tuesday, another 6 facts in 60 seconds. This one is all about the lungs and just a quick mention to the wonderful artist that is The Awkward Yeti, please go and check his comics out because if you like biology you’ll love him. Anyway lets go!

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How I feel every time! Credit to theawkwardyeti.com

  1. Simply put the lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon dioxide from and bring oxygen to the blood.
  2. Adults take on average 15 to 20 breaths per minute. That’s equal to 20,000 breaths a day.
  3. A person’s lungs are not the same size. The right lung is a little wider than the left lung, but it is also shorter.
  4. If the inner surface of the lungs could be stretched out flat, they would occupy an area of around 80 to 100 square meters – about the size of half of a tennis court
  5. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.
  6. The main cause of COPD is smoking. This is because smoking irritates and inflames the lungs, which results in scarring.

The Sources

The second fact comes from the american lung association. The first and third comes from the live science page on lungs. The fourth comes from innerbody.com I’d strongly suggest checking it out if you want to find out more it has a great pair of interactive lungs you can play around with! The fifth and sixth come from the nhs page on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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6 in 60: Number 26 – Heart

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Hello! I’m back after being gone for far too long, so this months theme of 6 in 60s will all be about human organs! Starting off with the heart, lets do this!

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Heart and Brain: Credit to The Awkward Yeti

  1. Each day, your heart beats about 100,000 times. It pumps about 23,000 litres (5,000 gallons) of blood around your body.
  2. The heart has four compartments two smaller upper chambers called the atria and two lower larger chambers called the ventricles. The two sides of the heart are separated by the septum.
  3. The basics on how blood travels around your heart: The right side of the heart receives dark, de-oxygenated blood which has circulated around your body.It pumps this to your lungs, where it picks up a fresh supply of oxygen and becomes bright red again.The blood then returns to the left side of the heart, ready to be pumped back out to the rest of your body.
  4. Each of the chambers of the heart are separated by valves, this ensures that the blood only flows in one direction.
  5. A good belly laugh can send 20% more blood flowing through your entire body. One study found that when people watched a funny movie, their blood flow increased.
  6. A heart attack is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot. Lack of blood to the heart can seriously damage the heart muscle.

This video goes in to more description on how the heart works, if you’re interested!

The Sources

The first 4 facts come from the british heart foundation. They know an awful lot about the heart and they created the video. Fact 5 comes from the Web MD page with some other interesting  facts about the heart. Fact 6 comes from the nhs information page on heart attacks.

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