This course explains the nature of matter and the principles of chemistry that are important to human physiology. You will learn principles of genetics and gain an understanding of how traits are passed from one generation to the next.
This course goes in-depth on how the circulatory and respiratory systems work together to provide our bodies with the oxygen our tissues need, and how they work together with the skin and kidneys to rid our bodies of wastes. You will learn how our bodies fight off diseases, and how our digestive system converts the food we eat into energy and the tissues of our bodies. You will spend time on the endocrine system, which supplies the hormones we need for our survival, and the reproductive system, that group of organs that allows life to be passed on to another generation.
In addition, each lesson includes information about specific disorders that sometimes happen to our bodies. By the end of this course, you will have a greater appreciation and understanding of the marvelous complexity of the human body.
INTRODUCTION TO THE LIVING PROCESSES
Our first lesson will introduce you to the fascinating subject of human anatomy and physiology. Since chemical reactions drive all of our bodies’ functions, you will start by reviewing some basic chemistry. Finally, you will learn about homeostasis—that drive humans have to keep many different variables (like temperature and blood pressure) within a narrow range. By the time you’re done with this lesson, you will be ready to learn more about the structure and function of our bodies.
THE HUMAN CELL
The smallest living unit of the body is the cell. It’s so amazing, it deserves a lesson of its own. Even though almost all cells are microscopic, they’re jam-packed with many different kinds of organelles and surrounded by complex membranes.
This lesson tackles the subject of heredity. It’s probably the most technical of all the lessons because it explores genetics. You will learn how genes determine your physical and mental characteristics, and how your parents’ genetic material determine these traits. Then you will meet a man who lived in the 1800’s—Gregor Mendel, the Father of Genetics—because his insights paved the way for our modern understanding of heredity.
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
This lesson introduces the nervous system. You will learn how it’s organized, its different jobs, and the structures that make thinking, feeling, and moving possible. You will also learn how the nervous system works when we think we’re in danger or we’ve suddenly been affected by physical pain. You will use your chemistry knowledge in this chapter in looking at how nervous impulses are transmitted. Finally, you will learn about nervous system disorders —what causes them and their effects.
THE SKELETAL SYSTEM
Our bones have several functions, and some aren’t so obvious. For example, did you know that red blood cells are made in your bones? Or that bones store minerals that are essential for the function of your nerves and muscles? This lesson explores the structure and function of bones, different types of joints, and the amazing structure of your spinal column. You will learn about some common disorders of this system and what you can do to keep your bones strong.
THE MUSCULAR SYSTEM
Like the skeletal system, the muscular system is crucial for movement, but it has other functions, too. Muscles are also a lot more complicated than they appear. You will learn why even simple movements involve chemical reactions and a close coordination between this system and the nervous system. In the last chapter, you will learn about several common injuries to different parts of the muscular system.
THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
This lesson focuses on the respiratory system in this lesson. As you’re probably aware, it’s the group of organs that allow you to get that crucial substance—oxygen—to all the cells in our body. But your respiratory system has some other functions that this lesson touches on. You will learn about the anatomy of your respiratory organs and which muscles are crucial for breathing. You will also become aware of the differences between ventilation, external respiration, internal respiration, and cellular respiration.
THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
There’s so much to learn about the circulatory system. This lesson explores the composition of blood, the various blood cells, and the different kinds of blood vessels in your body. Of course, the heart is a crucial part of the circulatory system, so you will learn about its chambers, valves, coronary vessels, and electrical system. You will learn how blood travels around the body and its important functions. You will finish this lesson knowing the importance of taking care of this organ system.
THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM AND FIGHTING DISEASE
In today’s very interesting lesson, you will learn all about the disease-fighting ability of your body. The human body also has a system of vessels (similar to blood vessels) called the lymphatic system. You will learn about its disease-fighting role as well as some of its other functions. You will learn about some of the other organs in your body that are involved in the battle against disease. This lesson concludes with the different ways the body’s disease-fighting ability can be compromised and why sometimes the body turns on its own cells.
THE INTEGUMENTARY AND URINARY SYSTEMS
This lesson takes a closer look at two different organ systems—the integumentary system (the skin) and the urinary system. Both of these systems work to get rid of waste products that would kill you if they were allowed to build up in your body. You will learn, too, how important these two systems are in maintaining homeostasis. People are often surprised to learn how complex even the skin can be. And the structures of the urinary system, particularly the kidneys, are quite amazing. At the end of this lesson, you will know all about kidney failure and the challenges of dialysis and kidney transplantation.
THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
You might not think about food the same way after this lesson on the digestive system. This lesson explores all the different structures involved with converting food into the chemicals our bodies need to grow, repair tissues, and carry on all the functions of life. When you finish this lesson, you will understand the value of eating a variety of foods, how good food choices will enhance your health, and about one of the most common kinds of cancer—colon cancer.
THE ENDOCRINE AND REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS
This course concludes with a lesson on the endocrine and reproductive systems. You will learn how the endocrine and nervous systems work together to regulate all of your body’s functions. Finally, you will explore some specific endocrine glands, the hormones they produce, and how they influence each other.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (We recommend Firefox or Chrome).
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
Instructional material requirements:
- The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
WHEN CAN I GET STARTED?
Instructor-led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: Start your course at any time your schedule permits.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Instructor-led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You can start your course at anytime, review all lessons in any order, and learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the 3 month access period.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE EACH LESSON?
Instructor-led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your 3 month duration of access ends.
WHAT IF I NEED AN EXTENSION?
Instructor-led: The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: No extensions will be granted since all lessons are accessible at the start of your enrolment, for the full 3 months of access.