Category: Physiology

Why you get sick from reading in a car

Why you get sick from reading in a car

Why you get sick from reading in a car

06/19/17

“Why do you get sick while reading in a car?”

 

Have you ever noticed how you get sick when you read in a car? Well, you have nothing but your own body’s physiology to blame. To estimate your location, your body receives some of its spatial information from its inner ear and eyes. When you are concentrating on a book, all you see is the stationary tome, but your ears will be listening to cracks, bumps, and changes in velocity. This incongruity of perceptual information will cause your brain to become disoriented and induce motion sickness. To avoid such an issue, try looking out of the window from time to time during the vehicular voyage.

Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis

Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis

Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis

06/07/17

“What does coal do to the lungs?”

 

Coal dust does not decompose in a human body. And since coal miners have to sustain long-term exposure inhaling such material, it would only be logical that the coal dust would build up and permanently damage the body. Specifically, such individuals would develop something known as Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis, also known as Black Lung for the dark tint that the organs develop. Symptoms of Black Lung include shortness of breath, chronic cough, coughing up black mucus, high blood pressure, and heart problems. Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis is just another reminder that relying on outdated technologies will only destroy humanity and hinder progress.

How images form in the eye

How images form in the eye

How images form in the eye

02/25/17

“How exactly do we see things with our eyes?”
Everything that we perceive in this world is formed through our eyes. However, have you ever wondered how images can physically form in these biological objects? Well, let’s analyze this question scientifically to find out. If one were to take an eyeball and cut it in half through the midpoint of the pupil, they will find a lens just behind the cornea. If you were to then shine parallel light beams through this lens, then you would find that all of the light would focus on to the backside of the eye. The back of the eye will then transmit information to the brain, which will invert the image “in the mind’s eye” enabling us to see!

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

10/13/16

“What happens when bones weaken as they get older?”

 

The human body changes throughout it’s lifetime. And as one approaches an older age, the bone structure in the body begin to weaken. Specifically, the holes in cancellous bones will become exacerbated and largen, causing a loss in bone density. This loss in bone density reduces the strength of human bones. This brittleness could lead to bone fracture in case of an unforseen accident, such as a falling event. Doctors have termed this condition osteoporosis. To prevent the onset of osteoporosis, one should commit to a weight-bearing exercise and a diet full of vitamin-D and calcium

 

Bone joints

Bone joints

Bone joints

10/12/16

“What holds all of the different parts of a skeleton together?”
Skeletons are quite complex structures. The average adult human skeleton holds around 206 individual bones in it’s composition! However, how what connects these bones all together, and what allows for their range of movement? Well, much like a mechanical machine, these bones are connected to each other through the use of elements called bone joints. Bone joints come in three different types of varieties: Fibrous (allowing for no movement between the connections,), cartilaginous (allowing for limited movement), and synovial (allowing for full movement). Fibrous joints are utilized in skull connections, cartilaginous joints in back vertebrae, and synovial joints are used in the knees.

Bone marrow

Bone marrow

Bone marrow

10/11/16

“What is the tissue that fills the center of bones?”

 

Bones are quite sturdy structures. A cubic inch of this material can sustain the weight of five pickup trucks. However, what exactly is at the center of bones and what functions do they perform? Well, it turns out that a quite peculiar bone marrow is what fills the interior of bones. Bone marrow is a soft and spongy in nature, and it contains stem cells. Stem cells are analogous to workers that have not yet been given a function. These cells are nascent and have no use, but they can be specialized to perform become cells that create new parts of the body such as cartilage, muscles, blood cells, and even other bones! Bone marrow is vital for the health of a human body.

Cancellous bone

Cancellous bone

Cancellous bone

10/10/16

“How can something as rigid as bones allow for flexibility?”
Bones are one of the most fundamental aspects of human physiology. Without them, the human body would just be a pool of flesh, tissue, and organs! However, this rigid quality of bones has potential drawbacks, such as inflexibility and weakness to sudden stresses, and as a result, the body will require some form of flexibility from these structures. However, how does the body solve this problem? Well, luckily for us, human physiology have evolved past this problem through the use of cancellous bones. Cancellous bones are bones that contain sponge-like holes through throughout their structure. These holes not only allow for blood vessels to be transported through them, but most importantly allow for structural flexibility. These holes can be likened to a biological shock absorber, absorbing and damping incoming shocks to prevent the breakdown of the structure. These cancellous types make up 20 percent of the human bones, the other 80 percent being the standard solid compact bones. What is most interesting is that to maximize both flexibility and cohesion, cancellous bones are sometimes enveloped by a shell of compact bones!