This image shows a cow’s heart ready for dissection – note the diagonal line which separates the left and right sides of the heart – thin-walled atria at the top and thicker walled ventricles at the bottom. On Friday this week we will also be dissecting sheep’s kidneys, to show renal arteries, medulla and cortex. This great interactive animation shows how water, glucose and salts area reabsorbed and how urea is excreted by the kidneys. This site has five different sections showing how the nephron, capsule, proximal, loop and duct work – make sure you find them all. How our kidneys work from Kidney Health Australia. Kidneys Explained from the Better Health Channel.
You are in for a treat on Monday – I have been able to get a pig’s heart, liver, lungs and kidneys from a local farmer. Pig tissues are sometimes used in humans, as human transplants are not always available and pig organs are about the same size and able to be produced in large numbers. Studies at Cambridge University found that people who receive transplanted pig organs are unlikely to contract incurable, infectious diseases. Scientists at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital have kept pig’s lungs alive and functioning with human blood. The pigs used have been genetically modified to reduce blood clotting and the chances of rejection in humans. This practise raises serious ethical issues that must be carefully considered by medical practitioners, governments and society. There is the possibility of bringing animal diseases into the human population, peoples attitudes to ‘part-human part-pig’ organisms, as well as the argument that humans should not be tampering with ‘god’s work’. Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts about xenotransplantation – animal-to-human transplants.