Physiology

Organs

Better than Murder …

While working to uncover a hidden acrostic in the list of bodily organ systems, I strung out the first letters of the 10 and immediately picked out MURDER, but had the letters N, I, C, I left over and did not want to suggest MURDER NICI because NICKI is also the name of my favorite ex-girlfriend. Then, I wrote out the first three letter of each and managed to create two phrases which are easy to recall and make remembering the ten systems a cinch! Ergo:

Sir: I'm nervous about reproducing with the rest. Uri must dig into the end.

The organ system names buried within the phrases are (in order): circulatory, immune, nervous, reproduction, respiratory, urinary, muscle, digestive, integumentary, and endocrine. Easy now?

Taxonomy

Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) named and classified the various forms of life as a way of seeking order in diversity. He created taxonomy to do this, thus giving headaches to many generations of students. His system of kingdom (plant or animal), phylum (backbone?), class (mammal?), order (carnivore?), family (cat, dog, ape), genus (orangutan or human), species and variety is still used today, only slightly modified from the original. One easy sentence used is King Philip Conquers Our Fifty Grateful States. Two others: King Phillip's Class Of Family Geniuses Specializes in Variety and Kind Phillip's Class Orders Family-sized Gino's Special.

Finally, Z.L. offers this hockey mnemonic: Kings Play Calgary On Friday. Gretzky Scores! Take your pick.

The 5 kingdoms (used to be only 2 or 3) are protoctista, plantae, fungi, monera, animalia. I embedded them into neurons by: Protecting Plants is Fun, Mon Ami, which sounds like a slogan for a French environmental activist group.

Kingdom, phylum

Keep Perverts Cleverly Occupied, For Gosh Sake!!
(Hallie Ray, Science Department, Rappahannock Community College Warsaw, VA)

Alimentary and Digestion

Ape Oil

The 5 sphincters found in the Alimentary Canal spell APE OIL: Anal, Pyloric, Lower Esophageal, Oddi, and Ileocecum. Also, try An Odd Pile Lowers the Ileocecum.

Cars, Piles, and the Bay of Fundy

"The CAR is FUN `til the BODY PILES" I remember the 5 layers of the GI stomach: Cardiac, Fundus, Body, and Pylorus. The fundus looks like the Bay of Fundy (to me, anyway), and the pylorus is where the food piles waiting for the sphincter to open.

Some are Ugly

The 4 lobes of the liver -- quadrate, left & right, caudate -- bring to mind the newspaper headline of the wheelchair-bound fellow who left a party right after his ugly girlfriend departed: QUAD LEFT RIGHT after Cow Date.

Dow Jones and the Cannibal

We are supposed to remember the lengths of the first 3 parts of the digestive system after the stomach, so I came up with the story of a cannibal who consumes a dozen people, including an ailing stock market analyst. It goes: One Ate 12, including an Ill Dow Jones referring of course to 1, 8, 12-feet lengths for the Ileum, Duodenum, Jejunum.

A really good device for recalling the bowels is to remember the market news: Dow Jones Industrial Averages Closing Stock Report whose initial letters also identify the Duodenum, Jejunum, Ileum, Appendix, Colon, Sigmoid, and Rectum. It misses the cecum but is otherwise unforgettable.

Quick Peritoneum Facts

The idea is to relate key letters of related parts. E.g., stomach and omentum (which lays over the stomach) share the letters OM.

    • The bacterium E. coli is found in Everybody's Colon
    • The Omentum covers the stomach
    • The Lesser Omentum holds the Liver and stomach
    • The Mesentery holds the small intestine
    • The mesoCOLON attaches the large intestine (colon) to the posterior abdominal wall
    • The PERITONEUM, holds PERson's Intestines To Nearest wall.

Oh! Curling turns my Stomach Inside Out

This is what a housewife might say in reaction to her husband's sports selection, but it is a student's way of knowing the 3 layers of muscle around the stomach. The layers are: Oblique, Circular, Longitudinal from inside to outside.

PPL's Tonsils

People (PPL for short) have 3 tonsils: Pharyngeal, Palatine, and Lingual.

Digestive Juices

Bile Breaks fat into Blobs.
Chief stomach enzyme is Pepsin ... remember Geronimo drinking Pepsi to help his digestion.
Parietal cells Produce Acid, Release Intrinsic factor, ET AL.

Causes of blood in the urine:

Given to me a few years back when I was in paramedic school, the six causes of blood in the urine: SHITTT -- Stones, Hematological Disorder, Infection, Tumor, Tuberculosis, Trauma. (thanks to Jason Cerovac <jcerovac@panix.com>)

Cell Biology

Charlie Foster and the Hot Blooded Whore

I learned the 8 functions of blood by the acrostic Old Charlie Foster Hates Women Having Dull Clothes for Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Food, Heat, Waste, Hormones, Disease, and Clotting but I thought it would be easier to recall if I used the first few letters of each word to make a new sentence. Thus: Waste Ox Cart Food Disease makes Clot in Heated Whore. Of course, I related the hormones to "the whore moans".

Quick Blood / Cardio facts

  • Tricuspid valve is in The Right Inside part of the heart.
  • Mitral is on Left side.
  • B Cells Bite virus, T Cells Torpedo sick cells.
  • You need more white blood cells after an immemorable weekend right? Then remember Lying Nude in Basement Early Monday has every white blood cell mentioned: Lymphocytes, Neutrophils, Basophils, Eosinophils, and Monocytes.

Centrioles

Centrioles are useful organelles which play a key role in cell division, namely pulling the chromosomes apart. Centrioles are ropes made of 9 groups of 3 fibres, a 9+3 arrangement. How to remember this? Count the number of letters in "centriole", then count the syllables. You should get 9 and 3.

Into Insulin

Insulin gets sugar Into cells. Without insulin, a person can die from lack of sugar. Romans noticed bees attracted to the urine of diabetics and coined the term "diabetes" to describe the overflow of sugar. There are actually two forms of diabetes: insipidus and mellitus, and are not related. D. insipidus is characterized by excessive and watery urine production and is due to low anti-diuretic hormone level, often caused by a tumor at the hypothalamus. D. mellitus is characterized by high volumes of sugary urine caused by low levels of insulin due to faulty pancreas. Physicians used to tell the difference between the two types of diabetes by dipping a finger into the patient's urine and tasting it -- if it was sweet, he had mellitus.

Tubules & Filaments

Eukaryotic cells are held together by microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments. I find it easy to remember what each does by matching key letters in each term with their respective duties. For example, Microfilaments are made of Actin, Move Food into MICROvilli, are responsible for Amoebal Movement, Cytoplasmic Streaming, and Muscular Contraction, and they Move Fast. Microtubules on the other hand, are made of TUBulin, Move Slowly, and make the Chromosome fibres.

La Jeune Fils & cell junctions

A Frenchman gawking at a young lady dressed in form-fitting jeans might say Des Tight Gaps and REALLY be thinking about the three types of cell junctions: Desmosome, Tight, and Gap. Desmosome junctions, like good blue jeans, will stretch and are found in the lungs amongst other sites. Tight junctions are useful for containing liquids and make up much of the GI tract. Gap junctions allow cytoplasm exchange between cells and help smooth muscle fibres contract in sequence.

Meiosis Explained

"Meiosis" comes from the Greek "to reduce". Meiosis is the process of reducing the number of chromosomes by half. Without this crucial step in the formation of gametes, our cells would burst with DNA. The goal of meiosis is to make egg and sperm cells with half the number of chromosomes (23 instead of 46) so the egg and sperm can produce a zygote with 46 chromosomes instead of 92. Meiosis appears to be mitosis happening twice without the G1, S1, G2 phases, thereby splitting the chromosomes in half before they replicate. The reduced number of chromosomes is called the haploid state.

In human sperm and egg manufacture, meiosis occurs much as mitosis, but instead of entering interphase after the cell splits, it swings back into prophase and runs through the process again and ends with two daughter cells, each holding 23 chromosomes (the haploid state). Ovum production is slightly different, producing only one ovum, whereas spermatogenesis makes four sperm cells. The difference occurs in telophase I, where the ovum shoves 23 chromosomes into a bud and gets rid of it (women, they hate competition!).

Skin and Tissues

I made up a mnemonic for the layers of the epidermis that worked for me. I started on the outside and worked my way in. This one uses the first 3 letters method: Cora Lucille's Granny Spins Baseballs are Corneum, Lucidum, Granulosum, Spinosum, Basele. Of course, you have to know that "Stratum" goes before each of the words. That part is easy.

Using the 3 first letter method for cranial bones: Ethel, the Parakeet, is Temporarily Occupied in Front of the Sphinx. Ethmoid, Parietal, Temporal, Occipital, Frontal, Sphenoid.

Another 3 first letter method for the cranial sutures: Saggy Lambs Squash the Coroner. Sagittal, Lambdoid, Squamous and Coronal.

Keep up the good work and the great page!

Anne Ferguson

Cancers

College Food

Students reciting College Lunch is Best or College boys Love Breasts know that 50% of cancers arise in three organs: Colon, Lungs, Breast.

4 Cancer Types

An easy way to relate four types of cancer to their cells of origin:

  • Sarcoma means cancer of the muscle, and is found in Connective and Muscle tissues. (C, M are letters in sarCoMa)
  • Carcinoma is cancer of epithelial tissue, and found in stomach and Intestines
  • Lymphoma & Leukemia are cancers of blood Leukocytes and Lymphocytes

Reproduction

Anna has Large Breasts

I recall the mitotic phases of a cell easily by reciting "I Proposed Marriage to Anna by Telephone before I Sighted her Cleavage". That of course indicates the mitotic phases: Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Telophase, and includes Cytokinesis (sighted) and cell Cleavage.

Understanding DNA/RNA

Although DNA and RNA are both nucleic acids, they do different jobs in the cell. Just remember that DNA Delivers the blueprint, RNA Reads it. Also, transfer RNA (tRNA) molecule is shaped like the letter T.

Mitosis & Meiosis

Easy way to tell the difference between the two types of reproduction at the cell level: mitosis makes Identical Twins, meiosis makes Egg and Sperm.

Brain Physiology

Memories of Girls' Bodily Parts

If you remember girls by their limbs, hip & the anus, hip & pussy, and ass, then you have the four memory centres: limbic, hypothalamus, hippocampus, association areas. BTW, memories are encoded at the neural synapses, usually by acetylcholine. The three key neurotransmitters of the limbic system are dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin ... remembered as Limb Donors.

Proprioception

Proprioception, the ability to discern feedback from exertion, is located in the Post-Parietal Sensory cortex. (see how the sounds of proprioception are in post-parietal sensory?)

Brain is a Mystery

The six parts of the brain are a mystery -- murder mystery -- with clues hidden all over, some backwards, some misspelt. We have murder spelt backwards (cerebrum) and skeletons in the celler (CEREbeLLum controls skeletal coordination). There's a detective PONdering M.O. (pons, medulla oblonga), poisoned mulleb wine (in cerebellum), and someone will die before long (Diencephalon), probably some dyslexic dim-brain (mid-brain). Furthermore, forensics have discovered "brain stem" is made up of letters from midBRAIN, pons, and Medulla oblonga. As well, C+D+E=F because Cerebrum + Diencephalon = Forebrain.

In reality, the 6 parts of the brain are: cerebrum, diencephalon, midbrain, pons, medulla oblongata, cerebellum. The major groups are forebrain (the most visible part), the brain stem (three parts piled atop the spinal cord and within the centre of the brain), and the cerebellum hanging off the back.

Maybe Cleopatra had No Brain?

Brain Cells Defended by ASP means the six valiant defenders of the cephalon are Blood-brain barrier, Cerebral spinal fluid, Dura mater, Arachnoid layer, Skull, and Pia mater.

Miscellaneous Brain Facts

  • Groups of nerve cell bodies are nuclei if they're in the CNS, and ganglia if in the peripheral nervous system. I remember the nuclei are in the CNS because they both have the letter C.
  • Grey matter is central to white matter in the spinal cord, because the white stuff is fat wrapped around and protecting the grey nerves.
  • What's the significance of glial cells? They nourish neurons, keep them from falling down, and provide tunnels for axons to route. In another perspective: Albert Einstein's brain had 30% more glial cells than average.
  • Four types of glial cells are ependymal, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. The mnemonic phrase is Every Asshole Owes Money.

Muscles

Horny Office Temps

Six factors triggering smooth muscle contraction are oxygen, temperature, ions, hormones, stretch, and acid level (pH). The acronym is "SHIP TO" but the mnemonic phrase is much better: Office Temp's Eye On Whore Stretching Ass. Notice ion is encoded as eye on in this example.

Crossbridge Cycle

The most basic part of the functional muscle is the cross bridge site where muscular contractions occur. The process of myosin heads attaching to actin, bending, then releasing takes four steps: ready, coupling, bending, letting go. A different chemical triggers each step thusly: hydrolysis makes Ready; Calcium ions cause the Coupling; ADP bends the myosin head; ATP lets go. Sounds like a new dance to me.

Calico Cats' Calm Milk

"Calico Cats' Calm Milk" is the pathway of smooth muscle contraction: Calcium Cation attaches to Calmodulin, which binds to Myosin Light Kinase.

Eye and Vision

Eyeball parts

  • The sclera, choroid layer, retina and vitreous humor (SCRV) + eyeballs + outer layer add up to: SCREW your eyes out
  • The lens, iris, pupil, cornea, aqueous humor, and ciliary body can be summed up in Len and Iris Acquire Puppies in the Corn Silk ... which is an old-fashioned way of saying they're screwing like dogs in the cornfield.
  • Fovea, the part of the retina most densely packed with cones, is almost an acronym FOr Very Acute vision
  • The cells of the retina -- rods, cones, ganglion, polar bodies -- are illustrated by Rods protected by a Gang of Lions and Polar Bears

Quick Auditory Senses

  • The four outer ear parts -- pinna, lobe, helix, meatus -- are easily expressed by a phrase of a lover turning on his girl He licks her helix like a lover pining for meaning
  • Middle ear parts -- tympanic membrane, ossicles, eustachian tube, oval and round windows -- are best compiled as Tim Observed Eunice's Tube from two Windows
  • Inner ear pieces -- cochlea, sacculus, utriculus, semi-circular canals, 8th cranial nerve -- are summed up in the phrase 8th Nervember, I dropped my cock, my sack, and uterus into the semi-circular canal
  • Cochlea sections -- vestibular, tympanic & cochlear canals, basilar membrane, organ of Corti -- might be remembered by thinking of Organ of Corti plays Bass Notes on CTV channel if you admit that channel is another word for canal ... CTV (Canadian Television) are the cochlea, tympanic and vestibular canals, bass notes is basilar membrane, and the organ is the organ of Corti of course.

Hormones

  • 8 major hormones from the pituitary gland spell GOAT-FLAP: gonadotropic, oxytocin, anti-diuretic, thyroid stimulating, follicle stimulating, leuteinizing, adrenocorticotropic, prolactin.
  • The pituitary gland has two lobes: anterior and posterior. 6 of the preceding hormones come from the anterior lobe; oxytocin and anti-diuretic are secreted from the posterior one.
  • The adrenal CORTex produces CORTisol, as well as androgens and aldosterone.
  • The adrenal Medulla secretes stress hormones Epinephrine and Norepinephrine and, as all women know, men are a source of stress, so it is no surprise that medulla-epinephrine-norepinephrine make the acronym MEN.
  • Adrenal Cortex hormones start with either of letters A, C -- just like adrenal cortex. They are: androgen, aldosterone, cortisol.
  • Ovaries are RIPE with hormones: relaxin, inhibin, progesterone, estrogen make the acronym RIPE.
  • Testes make TIM strong: "t.i.m." is acronym for the 3 hormones secreted by testes: testosterone, inhibin, and Mullerian-inhibiting hormones.
  • Pancreas makes PIGS: Pancreatic polypeptide, Insulin, Glucagon, and Somatostatin hormones.
  • Some secret gasses choke gipsy represent the 5 hormones of the (where do you think gas comes from?) gastrointestinal tract: somatostatin, secretin, gastrin, cholecystokinin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP).
  • Melatonin makes penis pineal? Melatonin secreted from pineal gland represses sex drive.
  • A Hypocritical Gun-Running Hero goes to Pit to release Long Hard Fish, but is turned off the the smell of Estrogen. That was the story of the hypothalamus secreting GnRH (Gun-running hero) to stimulate the Pituitary gland into releasing LH and FSH. This process is regulated by the levels of estrogen.
  • Products of the adrenal cortex, from outer to inner layer: "Salt, sugar, sex; the deeper you go, the sweeter it gets." (Salt=aldosterone, sugar=glucocorticoids, sex=sex hormones)
  • To remember how osmosis works, remember that "Particles suck." Thus, tonicity (hypertonic, hypotonic) refers to concentration of particles, and water always goes toward the area of more particles. (thanks to Hallie Ray, Science Department, Rappahannock Community College Warsaw, VA)

Metabolic Rates

I came up with a rhyming verse that helps me remember how our bodies get warm.When we feel cold, the hypothalamus reacts by sending TRH to the pituitary gland, which sends TSH to the thyroid, which secretes T3Tr to reach the mitochondria, wherein the glycolytic pathway consumes more energy and consequently the Electron Transport System consumes more oxygen ... and we get warmer. A more easy way to remember:

O Cold Hippo in the Pit
Thy Sugar Eats
Makes Carbon and Heats

Keywords: Hippo (hypothalamus), Pit (pituitary), Thy (thyroid), Sugar (glycolytic pathway), Eats (ETS), Carbon (carbon dioxide).