Cool Stuff.

Day 2 of NPLEX prep school!

More fun times learning all about the heart, musculature, the lung, muscles, and bones.  We covered a ton today (yikes!), but it all the material got me all excited about the learning I've done in the past two years.  
I am so grateful for all the cool stuff I've learned!

Some cool stuff from today:

1) Three muscles are required to close the jaw (aka the TMJ) while only two are required to open it, due to our need to chomp down forcefully on food (biting into tough almonds, chewing steak, gnawing on an apple, etc).

2) Alcohol should be avoided if you have an inflammatory or chronic joint problem.  Why? Because alcohol dehydrates and anything that removes water is bad because joints are made of watery sacs.  When the sacs aren't well hydrated and aren't their usual spongy, impact-resisting self, the joint problem will be increased (i.e. increased pain or decreased movement).

3) We have chemoreceptors in our brain and they detect the level of acid in our blood.  When our blood is more acidic, it means that it contains more carbon dioxide then oxygen.  This isn't a good ratio!  So the chemoreceptors tell the lungs to increase the respiratory rate, to bring more oxygen into the body through inhalation and to get rid of the excess carbon dioxide through exhalation.  Thus, without even knowing it, your chemoreceptors have made you breath a bit faster or deeper to correct the internal acidic-blood problem!

4) Vitamin K is the vitamin that is responsible for blood clotting.  It is named vitamin "K" because in German, coagulation (i.e. clotting) is spelled Koagulation.

5) Lactoferrin is a scavenger molecule in the body that acts to protect the body's iron levels.  Bacteria and viruses love iron, so when the body is infected, lactoferrin runs around and scoops up all the iron floating around in the blood to protect it/conserve it from the iron-hungry pathogens.

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