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Johann Kuppers 301189546

BPK 105: Assignment 1

Module 1: #3

Define the term organ system. Describe three of the eleven organ systems in the body by describing their main
function and the organs that they consist of. (4 marks)

-Several organs with related functions, that work in concert to perform a specific set of broader functions

-Integumentary system: -protects internal organs from damage, temperature regulation, water
retention, assists with vitamin D production
-consists of skin, hair, nails, sweat glands

-Digestive system: -breaks down food into molecules that can be absorbed and used by the body
(mechanical/chemical breakdown), nutrient absorption, waste excretion
-consists of mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestine, accessory organs

-Endocrine system: -uses hormones to regulate various functions including growth, development,
reproduction, metabolism, etc.
-consists of pituitary, adrenal glands, other glands/ducts that release hormones

Module 1: #7

Recently evidence has been found on Mars to indicate there were once bodies of water there. Describe four
important properties of water that are essential to the functioning of living organisms. (6 marks)

1. Protection: -water lubricates and protects organs from damage


2. Temperature stabilization: -water is able to move around and H-bonds can be broken thus, high heat
absorption while retaining a stable temperature
3. Facilitates chemical reactions: -water provides the aqueous environment needed to dissolve inert
substances into ions which participate in biologically relevant chemistry
4. Transport: -water acts as a transport medium, moving nutrients and wastes around the body, such as in the
blood, which is mostly water

Module 1: #8

Compare and contrast the structure and functional roles of carbohydrates and lipids. Include a general description
of these organic molecules in your discussion. (5 marks)

Carbohydrates: -based on carbon and water, hence carbo hydrate.


-have a typical ratio of 2Hs and 1O to 1C
-retain energy, in the form of mono, di and polysaccharide sugars
-relatively structurally simple
-usually polar, due to -OH groups

Lipids: -based on C/H/O as well, but much less O than carbohydrates typically have
-usually composed of glycerol and up to three fatty acid tails
Johann Kuppers 301189546

-also retain energy, but much more energy dense than carbohydrates, due mainly to
extensive saturation with Hydrogen
-more structurally complex and heterogeneous than carbohydrates
-vast majority are non-polar, although certain components (ie: head groups), may be
polar
-also have structural and regulatory roles (ie: membranes and hormones)
-may contain other elements, such as P and N

Module 2: #4

Describe the functions of each of the following organelles:


Secretory Vesicle, Lysosome, Mitochondria, Cell Membrane and Golgi Apparatus. (5 marks)

Secretory vesicle:
- membrane bound particles that carry substances from the Golgi to the cell membrane, for exocytosis
from the cell

Lysosome:
- larger membrane bound organelle which contains hydrolytic enzymes which break down material
brought into the cell

Mitochondria:
- organelles which are responsible for energy production; converting metabolites of glucose and other
energy molecules into ATP via aerobic respiration

Cell Membrane:
-The selectively-permeable bi-lipid membrane surrounding the cell, whose transport mechanisms dictate
what may or may not enter/exit the cell

Golgi apparatus:
- organelle with pancake like stacks of convoluted membrane compartments, which receives proteins
and lipids from rough ER, modifies them (adds sugar groups, etc), and packages them into secretory
vesicles for export from the cell

Module 2: #6

Sodium ions can move through the membrane into the cell by diffusion through channels, but require active
transport to move out of the cell. Describe these methods of movement across the membrane and clearly describe
why we observe these differences for sodium movement. (4 marks)

There is a concentration gradient for sodium across cell membranes, in which a higher sodium concentration
exists outside of the cell than inside of it. This concentration is largely maintained by sodium potassium
pumps, which use ATP to perform active transport, pumping out three sodium ions for every 2 potassium ions,
which are imported. Once this concentration gradient is established, sodium outside the cell freely flows
down its concentration gradient, back into the cell. This process provides free energy, which is harnessed by
other symporters and antiporters to import/export other molecules. The combination of these two processes
is collectively known as secondary active transport.

Module 2: #8

Provide an overview of the process of transcription. Explain what would happen if one nucleotide within the DNA
sequence was changed. Why is this potentially important to physiological function? (4 marks)
Johann Kuppers 301189546

Transcription is the process by which DNA is transcribed into mRNA. This process involves many specific
proteins which initiate, prime, and catalyze this complex reaction. The central protein responsible for the
actual reading and transcription of the DNA into mRNA, is known as RNA polymerase. This large protein moves
along the DNA with an ensemble of associated proteins, uncoiling the DNA and transcribing it to single
stranded mRNA as it moves along. Once the RNA has been copied, the DNA again forms a double helix behind
the transcription machinery. If one nucleotide in the DNA sequence was changed, this could change the
eventual codon this base corresponds to (along with the two adjacent bases). This codon change would end
up inserting a different amino acid during translation, leading to a protein with a modified shape. In the worst
case scenario, a single point mutation such as this could lead to dire consequences, which include diseases
such as Cystic Fibrosis. (although point mutations typically do not have such dire effects, and usually more
than one is needed for physiological consequences)

Module 3: #4

What is the role of the sodium potassium exchange pump in an excitable muscle cell? What would happen if the
sodium potassium exchange pump stopped working? (3 marks)

The sodium potassium exchange pump is responsible for maintain the charge difference across the resting
membrane, by continually pumping sodium out and potassium in. If this pump failed, homeostasis of the
membrane potential would no longer be maintained, and the ion distribution would across the membrane
would reach an equilibrium state with no electro-chemical gradient. Thus, no action potentials would be able
to travel along this neuron/muscle cell.

Module 3: #5

1. Draw and label a neuromuscular junction. (4 marks)


Johann Kuppers 301189546

Module 3: #9

Describe cross bridge movement during muscle contraction. Begin with action potential in the muscle and end with
relaxation. What happens if ATP is not available? (6 marks)

-The action potential is carried through T-tubules, which activate the sarcoplasmic reticulum to release
Calcium into the sarcolemma
-Calcium binds to troponin, which displaces tropomyosin, exposing Myosin binding sites
-Myosin heads bind to the exposed sites on the actin, forming cross-bridges and releasing phosphate.
-Bound myosin heads release ADP, and the myosin heads contract, sliding the actin along the myosin
myofibrils and contracting the sarcomere (Power stroke).
-ATP binds the myosin head, which releases from actin, severing the cross bridge.
-The bound ATP is converted into ADP and phosphate, which provides the energy for myosin to return to its
resting position, primed for the next muscle contraction.

-If ATP is unavailable, cross bridges will form and power stroke will occur, but the cross bridges will not
release. This can result in Tetanus, in which the muscles remain contracted, resulting in damage.