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Circulatory System

Circulatory System Part 1:

1. How do the structures of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets aid in their function?
Red blood cells (erythrocytes) - specialized for oxygen transport (44% of bloods volume) (origin
red bone marrow)
- Oxygen carrying capacity of blood depends of number of erythrocytes present and
amount of hemoglobin each red blood cell contains
- Mature cell is disk-shaped with no nucleus
- Each cell packed with 280 million molecules of protein hemoglobin
- Large quantities of oxygen can be transported in blood because hemoglobin has
special properties that allows it to chemically bind with oxygen
- Hemoglobin releases oxygen in oxygen-needing cells
- Also transports some of CO2 waste from cells (after CO2 diffuses into blood,
enters red blood cells, where a small amount binds to hemoglobin)
White blood cells (leukocytes) - part of bodys response to infection (1% of bloods volume)
- All white blood cells have nuclei and appear to be colourless
- Some leukocytes attack pathogens by phagocytosis ( engulf and destroy pathogens), cells
that carry out phagocytosis are called phagocytes
- Five types, fight infections and cancer
- Granulocytes (grainy appearance of their cytoplasm, origin red bone marrow))
- Neutrophils - most abundant leukocytes and found in the body tissues
of an animal as well as in the blood
- Eosinophils - found in the mucous lining of the digestive and respiratory
- Basophils - aid in immunity by secreting substances that attract
phagocytes and destroy pathogens
- Agranulocytes (smooth cytoplasm, origin in thymus, red bone marrow)
- Lymphocytes - produce proteins called antibodies that incapacitate
pathogens and allow them to be easy detected and destroyed
- Monocytes - circulate in the bloodstream for only a few days before
they become specialized as macrophages, which destroy bacteria
Platelets (thrombocytes) -membrane bound fragments of cells that form when larger cells in the
bone marrow break apart (origin red bone marrow, lungs)
- Do not contain nuclei and they break down in the blood within 7 to 10 days after they
have formed
- Key role in clotting blood (prevents excessive blood loss after an injury)
- When blood vessel is broken, it releases platelet-attracting chemicals to site of
- Platelets rupture and release chemicals that combine with other chemicals in
the plasma to produce the enzyme thromboplastin
- As long as calcium ions are present, thromboplastin reacts with prothrombin
(protein made by the liver) to produce another enzyme called thrombin
- Thrombin reacts with fibrinogen (another plasma protein) to produce fibrin
- Fibrin is an insoluble protein that forms a fibrous mesh over the site of injury which
prevents the loss of blood cells and eventually solidifies to form a clot

2. Why is blood considered to be a tissue?

- Blood is sometimes called a connective tissue because it links all the cells and organs in
the body. It is considered to be a tissue even though it appears to be a fluid. In fact,
consists of two distinct elements: a fluid portion (plasma, 55%) and a solid portion
(formed portion, consists of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets)

3. What is the function of valves in the heart and veins?

- The heart has four valves inside it. These valves ensure that blood flows in the correct
- Atria and ventricles are separated from each other by two valves called
atrioventricular valves
- Right valve is called the tricuspid valve (made out of 3 valves)
- Left valve called the bicuspid valve, or mitral valve (made out of 2
- Other two valves are called semilunar valves because of their half-moon shape

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of capillaries being composed of a single layer of
- Capillaries are small in order to allow red blood cells to travel through them in single file.
This aids in microcirculation. They are thin in order to allow oxygen, carbon dioxide,
nutrients and wastes to be exchanged through their walls (more efficient). It decreases
the rate at which the blood flows, which allows more time for diffusion of substances.
- Capillary beds are easily destroyed. High blood pressure or any impact, such as that
caused by a punch, can rupture the thin-layered capillary. Bruising occurs when blood
rushes into the spaces between tissues.

5. Distinguish between vasoconstriction and vasodilation

- Vasoconstriction - a decrease in the flow of blood by narrowing or constricting the
blood vessels near the surface of the skin (reduces amount of heat dissipated from the
skin, helps body conserve heat)
- Vasodilation - an increase of blood flow by widening or dilating the vessels (helps the
body lose heat more rapidly)
- Temperature regulation by blood

6. Which side/chamber of the heart is more muscular? Why?

- The left ventricle has a thicker muscle wall than the right ventricle. This is because the
left ventricle has to pump blood all the way around the body, but the right ventricle only
has to pump it to the lungs
7. Why is the cardiac muscle unique?
- The walls of the heart are made of a unique type of muscle called cardiac muscle.
Cardiac muscle cells are arranged in a network that allows the heart to contract and
relax rhythmically and involuntarily without becoming fatigued.

8. What is the difference between pulmonary, systemic and cardiac circulation?

- Pulmonary circulation - the path that blood follows from the heart to the lungs and
back to the heart
- Systemic circulation - the path that blood follows from the heart to the body and back
to the heart
- Cardiac circulation - the movement of blood through the heart tissues

Circulatory System Part 2

1. In what sense is blood flow in the body one-way?
- Blood flows through two different main vessels (or highways). Both vessels only allow
blood to flow through in one direction. One of these vessels is called arteries, and they
take blood in a one-way direction AWAY from the heart. The other is called veins, and
they take blood in a one-way direction TOWARDS the heart. These blood vessels never
switch places, when blood is exchanged it is exchanged in smaller blood vessels called
capillaries which allow for blood to always remain flowing in the same direction.In what
sense is blood flow in the body one-way

2. Explain the differences in the strength of the pulse in the carotid artery (neck area) and the
brachial artery (wrist area)?
- Strength of the pulse in carotid artery > brachial artery
- Carotid arteries have a larger diameter so they have a stronger feel to it

3. How is body temperature regulated by the blood

- Temperature regulation involves balancing the loss of heat from the body with the
production of heat by changing the volume of blood flowing near the body surface
- Blood vessels in skin can expand or constrict
- Vasodilation: an increase in blood flow by widening or dilating the vessels
- Occurs when body becomes hot, helps body to lose heat more rapidly
- Vasoconstriction: decrease in the flow of blood by narrowing or constricting the blood
vessels near the surface of the skin
- Reduces amount of heat dissipated from the skin
- Controlled by a number of factors:
- Triggered by brain in response to changes in blood pressure
- Increased metabolic activity
- Other substances e.g. alcohol and nicotine
- System works because deep arteries and veins entering and leaving bodys extremities
lie adjacent to one another warmer blood exchanges heat with cooler blood
- Blood returns through surface vein or deep vein
4. Describe the pathway of the electrical signal used in heart contraction
- Sinoatrial (SA) node: the modified heart cells in the right atrium that spontaneously
generate the rhythmic signals that cause the atria to contract
- Atrioventricular (AV) node: the specialized heart cells near the junction of the atria and
ventricles that cause the ventricles to contract
- Normal heart sound is a repeated double beat, made when different heart valves close
- First sound: closing of AV valves, as blood is pumped from the atria to the
- Second sound: closing of the semilunar valves, as blood is pumped from the
ventricles into the arteries

5. What is an electrocardiogram? Why is it used?

- Electrocardiogram (ECG): a record of the electrical impulses generated by a beating
- measure the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat
6. How is blood pressure measured?
- Blood pressure: the force that blood exerts against the walls of blood vessels
- Systolic pressure: the pressure generated in the circulatory system when the ventricles
contract and force blood into the pulmonary arteries and the aorta
- Phase during which occurs = systole
- Diastolic pressure: the pressure in the pulmonary arteries and aorta drops and when
the ventricles relax fill with blood
- Lowest pressure before the ventricles contract
- Phase during which occurs = diastole
- Blood pressure is usually measured at an artery in the arm, using a sphygmomanometer

Respiratory System
Respiratory System Part 1
1. Differentiate between breathing and cellular respiration
- Breathing: first stage of respiration, involves two basic processes
- Inspiration: breathing in, or inhaling, moves air from outside the body into lungs
- Expiration: breathing out, or exhaling, movies air from lungs to outside of the
- Cellular respiration: fourth and final stage of respiration
- Series of energy-releasing chemical reactions that take place within the cells
- Provides energy for all cellular activities

2. Describe similarities and differences between the bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli. How is each
structure well suited for its purpose in the lungs?
- Bronchi: passageway that branches from the trachea to the lungs
- Two tubes, one bronchus enters each lung, contain cartilage rings
- Bronchioles: the passageway that branches from each bronchus inside the lung into
increasingly smaller, thin-walled tubes
- Do not contain cartilage rings
- Smooth muscle of the walls can decrease its diameter

- Alveoli: a tiny sac, with a wall that is one cell thick, found at the end of a bronchiole;
respiratory gases are exchanged in this sac
- Each alveolus is surrounded by capillaries
- Thin wall permits rapid gas exchange

3. What is the function of the cartilage rings of the trachea?

- The function of the cartilaginous rings of the trachea in respiratory system is to stabilize
the trachea and keep it rigid while allowing the trachea to expand and lengthen when
the person breathes.

4. What is the function of mucus and cilia in the nasal passage?

- Mucus is secreted by a thin membrane covering the turbinate tubes
- Moistens the air and traps particles of dust, bacteria and other foreign matter
- Cilia have waving, hair-like projections that move the trapped particles into the nose or
throat where they can be expelled by sneezing or coughing

5. What is the term given to the thin membrane that surrounds the lung? What is its function?
- Each lung is surrounded by a thin, flexible, double-layered sac, called the p
- Outer layer is attached to the inside of the chest wall
- Inner layer covers the lungs
- Thin space between the two layers contains a lubricating fluid that allows the
layers to slide easily against each other during the movements of breathing
6. How does the larynx produce sounds?
- The vocal cords consist of two folds of membrane stretched across the larynx
- During normal breathing, muscular tissue holds the vocal cords apart, allowing air to
pass freely through the larynx
- To make sounds, the vocal cords are moved closer together pressure from air
expelled from lungs causes the cords to vibrate
- Pitch of sound varies with length of vocal cords
- Longer cord = lower sound
- Shorter cord = higher sound

7. How does blood transport oxygen and carbon dioxide?

- During respiration both O2 and CO2 are transported via bloodstream
- 99% of O2 that reaches cells is carried by hemoglobin (iron-containing protein in
red blood cells)
- Remaining 1% of O2 is dissolved in the watery blood plasma
- When CO2 leaves the tissue cells and diffuses into the capillaries, it enters the
red blood cells
- 23% of CO2 is carried in the blood by hemoglobin
- 77% is carried in the blood fluids
- When CO2 reaches the lungs, it diffuses into the air in the alveoli and is

Respiratory System Part 2

1. How does air pressure control the functioning of the lungs? What is the role of the diaphragm?
- Inhalation:
- External intercostal muscles (rib muscles) + diaphragm contract, and diaphragm
moves down
- Expands rib cage upward + outward and chest cavity moves downward
- Chest cavity is airtight volume increases pressure decreases in thoracic
cavity (chest cavity)
- Lungs sensitive to pressure
- Pressure in cavity decreases walls of lungs drawn outward into the
chest cavity + expand air pressure in lungs lower than air pressure
outside body air rushes into lungs
- Exhalation:
- Diaphragm + rib muscles relax reduces volume of chest cavity lung
volume decreases lung pressure increases air moves from lungs to
external environment
- A change in air pressure causes air to move from an area of high pressure to an area of
lower pressure

2. Why is inspiration considered the active phase of breathing and expiration the passive phase?
- In inspiration, the muscles contract
- In expiration, the muscles relax