Lecture Schedule:   Human Physiology:  BIOS 350


Spring 2006


Lectures are given Monday and Wednesday each week from 2:00 - 3:50 pm in Room # 1710 Wood Hall.


Course Instructors:           John Spitsbergen, Ph.D.

                                        Associate Professor

Department of Biological Sciences

                                        Phone:  (387-2739), 

                                        email:              john.spitsbergen@wmich.edu


                                        John Jellies, Ph.D.


                                         Department of Biological Sciences

                                         Phone: (387-5623), email:



Textbook:  Sherwood, Human Physiology 5th Ed., Brooks/Cole

Course Website: 



Course Description:  An introduction to the functions and interrelationships of the human body organ systems with a description of various physiological malfunctions.  The laboratory provides experience with some types of clinical measurements, laboratory instrumentation, data organization and scientific writing.  This course is approved as a writing-intensive course and fulfills the baccalaureate-level writing requirement of the student's curriculum.  Prerequisites:  Junior or senior standing,  BIOS 250 and CHEM 370 and 371.  Human Anatomy, BIOS 211, is recommended.


Broad Goals of BIOS 350:  Students will develop understanding of the function of the body's organ systems and their roles in the maintenance of homeostasis.


Academic Honesty:  You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate (pp. 274-276) [Graduate (pp. 25-27)] Catalog that pertain to Academic Honesty. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.


Office hours for Dr. Spitsbergen:  Wednesday and Thursday between 10:30-11:30 in Room # 3022 Haenicke Hall.  If times are not convenient, individual appointments can be made by directly contacting Dr. Spitsbergen.

Office hours for Dr. Jellies:  Wednesday and Thursday between 10:30-11:30 in Room # 3060 Haenicke Hall.  If times are not convenient, individual appointments can be made by directly contacting Dr. Jellies.


Point Overview for class:


Lecture                                                 Item point value             Total points

6 short exams: (5 exams count towards grade, 1 exam will be dropped). Each exam = 80 points.             

                                                            80      X   5                              400


comprehensive final exam                             300                              300

3 puzzlers                                           30      X    3                             90

Term paper outline                                         50                                50

Final term paper                                             100                              100


Total Lecture Points                                                                         940 (61%)



2 exams  (not comprehensive)           140    X     2                            280

11 lab reports                                      20      X   11                            220

9 Pre-lab quizzes                                10      X     9                            90

Clean up assignment                                      10                                10


Total Lab Points                                                                                600 (39%)


Total points possible:                                                                        1540


Final grade assignments:


Percentage of points                                      Grade


100-90                                                                 A

89-85                                                                   BA

84-80                                                                   B

79-75                                                                   CB

74-70                                                                   C

69-65                                                                   DC

64-60                                                                   D

59 and below                                                        E


All scores of XX.5 and above will be rounded up.


Day     Date                               Topic                                           Sherwood, 5th ed.


                                    John Spitsbergen, Ph.D.


Wed.   1/11/06            Organization of course

                                    Introduction to physiology                             pp. 1-21




Mon.   1/16                 No Class!!  MLK Day


Wed.   1/18                 Plasma membrane and structure                    pp. 57-87



Labs start this week!


Mon.   1/23                 Generation of membrane potential                pp. 87-97

                                    Puzzler #1 handed out, due 2/8


Wed.   1/25                 Electrical signals:  Graded and                      pp. 99-117

                                    Action Potentials



Mon.   1/30                 Synapses and neural transmission                 pp. 117-131

Lecture exam #1 (40 - 2 pt. questions.  Total of 80 points)

(covering lectures 1/11, 1/18, 1/23, 1/25)


Wed.   2/1                   Central nervous system organization            pp. 133-177

                                    Somatic reflex arc                                          pp. 177-183




Mon.   2/6                   Autonomic nervous system                            pp. 237-245


Wed.   2/8                   Neuromuscular junction                                 pp. 246-255

                                    Puzzler #1 due at beginning of class



Mon.   2/13                 Muscle contraction                                         pp. 257-268

Lecture exam #2 (40 - 2 pt. questions.  Total of 80 points)

(covering lectures 1/30, 2/1, 2/6, 2/8)


Wed.   2/15                 Skeletal muscle mechanics                            pp. 269-276

                                    Muscle metabolism                                        pp. 277-288

Puzzler #2 handed out, due 3/13



Mon.   2/20                 Smooth and cardiac muscle physiology        pp. 288-301


Wed.   2/22                 Cardiac physiology                                        pp. 303-341




Mon.   2/27                 Spring Break

Wed.   3/1                   Spring Break




                                                John Jellies, Ph.D.


Mon.   3/6                   Blood vessels from arteries to capillaries     pp. 343-369

                                    Lecture Exam #3 (40 - 2 pt. questions.  Total of 80 points)

                                    (covering lectures from 2/13, 2/15, 2/20, 2/22)


Wed.   3/8                   Veins and blood pressure                               pp. 370-389




Mon.   3/13                 Respiratory system                                         pp. 459-483

                                    Puzzler #2 due at beginning of class                      


Wed.   3/15                 Gas exchange and transport                           pp. 483-509




Mon.   3/20                 The urinary system: reabsorption,                 pp. 511-537

                                    secretion and filtration

Lecture Exam #4 (40 - 2 pt. questions.  Total of 80 points)

(covering lectures from 3/6, 3/8, 3/13, 3/15)


Wed.   3/22                 Urine excretion and renal hormones              pp. 537-557




Mon.   3/27                 GI physiology; upper digestive system         pp. 591-615


Wed.   3/29                 GI physiology, digestion and absorption       pp. 615-645    

                                    Puzzler #3 handed out, due 4/10




Mon.   4/3                   General principles of endocrinology             pp. 667-699

Lecture Exam #5 (40 - 2 pt. questions.  Total of 80 points)

                                    (covering lectures from 3/20, 3/22, 3/27, 3/29)


Wed.   4/5                   Peripheral endocrine glands                           pp. 701-733

                                    Final Term paper due at beginning of class



Mon.   4/10                 Male reproductive physiology                       pp. 749-770    

                                    Puzzler #3 due at beginning of class          


Wed.   4/12                 Female reproductive physiology                   pp. 770-781    

                                    Lecture Exam #6 (40 - 2 pt. questions)

                                    (covering lectures from 4/3, 4/5, 4/10)




Mon.   4/17                 Pregnancy Physiology!                                  pp. 781-802



Wed.   4/19                 Mystery Lecture.                   




Mon.   4/24                 Final Exam     2:45 – 4:45 PM.


The final exam will be cumulative but weighted heavier on questions concerning female reproductive physiology and pregnancy.  The final exam will be given Monday, April 24th, 2006 from 2:45 – 4:45 pm.  It will consist of 100 - 2 pt. multiple choice questions and 4 - 25 pt. essay questions (each can be answered in a paragraph) for a total of 300 points.



4 essay questions will be selected by Drs. Spitsbergen and Jellies from the following choice of 10.   The answers to all questions can be found in Sherwood's "Human Physiology" fifth edition. All questions are obtained from "Points to Ponder."


1.         Considering the nature of negative-feedback control and the function of the respiratory system, what effect do you predict that a decrease in C02 in the internal environment would have on how rapidly and deeply a person breathes?  Points to ponder: pg 20 #1.


2.         Beck N. was apprehensive as she sat in the dentist's chair awaiting the placement of her first silver amalgam (the "filling" in a cavity in a tooth).  Before preparing the tooth for the amalgam by drilling away the decayed portion of the tooth, the dentist injected a local anesthetic in the nerve pathway supplying the region.  As a result, Becky, much to her relief, did not feel any pain during the drilling and filling procedure.  Local anesthetics block Na+ channels.  Explain how this action prevents the transmission of pain impulses to the brain.  Points to Ponder:  pg. 131 #6.


3.         Julio D., who had recently retired, was enjoying an afternoon of playing golf when suddenly he experienced a severe headache and dizziness.  These symptoms were quickly followed by numbness and partial paralysis on the upper right side of his body, accompanied by an inability to speak.  After being rushed to the emergency room, Julio was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke.  Based on the observed neurologic impairment, what areas of his brain were affected?  Points to Ponder:  pg. 183 #6.


4.         Explain why epinephrine, which causes arteriolar constriction (narrowing) in most tissues, is frequently administered in conjunction with local anesthetics.  Points to Ponder:  pg 155  #1.


5.         Through what regulatory mechanisms is a transplanted heart, which does not have any innervation, able to adjust the cardiac output to meet the body's changing needs?  Points to Ponder:  pg. 340, #4.


6.         The long-looped nephrons of animals adapted to survive with minimal water consumption, such as desert rats, have relatively much longer loops of Henle than humans have.  Of what benefit would these longer loops be?  Points to Ponder:  pg. 556, #1.


7.         At 18 years of age, 8-foot Anthony O. was diagnosed with gigantism caused by a pituitary tumor.  The condition was treated by surgically removing his pituitary gland.  What hormonal replacement therapy would Anthony need?  Points to Ponder:  pg. 699, #6.


8.         Why would an infection tend to raise the blood glucose level of a diabetic individual?  Points to Ponder:  pg. 746, #3.


9.         What type of sexual dysfunction might arise in men taking drugs that inhibit sympathetic nervous system activity as part of the treatment for high blood pressure?  Points to Ponder:  pg. 802, #3.


10.       Low on the list of popular animals are vampire bats, leeches and ticks, and yet these animals may someday indirectly save your life.  Scientists are currently examining the "saliva" of these blood-sucking creatures in search of new chemicals that might limit cardiac muscle damage in heart attack victims.  What do you suspect the nature of these sought-after chemicals is?  Points to Ponder:  pg. 410 #3.