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Introductory A&P Laboratory for Distance Learning

An Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory for Distance Learning, written by Denise Cusano and Lucy Kaliski with the support of a National Academic Advisory Team. This laboratory is well-suited for a non-majors or high school AP class. Additional information is provided under the “How to Adopt Course & Print Materials” tab below. To request access to an electronic review copy of the laboratory manual or to request a content list for the lab kit, please contact Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

For access to Coast Learning Systems’ online course preview site, please complete a Preview Request Form.

Lesson Titles and Descriptions

1. Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology

From the tiniest cells to the largest organ systems, the human body is a complex organism that is capable of both power and grace. When we think of a ballerina, we might conjure images of grace and fluidity. But such elegance relies upon the strength and power of the structures within the body. When we study the human body, we have to ask ourselves not only “How is it structured?” but also “Why does it work that way?” The human body’s form and function are both complementary and interrelated—they compromise in many ways. These are questions that you should ask yourself in every lesson—the relation between form and function is a central theme throughout this course.

As anatomists came to better understand the structure and function of the human body, they began to develop a common set of terminology. They developed a conventional way to view the body and divide it into portions so they could have a standard reference when observing, discussing, and drawing the human body. This common language enabled a better understanding of what the body looks like and how it functions, thus enabling medical practitioners to more effectively identify diseases, injuries, and treatments.

2. Basic Chemistry & the Cellular Level of Organization

During the initial stages of life, one male cell and one female cell combine and set the stage for cell division. Cells continue to divide and differentiate and cause us to grow—our bones get longer and our muscles and organs get bigger. Because our tissues are made of cells, and our organs made of tissues, more cells must be created in order for us to develop and grow. Through a delicate balance of chemistry and cell division, a mature human being develops and is ultimately comprised of about 75 trillion cells. In this lesson, you’ll learn about how atoms play a part in the chemistry that makes life possible and the ways that cells function and divide.

3. Tissues & the Integumentary System

As you learned in Lesson 1, there are different levels of organization in the human body—from the cellular level to the organism level. Tissues are comprised of a collection of cells that have a common function; organs are comprised of two or more common tissues, and organ systems are comprised of organs and their accessory structures.

In Lesson 2, you studied the chemical and cellular levels of organization. In this lesson, you’ll further your study of organization and learn about the four types of tissues in the human body. At the next level of organization, we’ll study the largest organ in the human body—the skin. Finally, you’ll begin your study of an organ system—the integumentary system, which contains the skin and its accessory organs.

4. The Skeletal System

Although the skeleton provides a framework for the body, it is hardly rigid. Bones are living tissues that actively contribute to
maintaining homeostasis. Healthy bones are anything but dry or brittle; they are dynamic components of our bodies that are
capable of growth, change, and repair.

The skeletal system consists of bones and other connective tissues that provide support and flexibility. Bones work together with
muscles to produce controlled, yet precise movements. In this lesson, you’ll learn about bone tissue, the skeleton, and its supporting tissue. In Lesson 5, you’ll learn how skeletal muscles work with bone to provide strength, power, and grace to the human form.

5. The Muscular System

When we think of muscles, we might conjure images of bulging biceps, flexing hip flexors, and taut triceps, but there are actually three types of muscle tissue in the human body. Our muscles not only support us and allow us to move, but they also pump our blood and move food through our digestive system.

6. The Nervous System

This lesson provides a glimpse into the human neural network we call the nervous system. We can compare the nervous system to a highly complicated computer network. If we think of the brain as that central processing unit, or the command center, we can visualize a complex network of nerves and organs emanating from it. The network monitors the internal and external environment and sends information about those conditions to the brain, which in turn processes the information and sends signals back to the rest of the body to perform an action or to regulate body functions.

7. The Senses

Every day, our senses are barraged with sounds, images, and smells. We use our senses to receive, and in some cases filter out, all the sensory information that we encounter. But sensations go beyond those that we can taste, smell, see and hear. They also include our sense of balance, or touch, and the awareness of our body’s position.

8. The Endocrine System

All animals rely on a system of checks and balances to maintain homeostasis. The endocrine system, in conjunction with the nervous system, regulates bodily functions based on the internal and external environments. Both systems act as communication networks: the nervous system uses nerve impulses carried on nerve fibers to rapidly communicate; in contrast, the endocrine system uses hormones carried in the blood for slower, more sustained communication.

9. The Cardiovascular System

Throughout our lives, we are continually consuming oxygen. Our bodies need oxygen to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the cell the ability to do work. We take in oxygen through our lungs, but it is the cardiovascular system that delivers that oxygen to all the cells in our bodies. Each day, the heart pumps about 7,500 liters of blood through a network of blood vessels. That network of blood vessels, along with the heart and the blood itself, combine to make up the cardiovascular system.

The cardiovascular system is responsible for the transport of nutrients, hormones, gases, and wastes to and from the cells in the body. It also plays a critical role in thermal regulation. Keeping the cardiovascular system functioning well is critical to maintain good health; the lifestyle choices that we make can have a huge impact on our cardiovascular condition.

10. Blood, the Lymphatic System & Immunity

Blood is the fluid of life—all of our systems depend on the transportation of oxygen, hormones, nutrients, and wastes. Blood
transports oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and carbon dioxide from body tissues to the lungs. Blood carries nourishment
from the digestive system and hormones from glands throughout the body. It transports disease-fighting substances to the tissues
and waste to the kidneys and lungs.

The lymphatic system distributes immune cells and other factors throughout the body. It also interacts with the blood and the cardiovascular system to drain fluid from cells and tissues. The lymphatic system contains immune cells that protect the body against foreign invaders.

11. The Respiratory System

Cells in our bodies need oxygen for the production of ATP, and the by-product of that energy production — carbon dioxide — must be removed from the body. While the network of blood vessels in the cardiovascular system transports these gases, oxygen must continuously be replenished as our cells use it. Likewise, carbon dioxide must be constantly eliminated to help maintain homeostasis. This exchange of gases is the primary role of the respiratory system, but not the only role.

12. The Digestive System, Nutrition & Metabolism

Every cell in the body needs nutrients to survive and do work. The nutrients come from food, which is physically and chemically broken down in the digestive system. After the food is digested, the nutrients pass into the bloodstream and supply the body’s cells with the nutrients they need.

13. The Urinary System

Our bodies take nutrients from food and use them to maintain all bodily functions. After the body uses what it needs from thefood and drink, waste products from digestion and cellular metabolism need to be eliminated. The urinary system works with the respiratory system, integumentary system, and digestive system to excrete wastes and keep electrolytes and water in the body balanced.

14. The Reproductive Systems

While individuals don’t need to reproduce to survive, reproduction is essential to continue the human species. Like any other living organism, humans seek to procreate, and for some, there may be no greater affirmation than the birth of their offspring. In order to procreate naturally, both the male and the female reproductive systems must be functioning normally. If they are not, however, medical intervention may help a couple to conceive.

National Academic Advisory Team

Frank Baker, M.A., Golden West College
Farah Bennani, Ph.D., Front Range Community College
Mary Teresa Brandon, M.S., New Mexico State University/Doña Ana Community College
Lee F. Famiano, M.S., Cuyahoga Community College
Kimberly D. Harding, Ph.D., Colorado Mountain College
Lucy Kaliski, M.S., Orange Coast College
Anita N. Naravané, M.D., St. Petersburg College
Margaret (Betsy) Ott, Ph.D., Tyler Junior College
Mitzie Sowell, Ph.D., Pensacola Junior College
Dennis Tabor, M.P.H., M.S., Cowley County Community College
Yong Tang, Ph.D., Front Range Community College
Remon Wahba, M.D., Coastline Community College
Jinling Wang, Ph.D., Coastline Community College
Ronda Wimmer, O.M.D., M.S., Golden West College and California State University, Long Beach
Marcus Young Owl, Ph.D, California State University, Long Beach

On-Camera Experts

Craig Baker, M.D., University of Southern California
Frank Baker, M.A.,Professor of Anatomy, Golden West College
Marnie Baker Blakey, M.D.
Danika Bannasch, D.V.M., Ph.D., Veterinary Geneticist, Associate Professor, University of California, Davis
Richard Boyd, Ph.D., Director, MISCL
James Bradley, Ph.D., Lecturer in the History of Medicine, The University of Melbourne
Otto Braendli, M.D., Pulmonary Physician, Zurcher Hohenklinik Wald, ZHW Sleep Lab
Ann Chidgey, Ph.D., Researcher, MISCL, Monash University
David Diaz, M.D., Reproductive Surgeon, Medical Director, WCFC
Sheryl M. Flynn, P.T., Ph.D., Neuroscientist & Game Developer
John Furness, Ph.D., Anatomist & Cell Biologist, University of Melbourne
Adam Glatt, C.S., Sommelier
James Hicks, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Nathan Jeffery, Ph.D., Anatomist, Sr. Lecturer, University of Liverpool
Lucy Kalisky, M.S., Physiologist

Candy McCabe, M.S.C., Ph.D., Consultant Nurse
Rob Medcalf, Ph.D., Researcher, ACBD, Associate Professor, Monash University
Douglas Mest, Ph.D., Cosmetic Physician, Medical Director, Tat2begone Medical Group, Inc.
Kevin M. Middleton, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Department of Biology, California State University, San Bernardino
Wayne Morrison, M.D., Surgeon
Amy Neben, M.A., 5th Grade Teacher, St. John’s Lutheran School
Vinh Nguyen, M.D., Physician, Memorial Prompt Care
Milo Puhan, M.D., Epidemiologist, University of Zurich
Pekka Puska, M.D., Ph.D., Director General, KTL, National Public Health Inst.
Albert “Skip” Rizzon, Ph.D., Research Scientist, University of Southern California
Daniela Rubin, Ph.D., Exercise Physiologist, Assistant Professor, California State University, Fullerton
Rodney Sinclair, M.D., Surgeon, St. Vincent Hospital
Rob Stewart, Conservationist/Filmmaker, Sharwater Productions
Alex Suarez, Medical Didg Inventor
Ronda Wimmer, O.M.D., M.S., Human Anatomy & Physiology, California State University, Long Beach, Golden West College
Jack Youngren, Ph.D., Associate. Adjunct Professor of Physiology , University of California, San Francisco

An Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology is well organized with good flow from one topic to the next."
Matthew Abbott, Des Moines Area Community College


Instructors can customize the course by making learning assets open or closed to student view, add learning assets such as new assignments, discussion forums, web research activities, and extra credit work. Instructors also have the option to request a “copy” of their prior course each term. Finally, there is the option of turning on automatic student tracking that simplifies the evaluation process.

How to Adopt Course & Print Materials

There is no fee paid by an institution or instructor when this distance learning laboratory is adopted. Each student is required to purchase a lab kit, which includes the lab manual, one-time use Access Code, and lab materials. To use the online component that accompanies the lab, instructors complete an Online Course Request Form prior to the start of each term, and a course shell will be provided by the date requested. Instructors also have the option to request a “copy” of their prior course each term.

This online course is hosted and provided in a Moodle® (LMS) shell, and instructors can link from their institution’s LMS or send their students directly to the class URL. Coast Learning Systems provides instructor and student technical support via an electronic help desk, which is monitored 7 days a week. Our goal is to make sure you enjoy teaching with our content and that your students have an engaging and positive learning experience.

The Online Course Request Form should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of your class.

Introductory Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory for Distance Learning
Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, ISBN: 978-0-7575-7975-2

This is a kit that, in addition to the Laboratory Manual and Access Code, includes hazardous materials. As such, this item is not returnable and may only be shipped via ground transportation, not via air. If you have questions regarding the purchase or shipping of this item, please contact Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, (800) 228-0810.