Boom-boom… boom-boom… goes the heart.
- The heart is a muscle that pumps approximately 5 litres (1.3 gallons) of blood around the human body every minute..
- The Greek word for ‘heart’ is kardia, which is where the word ‘cardiac’, and other heart related medical words like ‘cardiology’ come from.
- The human heart beats an average of 72 beats per minute, and will beat approximately 38 million beats in a year, although animal beatings can range from 20 to 600 beats per minute.
- The human heart is typically 250 to 350 grams (9 to 12 pounds) in mass, depending on gender, and is approximately the size of a fist.
- The heart has four chambers and valves that control the flow of blood and that the blood travels through before it enters veins or arteries.
- The job of the heart is to send deoxygenated blood to the lungs, where it becomes oxygenated and then pumped around the body.
- The valves of the heart are said to have been first discovered in the 300s BC.
- It was originally thought that emotions were formed in the heart, but later it was discovered emotions were formed in the brain.
- Smoking and eating unhealthy foods can damage the heart but eating healthy foods and exercising makes it stronger.
- An average of 7.2 million people in the world die annually due to heart disease, such as cardiac arrest.
Heart, 2013, National Geographic, <http://science.nationalgeographic.com.au/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/heart-article/>
Heart, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart>
Don’t upset your stomach!
- The stomach is an organ that is hollow and consists of muscle, and is used in the process of digesting food by breaking it down and destroying any bacteria.
- The stomach is located in the middle of a human, above the small intestine and below the esophagus, and when empty, it is shaped like a letter ‘J’, and is approximately 25 cm (10 inch) long.
- The stomach creates protein enzymes, named protease, and acid to help break down and digest food.
- The job of the stomach is to send partially digested food to the intestines so nutrients can be extracted, and it also holds food, ready to be received by the intestines.
- A typical adult stomach has an empty volume of 45 to 75 millilitres (1.5 to 2.5 fluid ounces) which enlarges to generally contain 1 litre (0.25 gallon) of food, however it can hold up to 2-3 litres (0.5 – 0.8 gallon) of food.
- Some stomach related diseases include gastric ulcers, peptic ulcers, gastritis and stomach cancer.
- The ‘stomach’ is also known as the ‘gaster’ which is a Greek word, hence the stomach related words ‘gastro’ and ‘gastric’.
- Some deadly stomach cancers require those patients to have a total gastrectomy (stomach removal) to prevent loss of life, however, even though they face challenges with what and how they eat, and have to change the regularity and quantity of food intake, patients can live quite successfully without a stomach.
- The capacity of a newborn baby’s stomach is approximately 30 ml (1 fl oz).
- Muscles in the stomach move every 2 seconds to break down the food, and it takes 40 minutes to a few hours to process the food.
Hill K, What does your Stomach do?, 2013, The Big Site of Amazing Facts, <http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/what-does-your-stomach-do>
Stomach, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stomach>
Without lungs what would you be?
- The lungs are a pair of organs that helps with breathing found in your thorax or chest, that sit side by side and are protected by your ribs.
- The job of the lungs is to replace the carbon dioxide in our bloodstream with oxygen, by taking it from the air around us.
- Although the lungs look identical, they are different as the right has three lobes and is a little larger than the left ,which only has two lobes.
- Lungs are a spongy tissue which contract and expand, and a single lung is about 1.1kg (2.4 pounds) in weight.
- Bronchi and bronchioles are tubular shaped branches that transport the air from the windpipe, or trachea, in the lungs, and if these ‘branches’, from both of the lungs, were placed side by side, the distance covered would reach approximately 2,400km (1,500 miles) in length.
- At the end of the bronchioles are groups of air sacs called alveoli, and humans have between 300 and 500 million of them in their lungs.
- It is possible for people to live with only one lung, and whilst their function maybe a little limited due to the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled at any one time, they can generally lead a normal life.
- It takes about 10 seconds for a newborn baby to inflate its lungs and take its first breath, and a typical human breathes 15 to 25 times a minute.
- A common lung disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with the main symptom being shortness of breath, which is most commonly caused by smoking, and can’t be cured but quitting smoking, healthy diets and cleaner air are some of the treatments.
- Cancer, asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis, apnea and lung poisoning are all common lung diseases or problems.
Freudenrich C, How Your Lungs Work, 2013, How Stuff Works, < http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/lung.htm>
Human Lung, 2013, Wikipedia, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_lung>
Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center, 2013, WebMD, < http://www.webmd.com/lung/picture-of-the-lungs>
Ten Random Facts’ fourteenth post! Many human brains are behind this fact site – just don’t mix up the small animal brains for the real brains!
- Your human brain floats in a shockproof liquid to help prevent your brain from injuries.
- An average adult brain is 1.4-1.5 kilograms which is about 2% of your total body weight.
- The human brain is divided into four lobes. These lobes are the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe and the occipital lobe.
- The human brain is as soft as a bit of gelatin or tofu.
- The cerebral cortex, the main control centre, is the largest part of your brain.
- The left side of your human brain controls the right side of the body, meaning the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.
- The right side of the human brain is normally symmetrical to the left side of the human brain.
- The human brain is the central control system of your body.
- Most people’s language skills is stored on the left side of their brain.
- The United States launched a brain research program called ‘The Decade of the Brain’ in the 1990’s that lasted for ten years.
Human Brain17 October 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_brain>
Bryan, J 1995, Your Amazing Brain, Wishing Well Books, Australia