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Vision and Change Teacher-Recommended Collection: Renal Physiology Resources

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Description Collection Description
This series of renal anatomy and physiology resources is designed for an upper level renal physiology section. Alternatively, selected resources could be incorporated into a lower level A&P course (in-class activities, case studies, articles).

How were the items in this collection used?
This collection incorporates a review of kidney anatomy and physiology, a renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) paper for students, a simulation concerning dehydration, three case studies, an article concerning renal clearance for faculty to read, and an article about mother’s salt intake affecting neonatal blood pressure. The first resource is an in-class nephron and vessel review sheet to students to work on with partners. The renal clearance paper can be read by the instructor and a demonstration of renal clearance can be incorporated into the renal physiology portion of the course. The RAAS paper should be read by students before or immediately after the class discussion on renin-angiogtensin aldosterone system. The paper includes a discussion of hypertension and pharmacological inhibitors of the RAAS. During a lab, students can examine the effects of dehydration using the dehydration handout and simulation using quantitative methods. The case studies emphasize the inter-relatedness of endocrine, neural, and renal systems and can be given as an in-class exercise in groups or as a homework assignment. The first case study addresses diabetes insipidus, the second addresses Addison’s disease, and the last addresses the effects of ecstacy on ADH release. The last article concerning mother’s salt intake affecting neonatal kidney structure and blood pressure for discussion in class.

Who used this collection?
This collection will be helpful for an instructor for an upper level undergraduate renal physiology section.

Which of the V&C Core Concepts does this collection address?
Structure & Function ('Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.')
The nephron review sheet addresses the basic structure and function of the kidney.

Information Flow, Exchange, and Storage ('The growth and behavior of organisms are activated through the expression of genetic information in context.')
The renin angiotensin aldosterone system paper addresses this complex pathway, common pathologies and pharmacological inhibitors of it.

Systems ('Living systems are interconnected and interacting.')
The case studies address the interconnectedness of the renal system to neural, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems.

Which of the V&C Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practices does this collection address?
Ability to Apply the Process of Science ('Biology is evidence based and grounded in the formal practices of observation, experimentation, and hypothesis testing.')
The renin angiotensin paper presents the RAAS pathway and how various aspects are targeted pharmacologically. Also, the case studies present patient data and allow students to evaluate and draw conclusions from the data.

Ability to Use Quantitative Reasoning ('Biology relies on applications of quantitative analysis and mathematical reasoning.')
For the case studies, students can reason why patient values would be outside of the normal range. Also, the dehydration simulation uses real numbers to evaluate various scenarios.

Ability to Use Modeling and Simulation ('Biology focuses on the study of complex systems.')
The dehydration experiment handout and simulation uses solute numbers to show how solute concentration changes over time.

Ability to Tap into the Interdisciplinary Nature of Science ('Biology is an interdisciplinary science.')
The mother’s salt intake article incorporates aspects of developmental biology, biochemistry, and genetics.

Ability to Communicate and Collaborate with Other Disciplines ('Biology is a collaborative scientific discipline.')
If the case studies are evaluated in a group, students will communicate and provide a rationale for their reasoning.

Ability to Understand the Relationship between Science and Society ('Biology is conducted in a societal context.')
Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the US. The RAAS paper presents ACE inhibitors, which are commonly prescribed for hypertension, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Please enter suggestions for colleagues.
In my class, I use the mother's salt intake article to grab the student's attention. I then incorporate the kidney anatomy review resource in class with partners. I use the RAAS paper to reinforce the idea of the entire pathway and various pharmacological inhibitors. Towards the end of the section, I assign the case studies as homework. In class, they discuss their answers in small groups and then each group presents their answer to a case study in front of the class. I have students address the dehydration simulation as homework.

Type of Resource Annotated Collection
Format Multiple Formats
Emily Bradshaw, Florida Southern College
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Learning Time 6-9 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed by Partner Organization

Resources in Collection
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Very helpful for upper level A&P courses with a renal phys component. Very nice combination of in-class work (individual or group; lecture and lab), and out of class readings and assignments. You may be able to use a few of the resources (especially the lab activities) in lower level courses as well. Take the time to read the suggested guidelines for use provided above by the author, they're extremely well though-out and helpful.

—Nicolette Richardson, York University

This collection of resources is helpful for teaching renal physiology in upper level A&P course.  I was so excited to see this collection because the Urinary System is one of the hardest systems for students to understand and apply.  The colleague suggestions were awesome!  I love this collection.  I can't wait to use it next Spring semester.

—Adrienne Bratcher, University of Louisville