Last semester I learned that studying cadavers is not for me. Because of this, I stopped posting for a while, and I was wondering if I should write about the experience at all. However, I do not really feel like I can continue writing if I keep mum about something that shaped my studies at McGill. […]

Polymerization of actin is the driving force of cell movement. This can be described as when the leading edge of a cell pushes forward and the stress fibres pull up the rear. Both the leading edge and the stress fibres are formed from actin polymers. First, the cell forms a focal adhesion to the surface, […]

The lungs themselves are elastic, but air flow requires a pressure difference to take advantage of this property. Part of how the lungs achieve the pressure difference, is by altering the volume of the thoracic cavity by muscle contraction. The respiratory muscles of the chest wall power this change. There are two types of respiratory […]

Let’s pretend that we are a breath of air that is going to make its way into the lungs. This air is composed of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and some other gases. On inspiration, we, the breath of air, are going to be more oxygen rich, and on expiration we are more carbon dioxide rich. […]

Specific sequences in DNA recruit transcription factors, called activators and repessors, coactivators and corepressors. In order for DNA to be transcribed and expressed, the chromatin needs to be decondensed (accetylated) to allow for there to be enough space for these transcription factors to bind. For a transcription factor to bind, it binds to a histone […]

One of the most charming professors at McGill University is Dr. Ann Wechsler, with her pleasant manner, and lectures full of not only facts, but also encouragement. Last semester, she coordinated the first introductory physiology class, and wrote many poems that eloquently and concisely summarized concepts. Truly, she is a gem of an instructor, and […]

When I spoke to an advisor about my schedule for the new semester, she looked over my selected courses, and verified that yes, indeed they were required for my 2nd year of my physiology program, and they would stand me in good stead for completing my degree. However, when the advisor came to the mysterious […]