I remember when I used to get all the different parts of the sarcomere mixed up, but with a few simple tricks you can remember it easy and long-term.
First, understand the the I band is isotropic and the A band is anisotropic. Although these terms technically refer to the behavior of polarized light passing through, I like to think of isotropic = moving and anisotropic = non-moving (remember that “an-“ means “without”).
So how do you remember which is the thick filament and which is the thin filament? Just remember that the heavier something is, the less likely it’ll move! In other words, think of the thick filaments as too heavy to move which means they’re the A bands because “an-“ (or “a” if that’s easier for you) means “without”. By default, the thin filament will be the I band. Additionally, the letter “I” is thinner than the letter “A” so it’s gotta be the “thin” filament right?
Now Z lines are you endpoints which should be easy to remember, because the letter “Z” is at the end of the alphabet. This actually ties into the next point too.
The points that “move” during muscle contraction are the H band and I band which spell “HI”. In other words, the “HI” bands bring the ends of the sarcomere (Z lines) closer together so they can say “Hi”!
Obviously this doesn’t cover everything you should know about the sarcomere and muscle contraction, but hopefully it helps get you started if you were having trouble!
Check out the latestMedical Minded Podcast episode, Gram Staining: Gram-Negative vs Gram-Positive Bacteria which covers what gram staining is, how it works and how it is used to differentiate gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. This is a must know for anything who is a med student, premed or even just taking a biology course. I know this episode may be basic for some people, but it’s essential information and it’s always good to work on the fundamentals!
Check out the latest Medical Minded Podcast episode that covers BUN, Creatinine & Renal Disease! This episode is focused on understanding BUN and creatinine lab values, as well as how they can be used to diagnose renal disease.
Also, please share any comments, suggestions, etc. for the podcast and reviews in the iTunes store would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
This is probably one of my favorite video series on cardiac arrhythmias. I haven’t watched all the videos yet, but the ones I’ve completed have been great! The EKG video is also a nice introduction to the physiology behind EKG tracings if you need some help understanding that as well. This is definitely a great resource for anyone studying electrophysiology of the heart, so be sure to check it out!
In addition, I’ve added one of my favorite action potential images that can be found through Google. It’s an excellent visual representation of how each area of the heart contributes to the overall EKG tracing. Enjoy!
Please go check out the latest Medical Minded podcast episode Heart Murmurs – MS, MR, MVP, AS and AR. This podcast is an expansion on the concepts presented in the Introduction to Heart Sounds episode, so make sure if checked it out if you haven’t already. In this latest episodes I discuss mitral stenosis, mitral regurgitation, mitral valve prolapse, aortic stenosis and aortic regurgitation. If you plan on only learning the basics of heart murmurs, these are the 5 you need to know!
Also, if there is one thing that I can’t reiterate enough about learning this stuff it’s to develop an understanding of the underlying concepts. If you learn the basic principles, the heart sounds will make sense. You should be able to work out why each sound happens if you truly understand the material. Remember, you need a solid foundation to build a house!
Here’s a “cheat sheet” that I came up with during 1st year for taking a full patient history. I figure it may be helpful for any premeds or 1st years out there. There are some fun rhymes and mnemonics for remembering everything. It’s not something I expect everyone to find useful, but hopefully it helps some of you out!
I’ve stumbled upon the website www.pathologystudent.com on a couple occasions now via Google search. Although I haven’t used the website extensively yet, it seems like a great resource for learning pathology. There are blog posts, free resources and paid resources available. I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already!
A new episode of Medical Minded podcast covering hypertension is now available! It seems like it takes a couple days for it to become available on iTunes, but if you’d like to view it now, check out the link below. You can left-click to listen through your browser or right-click to save the file to your computer. Remember, feedback is always appreciated! Thanks!