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In the past, I heard anatomy and physiology went hand in hand with AP biology. This year, I was excited to take both classes at the same time—my thinking was I would constantly be able to use information from one class and input the knowledge to the other class. Just in the first two weeks of school, both classes have overlapped numerous times, which makes it convenient to synthesize concepts.
The first similarity occurred between positive and negative systems. This topic was first covered in anatomy and physiology. Negative feedback systems countered a stimulus and were common in the body; whereas, positive feedback systems enhanced a stimulus and were only common while one dealt with blood clotting or child birth. In biology, these systems were defined slightly different. Negative feedback systems were when the output discouraged the process to either slow down or stop and positive feedback systems were when the output sped up the process. To me, the definitions merged because I connected that negative feedback systems tried to get the body to homeostasis, and positive feedback systems let the process continue faster. I used the anatomy and physiology definition for negative feedback systems and the AP biology definition for positive feedback systems.
Water, an essential part of our bodies, was thoroughly covered in both classes. Mr. Mohn covered the crucial, important details of water in his lecture. He mentioned five important properties of water—cohesive behavior, surface tension, moderation of temperature, specific heat, and heat of vaporization. Later that week, we were briefly lectured over water in anatomy and physiology. However, there were minor differences in the properties covered—solubility, reactivity, high heat capacity, and lubrication. So, solubility and reactivity were equivalent to cohesive behavior and high heat capacity was the same as moderation of temperature. Out of these two lectures, I learned heaps of information of water that can be put into logical use for both classes.
Another similarity was the topic of acids and bases. In both classes, acids were described as proton donors and bases were described as proton acceptors. In biology, the importance of the pH scale was heavily discussed—each pH is a tenfold difference. However, this information was not covered in anatomy and physiology—instead we discussed the substances in our body that were highly acidic, neutral, or basic.
The last similarity was over macromolecules. In anatomy, organic compounds were the discussion—carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Within carbohydrates, we revised monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Lipids consisted of steroids and fats, amino acids were the building blocks of proteins, and nucleotides made up nucleic acids. Everything was brief, up until the structure of a nucleotide, as well as the structure and parts of DNA and RNA. A couple days later, Mr. Mohn gave a lecture about the structure and function of macromolecules. Everything I mentioned above, was gone over in much more detail; but, it helped that I had could categorize the different organic compounds in anatomy and then meticulously learn their functions in AP Biology during the lecture.
Taking both classes has been extremely beneficial because I can take knowledge from one class and understand the next day’s lecture in the other class. I predict that anatomy and physiology and biology will stem towards more talk about cells and their parts, but after a couple of weeks both classes will go in different directions. However, I would recommend taking both classes for future students—the study of science is fascinating, and to cover it in two different classes is exceedingly worthwhile.