Human organ systems and natural selection

Human Organ Systems

The human body is truly remarkable and is designed to function effectively. Organs are important structures composed of different tissues that facilitate specific functions within the body. Organs function as part of an integrated group of structures known as organ systems. These organ systems form the organizational units that are responsible for crucial processes necessary for sustaining life.

Examples of organ systems include, but are not limited to, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system, the excretory system, the endocrine system, and the respiratory system. Even organ systems do not function alone. These systems work together, interacting with other organs in a functional network that keeps the body in balance. (Look up the term homeostasis in your text.) When homeostasis or the normal functioning of organ systems is disrupted, disease may develop, causing injury to the body or even death.  

The following case studies detail an outcome associated with a disease or organ malfunction:

Select ONE study to investigate further for your assignment.

Critically evaluate the information provided, and correlate it with the organ systems that are affected in the scenario. Use the information that you have gathered to answer the assignment questions that follow the case study. Present your work as an APA-formatted research report.

Case Study 1:

Atherosclerosis is narrowing of the arteries caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits on the arterial walls. On June 22, 2002, the St. Louis Cardinals were preparing for their upcoming baseball game against the Chicago Cubs. Concern arose when their prized pitcher, 33-year old Darryl Kile did not show up for practice. Soon after, he was found still in his hotel room where he had suddenly died in his sleep (New York Times, 2002). It was discovered that the cause of death was related to three of his coronary arteries being 80–90% blocked as a result of atherosclerosis (New York Times, 2002), which ultimately caused him to suffer a heart attack.

Answer the following 3 questions in regard to this case study:

  1. Provide a description of how the heart functions. Based on this, explain why atherosclerosis would result in a heart attack.
  2. How are arteries different from veins and capillaries? Describe the functions of arteries, veins, and capillaries.
  3. Vertebrates and some invertebrates have a closed circulatory system. Describe each of these. Explain the advantage of having a closed circulatory system over an open circulatory system.

Case Study 2:

Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing an estimated 438,000 deaths—or about 1 out of every 5 smokers—each year (Woloshin, Schwartz, & Welch, 2008).

Mr. Amos is 57 years old and has been smoking for the past 30 years of his life. A recent doctor’s visit revealed that Mr. Amos has stage-3 lung cancer, characterized by his symptoms of nagging chest pain, fatigue, coughing up blood, substantial weight loss, and increased carbon dioxide levels in his blood. The doctor informed Mr. Amos that had he quit his smoking habit several years ago, he would have reduced his risk for developing lung cancer later in life. Mr. Amos immediately began treatment for the lung cancer that had metastasized to his lymph nodes.

Answer the following 3 questions regarding this case study:

  1. Briefly describe the respiratory system. What main components in cigarettes affect the respiratory system? Explain the effect of 2 compounds on specific organs, cells, and processes in the respiratory system.
  2. There are alternate mechanisms of transporting carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in the blood. Explain how smoking might lead to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.
  3. Can smoking affect other organ systems of the body? Give specific examples, and briefly explain your answer.

Follow these guidelines for your APA research paper:

  • Utilize at least 2 credible sources to support the arguments presented in the paper. Make sure you cite them appropriately within your paper, and list the references in APA format on your Reference page. 
  • In accordance with APA formatting requirements, your paper should include an Abstract, Title, and Reference page; should be double-spaced; and should include a running head and page numbers. Your paper should be 2–3 pages in length, not counting the Title page, Abstract, and Reference page.
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