Academics have lots of jobs within their jobs. Sometimes the biggest job is teaching, and sometimes not.
Some of our students are back in the labs, physically, and I get to teach them again.
Also climbing on the Gower.
To feel less locked in we’re spending more time in virtual worlds.
It’s in the title. We’re going to try and climb outdoors by the sea in a short dry spell, and talk about some of the truths of teaching on the way.
I’ve been working with a bug in the Android version of the Daily Anatomy app that meant the app didn’t update with a new question each day for some users that maybe didn’t use their Android devices much. I think I’ve fixed it – fingers crossed and I’ve sent the new version to Google’s Play Store.
I also introduced a big problem for users with older versions of Android by adding something new, but I think I’ve fixed that too. If the app crashed when you tried to start it and you’re using a version of Android older than 4.4.4 try the new version in the Play Store. Hopefully it will start up and run now.
The code is a mess. But it works.
I’ve been writing new questions over the summer, filling in some gaps and rounding out the collection a little. All the new questions I add will pop up in both versions of the app.
I hope it’s helping! Andy’s learning from it, so that’s a start.
Daily Anatomy (Google Play Store)
The animations for Embryology at a Glance that Steve Atherton has been creating have started going up on YouTube. We’ll keep working on them and keep adding to the channel. The animations are intended to support the text and illustrations in the textbook. Go and have a look:
The second edition of Embryology at a Glance will be on sale as a paperback from 20th May, and I think digital copies are available in some areas now. We’ve added a few chapters on stem cells, cell signalling and antenatal screening with the usual full page of illustrations beside a full page of fairly brief text.
The big news with this book will be the new animations. We’ve been working with 3D animation genius Steve Atherton to produce animations of some of the key embryological processes in some of the chapters. These animations take time to produce and we’ll release a collection with the book and continue to add to that collection over time. We’ve been sharing these with some people for a little while and getting thumbs up, so we’re looking forward to sharing them more widely.
The other news is that these videos will be available through augmented reality. Instead of having to go to a website every time you want to look at an animation you’ll be able to access them in a number of ways, and one of which will be through the free Aurasma app on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll need to sign up and follow the Embryology at a Glance account, but after that you’ll just have to show an illustration in the book to your phone and it will grab the video and overlay it over the textbook automatically. More on that soon.
Kim and I have been working on a final icon for the app, and the app itself is now at a build release that I’m sending out to testers. I’ll see what testing brings over the next week or so, and if all is good the next stage will be submission to the app store. As the new submissions section closes over Christmas the app may be come available in January.
This year I’ve been working on a new iPhone app, and it’s getting close to being ready for release. This is the Daily Anatomy app, and it will present a randomly selected anatomy multiple choice question every day. Each answer includes a description about why the correct answer is correct, with some associated anatomy tidbits.
Every correct answer earns 10 points, and your score is collected over time, along with the number of days played, your run streak (how many questions you get correct in a row), and a bunch of data about the system and region of anatomy associated with the question. There’s a high score Game Centre Leaderboard, and your own question performance data can be viewed historically to give you an idea about your strengths and weaknesses in anatomical knowledge. That data is only visible to the user.
Adder by Wildlife Wanderer on Flickr.
Today we talked about the anatomy of the lymphatic vessels of the lower limb, and the mechanisms by which lymph is transferred from lower limb tissues back to the abdomen, thorax and circulatory system. We used examples of elephantiasis (and the filariasis worm), peripheral oedema, exercise recovery (after running or cycling racing) and snakebite.
As we’re midway through year 2 and students are close to having covered all of the human anatomy in the medical curriculum we were all aware of the purposes of the lymphatic system and some of the fine structure, but there was no harm in reviewing some of the smaller anatomical details to help understand the relations between structure and function here. For example, lymphatic vessels begin as small, open ended vessels into which fluid from a tissue can pass. This fluid is most likely to have come from the plasma of the capillary bed that perfuses the tissue, and not all of the fluid is collected on the venous side. Normally the fluid is returned to the systemic circulation by the lymphatic system but your foot is a long way away from your heart, so how does this work? The lymphatic system is a collection of vessels that drain into larger and larger vessels, but the flow is only in one direction, there is no pump attached directly to them, and the pressure within these vessels is very, very low.
Lymphatic capillaries (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).