June 6, 2011

059 An Introduction to the Respiratory System

We are off to start learning from a new set of videos about another part of the human body system and here, Leslie opens a new topic with a brief introduction of the Respiratory System.

Watch and enjoy!

Transcript of Today’s Episode

Hello and welcome to another episode of Interactive-Biology T.V. where we’re making Biology fun! My name is Leslie Samuel and in this episode, Episode 59, I’m going to be giving an introduction to the respiratory system. So, we’re changing gears now. We just finished talking about the circulatory system and, now, we’re going to talk about a system that is very closely linked to the circulatory system that is, the respiratory system.

So, let’s get right into it. Here, we’re looking at a bunch of ladies. These ladies are exercising. They are working out in the gym. Some of them are on the, like over here you can see we have one on an elliptical then, we have some riding exercise, bikes and lifting some dumbbells here and boxing a punching bag, punching a punching bag and there’s a lot going on right here. There’s one thing that these ladies all have in common, well, there are a number of things that these ladies have in common. They’re all attractive that’s one. They’re all exercising but, the thing that I want to focus on is that they are all breathing. I hope that make sense. They are all breathing, they are working out and in order to be able to get the energy that they need, they need to be breathing in oxygen. There are a number of things that have to happen in that process and we are going to talk about that today. So, whether you’re exercising or you’re just standing still or even if you are sleeping, you need to be breathing if you’re going to be alive of course, and we’re going to be talking about that today. So, let’s get right into it.

In order for us to have energy, there is a process that needs to happen and this process is called, ‘cellular respiration.’ Now, we’re not going to go into too much detail in terms of cellular respiration in this episode but, we are going to come back to it. The main thing that I want us to look at is the formula for cellular respiration, and that formula is:

If you’re a biologist, you’re into Biology, you’re in a Biology class, or whatever the case might be, I think, it’s imperative for you to know this formula. So, memorize this formula:

Now, let’s give some names to these bad boys. This guy over here (C6H12O6), that is none other glucose, okay so that a carbohydrate, it’s a type of sugar. O2, you should know that is oxygen. And then, of course CO2 is carbon dioxide and H2O, if you don’t know this, something is wrong, that is water. Well, maybe nothing is wrong, maybe you just never heard of it before. But, anyhow so, we have glucose that’s reacting with oxygen and the products, so these are the reactants on the left, the products on the right are carbon dioxide and water. And this right here is the general equation for cellular respiration. It is an oversimplification but, it gives you the things that are necessary and the things that are produced. Now, glucose, where do we get this from? Well, of course, we eat, right? We take in some food and we get glucose. So, let’s say we get this (glucose) from eating, oxygen, we get this from breathing, there’s oxygen in the air and, when we breathe, we bring in that oxygen that we need. Carbon dioxide, this is actually a waste product. We’re producing this but, we don’t actually use it. When we breathe, we breathe that out and that goes into the air, and that’s used by plants and plants can use that for photosynthesis. Water, do we need water? Yes, of course we need water. I’m not going to write anything right here because it’s just water. Water is essential for life and we are actually producing water in this process of cellular respiration.

In doing this entire thing, one of the things that we are making, or the main thing that we are making is energy. But, in order to make that energy, in order for us to get that energy when we’re exercising, walking, whatever we’re doing, we need to have oxygen. This oxygen needs to come in and, this is why we are breathing in, we’re taking in the air, and in the air, there is oxygen. And of course, we need to get rid of the carbon dioxide so, when we breathe that out, that is getting rid of the carbon dioxide. It’s doing some other things but, this the main function, the main functions of the respiratory system. We want to take the good stuff in, which in this case is the oxygen, and we want to take the bad stuff out, which in this case would be carbon dioxide. So, memorize this equation if you haven’t already, know what the components are and where they come from.

Let’s continue now. We’ve been looking at the circulatory system and, we’ve looked at over here, we have the heart and that heart is very important because it allows us to circulate the blood through our circulatory system and, one of the things that the heart does before it sends blood to the body is it sends the blood to the lungs. You can see here that the pulmonary vein is going away from the heart and that takes blood to the lungs, this is the lungs right here, and then, that blood takes up oxygen and comes back to the left ventricle and the left ventricle then pumps the blood via the aorta to the rest of the body. We’ve looked at that in previous episodes. If you do not remember, you can visit the section that’s right before this and you will get a review on that.

Now, what we’re going to do here, this is looking at the lungs but, it’s not looking at the lungs in detail. So, what we’re going to do is come over to this guy over here which is not showing the circulatory system but, it’s showing the respiratory system. And, you can see here we have the lungs and then, we have the mouth here, the oral cavity, which then goes into the pharynx and then, to the trachea and then, that takes us to the bronchus and the bronchioles and then, that goes into alveoli, and then, we can take this section here and you can see a larger area of the alveoli.

Not only that, we don’t only breathe in through our mouth, we also breathe in through our nose and, you can see the nasal cavity here is also leading into the pharynx which then goes the same route via the trachea and so on and so forth.

And, what I want you to notice is that when we look at this small section and, we look here at the alveoli, you can see that the pulmonary vein is coming in and then, it’s forming these capillary beds, and then, you can see the pulmonary artery is then going out. I want you to also notice the colors. Here, it’s showing red and this is when there’s no oxygen in the blood but as it comes into the capillary beds, and we are breathing in the air that’s coming in through the trachea, and the bronchus and the bronchioles to the alveoli, you can see here that when the oxygen gets in here, that can then go into the capillary beds and you see this color changing from red to kind of purplish and then to blue because it’s taking up that oxygen and then, that oxygenated blood is going via that pulmonary artery back to the heart.

There’s another thing that I want to mention here because I’m just giving an introduction so we’re going to go into more detail and all of these aspects later but, here we have the diaphragm, which is a muscle, and there are other muscles that are involved, and when those muscles contract, it causes the lungs to expand and, we breathe in air that has oxygen. The oxygen then gets taken into the blood stream and that goes back to the heart and the heart can then pump that oxygenated blood through the rest of the body.

Not only that, but, as the blood comes to the alveoli, it’s also bringing with it carbon dioxide. Remember that carbon dioxide that we made in cellular respiration, that’s bringing that carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide can then go into the alveoli and then, when we breathe out, that carbon dioxide comes out via the alveoli and through the bronchioles and the bronchus and the trachea and then, through the pharynx and then either through the oral cavity or the nasal cavity.

So, we’re getting that bad stuff out, we’re getting the good stuff in. That is what the respiratory system is all about.

So, there you have it. That’s just kind of a brief overview. I kind of glossed over a lot of the details because I’m going to be getting into those details in future episodes.

But, for right now, I want to invite you to visit Interactive-Biology.com and, you will find more Biology videos, quizzes, games, a whole bunch of resources, you want to check them out. So, that’s it for this video and, and I’ll see you on the next one.

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