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The A&P Professor Podcast
TAPP Radio

Content updates and teaching advice for teachers of human anatomy & physiology (A&P) from professor, author, and mentor Kevin Patton. 

Have a question, comment, or an idea for an episode you'd like to hear—or in which you would like to participate or help plan? Contact host Kevin Patton. Or call the podcast hotline at 1-833-LION-DEN (1-833-546-6336).

For more details on each episode—including transcripts—please visit The A&P Professor website.

Jun 7, 2021

Oh, that huge A&P textbook I teach from! Do I really need to cover all of it? Host Kevin Patton discusses his take on this age-old problem. Does the color of my marking pen send a signal that I don't want to send to my students? A breakthrough in understanding how teeth sense cold. And what in the world is a tunneling nanotube—and can I get one at my local hardware store? Greek names for SARS-CoV-2 variants simplifies conversation and avoids stigma.

00:00 | Introduction

00:43 | How Do Teeth Sense Cold?

07:04 | Sponsored by AAA

08:32 | Red & Green for Student Feedback

18:03 | What's a TNT?

23:52 | Sponsored by HAPI

25:06 | Greek Names for COVID Variants

30:24 | Are A&P Textbooks Too Long? Are Mittens Too Big?

36:41 | Sponsored by HAPS

39:15 | Are A&P Textbooks Too Long? What About Novels?

46:35 | Staying Connected


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Do A&P textbooks have too much content? Don't tell me that thought has never occurred to you! (Kevin Patton)


How Do Teeth Sense Cold?

6.5 minutes

We know that teeth damaged by caries (cavities), decay, injury, wear, etc., can be very sensitive to cold—such as ice cream or cold drinks. But we've struggled to come up with a mechanism for that. A new discovery proposes that the ion channel TRCP5 may be the responsible cold sensor. And that may lead to some easy fixes for cold-sensitive teeth. 

★ Odontoblast TRPC5 channels signal cold pain in teeth (discovery from Science Advances mentioned in this segment)

★ Transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily C, member 5 (TRPC5) is a cold-transducer in the peripheral nervous system (some earlier research on the cold-sensing function of TRPC5)

★ Image from PxHere

person with ice cream cone


Sponsored by AAA

1.5 minute

A searchable transcript for this episode, as well as the captioned audiogram of this episode, are sponsored by the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) at

Searchable transcript

Captioned audiogram 

Don't forget—HAPS members get a deep discount on AAA membership!

AAA logo


Red & Green for For Student Feedback

9.5 minutes

Kevin revisits his recommendation to use a green pennot a red pen—for marking grades and giving student feedback. That holds over to digital communications, such as course announcements and instructions, too. Listen to the reasons—you may be surprised!

★ No Red Pens! (Kevin’s blog post on this topic; with links to additional information/research)

Give Your Course a Half Flip With a Full Twist | Episode 6 (Kevin's earlier discussion of green pens for marking)

★ Coblis—Color Blindness Simulator (you can paste in your text with color fonts, or an image, and see what it might look like in major color vision variants)

★ Green Pens

★ Photo by animatedheaven from PxHere

the word "Success!" being underlined with a green pen


What's a TNT?

5.5 minutes

The tunneling nanotube (TNT) is not an organelle we typically discuss in the undergrad A&P course—just like a lot of other recently-discovered organelles. But sometimes it's worth mentioning the ongoing work of discovery in this area—and the excitement of such exploration—as a way to connect students with our course content.

★ Tunneling nanotubes: Reshaping connectivity (review-opinion article mentioned in this segment)

★ Wiring through tunneling nanotubes--from electrical signals to organelle transfer (an earlier work from Journal of Cell Science)

★ Got Proteasomes? (Kevin's brief post about why he teaches proteasomes in A&P)

★ Image from Radiation Oncology

two red cells connected by a long tunneling nanotube (TNT)


Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program

1.5 minute

The Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction—the MS-HAPI—is a graduate program for A&P teachers, especially for those who already have a graduate/professional degree. A combination of science courses (enough to qualify you to teach at the college level) and courses in contemporary instructional practice, this program helps you be your best in both on-campus and remote teaching. Kevin Patton is a faculty member in this program. Check it out!

NYCC Human Anatomy and Physiology Instruction


Greek Names for COVID Variants

5.5 minutes

Considering the adverse social effects of calling the 1918 influenza "Spanish flu" and the SARS-CoV-2 "the China virus," the World Health Organization has proposed calling variants of SARS-CoV-2 by letters of the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, ...) in ordinary conversation. These are to supplement the more technical systems of naming the variants in the scientific literature.

★ Coronavirus variants get Greek names — but will scientists use them? | From Alpha to Omega, the labelling system aims to avoid confusion and stigmatization. (News item in Nature)

★ Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants (WHO information that includes a longer list of SARS-CoV-2 variants)

Mid-Winter Winterizing of Our Courses | Bonus Episode 63 (where Spanish flu is discussed)

Even More Pandemic Teaching Tips | TAPP 72 (where I apologize for using the term Spanish flu)

★ Image from Wikimedia

upper and lower case Greek letter "alpha"


Are A&P Textbooks Too Long? Are Mittens Too Big?

6.5 minutes

I first heard complaints about A&P textbooks being too large in the mid-1970s—when they were much smaller on average than today's A&P textbooks. But are they really too large? Let's explore that notion.

★ Your Textbook is a Mitten, Not a Glove (Kevin's brief article mentioned in this segment)
READ and RAID your textbook (Kevin's brief article for students on a useful approach to using their A&P textbook)

★ Selling your textbook? (Kevin's brief article for students on why they need to keep their A&P textbook—to access that "extra content" in their later courses & career)

★ Plaid Mittens

★ Photo from PxHere

person covering their face with mitten-covered hands


Sponsored by HAPS

1 minute

The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is a sponsor of this podcast.  You can help appreciate their support by clicking the link below and checking out the many resources and benefits found there. Watch for virtual town hall meetings and upcoming regional meetings!

Anatomy & Physiology Society

HAPS logo


Are A&P Textbooks Too Long? What About Novels?

7.5 minutes

Okay, novels can be too long. But only when they're not good. Long, good novels are, um, usually pretty darn good. But we don't dive into every detail of a novel when learning about it in a literature course, do we? What's this got to do with A&P? Listen and find out!

★ The Stranger (novella by Albert Camus)

★ Photo from PxHere

reading a book


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