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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.

Mar 18, 2021

Host Kevin Patton outlines several new discoveries, including the function of background noise in the brain, how exercise triggers immunity, a possible blood marker for longevity, and how mitochondria are organized during cell division. And he discusses how easy animation effects can help students focus on important elements of the story of anatomy and physiology.

  • 00:00 | Quotation & Intro
  • 00:47 | Brain's Background Noise
  • 08:06 | Sponsored by AAA
  • 09:12 | How Exercise Triggers Immunity
  • 13:30 | Sponsored by HAPI
  • 14:41 | Mitochondria During Cell Division
  • 22:10 | Sponsored by HAPS
  • 23:03 | How Old Will We Get
  • 26:22 | Focus Our Story on Slides
  • 35:22 | The Scoop About Segments
  • 36:33 | Smooth Slides for a Smooth Story
  • 43:56 | Staying Connected

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We deal with our mind from morning till evening, and it can be our best friend or our worst enemy. (Mathieu Ricard)


Brain's Background Noise

7 minutes

The so-called "background noise" in an electroencephalogram (EEG)—that aperiodic data that contrasts with the periodic waves we usually look for—may be a measure of consciousness.

  • Brain’s ‘Background Noise’ May Hold Clues to Persistent Mysteries (Quanta magazine article)
  • Most brain activity is "background noise" — and that's upending our understanding of consciousness (Salon magazine article)

white man with superimposed computer code


Sponsored by AAA

1 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!

Sign up for the new VDD or Virtual Dissection Database. You can access it at

AAA logo


How Exercise Triggers Immunity

4 minutes

We know that exercise has many beneficial effects in the body, including stimulation of the immune system. A new discovery in mice suggests that the same pressure that triggers bone growth with exercise also triggers the precursors to lymphocytes in bone marrow.

woman exercising on beach


Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program

1 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


Mitochondria During Cell Division

7.5 minutes

We know how the nuclear genome is organized into two equivalent groups during cell division—at least the broad strokes. A new discovery sheds light on complex mechanisms that distribute the mitochondrial genome.

  • Actin cables and comet tails organize mitochondrial networks in mitosis (article in Nature)
    two mitochondria (electron micrograph)


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


How Old Will We Get?

3 minutes

A study of 90- to 100-year-olds suggests that there's a blood marker that might give clues to our longevity.

  • More than 100 centenarians help to reveal a biomarker for long life (news item in Nature)
  • A neuronal blood marker is associated with mortality in old age (article in Nature Aging)

elderly woman


Focus our Story on Slides

9 minutes

It's best to have few, if any, phrases of text on our teaching slides—so that students will focus on our orally presented story of anatomy and physiology. But when we do need more than a phrase or two—a term or two—then using simple animations to bring them in one at a time works well.

hand holding a microscope


The Scoop About Segments

1 minute

Chunking. I use segments to divide the episode partly to give room for sponsor messages (thank you, sponsors!), but also to chunk the content so that it doesn't feel like you are drinking from a fire house. You know?... a bit of a cognitive "breather" before moving on to the next thing.

  • How to use chapter markers in Apple’s Podcasts app (a how-to for flipping from segment to segment; also works similarly in other podcast platforms)


Smooth Slides for a Smooth Story

7.5 minutes

Smooth and subtle animations for bringing in new slide elements work better that jarring "appear" animations or wildly sliding or jumping or scrolling animations. This is especially important when considering accessibility for those with motion-sensitive conditions. Smooth... that should be our mantra!

  • The Golden Voice Behind All Those Ken Burns Documentaries (about Peter Coyote, mentioned in this episode)



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