Assignment cover sheet: BIOL121 written assessment
Note: (1) The attention of students is drawn to the Academic Regulations, the Student Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy and the Assessment Policy; all of which are accessible via http://www.acu.edu.au/policy
(2) A de-identified copy of your assignment may be retained for University quality (audit) processes, benchmarking or moderation.
(Excluding reference list)
DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY
By submitting this assignment for assessment, I acknowledge and agree that this assignment is submitted in accordance with the University’s Academic Regulations, Assessment Policy and Student Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy. I also acknowledge and agree that:
(for each statement, check either ‘Yes’, ‘No’ or ‘N/A’ (not applicable), as relevant).
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I have cited each paraphrase, and where I have used the ideas of others.
I have referenced each image used (except where I created it myself).
I have included a reference list with appropriate details for all the sources used.
No part of this assignment has been written by any other person.
No part of this assignment has been, or will be, inappropriately shared (including sharing online).
A copy of the original assignment is retained by me, and I may be required to submit the original assignment to the Lecturer-in Charge-upon request.
The Lecturer-in-Charge may, for the purpose of assessing this assignment,
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Signature of student: ___________________________________________ Date: ___/___/___
Type your essay here.
• Remember to include an introduction and conclusion to your essay.
• Your responses should NOT be in a question-answer format.
• If you require help with academic writing, in particular conventions you should adhere to when writing an academic essay, please refer to the Academic Skills Unit LEO site.
• Don’t forget to include in-text citations in APA 7th edition format.
• APA formatting conventions have been used in this template. If you require further information, click here for an APA7 Student Paper Setup Guide.
• Include your reference list (with appropriate APA 7th edition formatting) here.
• If you require assistance with APA referencing conventions, please refer to the ACU Library resources and/or the Academic Skills Unit LEO site.
General information: All health professionals need to be able to communicate and justify their work to a non-specialist audience, which may comprise those involved in policy-making decisions as well as the general public. As you will be aware, the health sciences are often poorly represented by the media. There are plentiful examples of reporting that may be sensationalistic, misleading, biased (e.g. on vaccine safety), inaccurate (e.g. many media sources seem to view the words bacteria and viruses as interchangeable), or all four. Hence, there is a need for, and a potential career in, good writing and communication in the health professional arena.
This assessment involves addressing a series of generic questions in the form of an essay. The questions relate directly to the case studies presented. Key points to note are below:
Your answers must be incorporated into sentences and paragraphs that include facts from the case study.
All answers must be specific for the person in the case study; marks will not be given where your essay does not relate to the person in the case study.
The answers to the questions in the case study must be integrated into an essay, which should include an appropriate introduction and conclusion; your written communication mark will be heavily penalised if a question-answer style presentation will be .
You can present the information in the order that you feel flows best; you don’t have to present it in the order of the questions.
The information you present must be synthesised from reliable sources (e.g. peer-reviewed articles in the scientific and clinical research literature, and textbooks).
Care must be taken in all aspects of the essay, including spelling and grammar.
Do I need to reference my case study essay? Yes, you must include appropriate in-text citations and a reference list in APA style (7th edition). Penalties will be applied as per the marking criteria for inadequate and/or incorrect referencing.
©ACU 2022 1
BIOL121 ASSIGNMENT 3: Written assessment
David is a 41-year-old male, who has made an appointment to see his GP for his biannual health check. He
tells the doctor that he has been feeling “a bit puffed” walking around the course during his weekly game of
golf and that he seems to be urinating more frequently of late. David reports he has gained nine kilos since
his 30th birthday, and his waist measurement has expanded. He laughs this off as “middle-aged spread” and
says his wife tells him he needs to watch what he eats and drink less alcohol. David works as a software
engineer, which he has been finding very stressful of late, and spends a lot of his time in the office sitting in
front of a computer, snacking on his favourite salt and vinegar chips. David and his wife are keen to start a
family but have not yet been successful in conceiving.
On the advice of his doctor, David has been taking aspirin in the evenings for the past 18 months to lower his
risk of heart attack and Zocor® to address cholesterol.
Height 174 cm
Weight 94 kg
Appearance Neat appearance, overweight, pale
Blood work Blood type = O+
Blood glucose = 10 mmol/L
Blood Testosterone levels = 154 ng/dL
GnRH = low
BP 155/99 mm Hg
Respiratory rate 19 bpm
Diet Mostly healthy meals. Snacks on high
fat & sugar, processed foods. Heavy
Past patient history Ex-smoker. Regular check-ups every six
months. Cholesterol levels have been
high at the last three check-ups. Takes
Aspirin in the evenings. Gall bladder
removed 5 years ago.
Social status Lives with his wife and mother-in-law.
Urobilinogen 0.1 mg/dL
Specific Gravity 1.035
©ACU 2022 2
All topics and their key points listed below must be discussed in your essay
Topic 1: Reproduction (10 marks total)
David and his wife are keen to start a family but have had no success so far. Considering David’s blood test
results, indicate whether there is need for further investigation. Your discussion should include the
homeostatic regulation of male reproductive physiology and the relevant glands, cells, and hormones. (10
Topic 2: Respiratory system (5 marks total)
David is late for work and the lift is broken; he must run up six flights of stairs to make it on time.
Describe the gas exchange occurring between David’s blood and the skeletal muscles in his legs. Discuss how
the rate of gas exchange was affected during the run up the stairs (i.e., during exercise). (5 marks)
Topic 3: Digestion/metabolism (8 marks total)
After speaking to his doctor, David has decided to try to lose weight and he going to start a diet…tomorrow.
Tonight, David is enjoying his last high carbohydrate/high fat meal for a while.
Discuss the potential impact of David’s gall bladder removal upon his ability to digest his dinner. (4.5 marks)
State the hormone that is MOST active in maintaining David’s blood glucose levels at this time. Explain your
answer. (3.5 marks)
Topic 4: Pharmacology (7 marks total)
Under the advice of his doctor, David has taken Zocor® tablets each evening for the past 18 months.
Discuss the route of administration, which route the drug is likely to be excreted after administration, and its
likely bioavailability. Justify your response by discussing whether the drug would be subjected to hepatic first
pass. (4 marks)
To help with weight loss, a friend has advised David to drink grapefruit juice with his meals.
As a health care professional, would you consider this to be a good idea for David? In your answer, discuss
the role of the liver in the administration of Zocor and grapefruit juice? (3 marks)
Exemplar Case Study: Frank
Frank is a 72-year-old male, who has been living alone since his partner died 2 years ago. He has come to
see his GP today because five days ago he sustained a large gash in his left palm when he was pruning his
roses without wearing gardening gloves. Frank explains that when it happened, he just wiped the wound
with his hanky until it stopped bleeding, and then continued working in the garden without gloves on. Since
then, his left hand has been throbbing with pain and appears red and swollen. Even though he did
eventually put a Band-Aid on it, it’s still sore to touch and a sticky white substance keeps seeping from the
wound. Frank has also discovered a small lump in his left armpit which wasn’t there before.
Frank’s GP confirms the lump through palpation and suspects a swollen lymph node but writes him a
referral for an ultrasound just to be sure. She also informs Frank that he is due for his biennial routine
blood test and requests one for him, including a complete blood count. The GP prescribes Frank with some
antibiotics and schedules another appointment with him one week later.
Height 178 cm
Weight 70 kg
Appearance Clean, dry skin, thin, significant muscle
Blood work Blood type = A+
RBC count = 5.8 million cells/µL
WBC count = 12,000 cells/µL
Platelet count = 450,000/µL
HR 80 bpm
BP 130/86 mm Hg
Respiratory rate 22 bpm
Diet Low fibre, high fat
Past patient history Mobility issues due to osteoarthritis,
has been hypertensive for many years,
aspirin in morning. Previous history of
Social status Living at home, lonely, widower
Specific Gravity 1.015
• This exemplar is intended to help you better understand how to answer the guiding questions in an
• The case study and guiding questions are representative. Do NOT submit an essay on this case
• It is not a complete essay, nor is it referenced as the focus is on guiding you on HOW to answer the
questions and incorporate appropriate case study data.
• The essay that you submit will need to be suitably referenced to achieve high marks. Please refer to
the Academic Skills Unit and ACU Library APA 7 referencing resources for appropriate guidance on
APA referencing requirements.
• Although these are adequate and appropriate answers, they are not perfect, so consider whether
the question has been answered, whether the answers link to the information provided in this case
study, where it would be appropriate to include in-text referencing, and whether the writing is
concise and clear.
Question 1 (8 marks total)
A. Using your knowledge of body defences, relate the signs and symptoms experienced by Frank to
the lines of defence employed, the relevant immune cells and the roles they play. (6 marks)
B. With reference to Frank’s scenario, choose two components from the ‘chain of infection’ and
describe how they could have been implemented/altered to avoid this outcome/prevent future
spread of infection. (2 marks)
Question 2 (8 marks total)
The time arrives for Frank’s follow-up appointment. It’s a hot day and Frank is walking briskly to catch the
bus. When he gets to the bus stop, he is relieved to find he has a few minutes to spare. While he waits for
the bus, Frank uses his hanky to wipe sweat from his forehead.
Explain the homeostatic mechanisms taking place in Frank’s body. Your answer should include discussion
on the components of the feedback loop, the roles they play and an explanation of the type of feedback
demonstrated in this scenario. (8 marks)
Frank, a 72-year-old male, has presented to his GP complaining of a wound on his left hand, which he
sustained whilst gardening, and a lump in his left armpit. Upon examination, it is clear Frank’s wound has
become infected and his doctor suspects this is the cause of the swollen lymph node in his armpit. In this
essay, we will explore the normal anatomy and physiology of the immune system, specifically the body
defences, and we will discuss the role of homeostasis relevant to Frank’s scenario.
Our immune system exists to protect us from disease-causing pathogens arising from the external
environment. We have three lines of defence, each with its own aims and mechanisms employed to help us
fight off disease. The first line of defence includes healthy, intact skin and aims to deny pathogens entry by
creating a physical and chemical barrier between our internal and external environments. Frank’s first line
of defence was breached when he cut his palm and a portal of entry was created. Frank explains that,
instead of immediately washing and covering the wound (to flush out potential pathogens and prevent
further entry), he continued to work in his garden which is likely the reason his wound became infected.
In future, wearing gardening gloves would help maintain Frank’s physical barriers by protecting against
further cuts and lacerations. To support Frank’s immune system in eliminating the infection, his GP has
prescribed a course of antibiotics (medication which targets bacterial infections). By taking the antibiotics,
Frank is eliminating the pathogenic agent from the chain of infection and thereby preventing its further
There are numerous signs that Frank’s second line of defence, which utilises phagocytic white blood cells,
has also been engaged. The swelling, redness and pain experienced by Frank in his left hand are all signs of
inflammation, a process which serves to increase blood flow to the injured site so that more white blood
cells and proteins can be delivered to fight off infection. Frank also has a fever (37.9◦
temperatures within febrile range helps to reduce the infectious potential of pathogens by inhibiting their
replication and stimulating the innate and adaptive (third line) immune responses. Finally, we see that
Frank’s white blood cell count is elevated above normal, and the wound is producing pus. Phagocytes such
as neutrophils and macrophages engulf and destroy pathogens, cellular debris and dead or dying cells etc
(producing pus). Therefore, an increase in white blood cells suggest that there is an infection in the body
necessitating the need for more white blood cells to be produced.
Frank’s suspected swollen lymph node may indicate that his third line of defence has been activated.
Lymph nodes filter out harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses and wastes from the lymph fluid before
returning it to circulation. Lymph nodes contain lymphocytes whose role is to destroy cancer cells and
bacteria. There are two main types of lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and T-lymphocytes, both of which are
part of the third line of defence. B-lymphocytes make antibodies to foreign antigens and T-lymphocytes kill
infected cells directly.
As well as protecting us from disease-causing microorganisms, our bodies can also protect us from other
disruptions to homeostasis. The profuse sweating Frank is experiencing at the bus stop is part of his body’s
thermoregulatory response. The series of events in this homeostatic feedback loop is initiated by the
stimulus, in this case, an increase in body temperature caused by external heat and exercise. The stimulus
is detected by thermoreceptors and the information relayed to a command centre in the brain, via afferent
neurons. Here information is processed, and a command sent to the effector via efferent neurons. In this
instance, the effectors are sweat glands, which produce sweat (the response). As the sweat evaporates
from Frank’s skin, heat is lost, and the body is cooled. Since the stimulus was an increase in Frank’s body
temperature and the response attempts to decrease his body temperature, this is an example of negative
feedback, where the response opposes the stimulus.
By investigating Frank’s case study, we have been able to explore how the body, through normal anatomy
and physiology can employ various mechanisms to protect us from everyday harm, whether in the form of
disease by microorganisms or temperature fluctuations from external or internal stimuli. We have been
able to relate these mechanisms to Frank’s scenario to explain the issues experienced by Frank.