How the Human Body Works: 50 Free Resources & Open Courseware Classes

It is always helpful to be able to learn more about the human body. Whether you are studying for medical exams, brushing up on your knowledge or just want to know how your body works, it is possible to find out through open courseware. A number of universities and colleges offer free courses on the human body and how it works. Here are 50 resources that can help you learn more about the body:

Introduction to the Body

79753611CF011_CONTROVERSIALBefore you dive into the minute workings of the body, it helps to have a basic overview of how the body functions. These classes will help you build a foundation with regard to the body’s development.

  1. Human Growth and Development from Tufts University offers helpful information on the way the body grows and develops from birth to death.
  2. Adolescent Health and Development from Johns Hopkins University provides an insightful look at how youth develop.
  3. General Human Anatomy from the University of California Berkeley focuses on the basics of the body’s systems, and what goes on inside of it.
  4. Introductory Biology from MIT provides an overview of biology. This is necessary for understanding how the body works as a biological entity.
  5. Introduction to Cardiac Care from Columbia University offers a look at how the heart works, and a basic foundation for understanding heart disease.
  6. Introduction to Clinical Pain Problems from Tufts University looks at the issue of pain and how the body deals with. A course that can help you learn about evaluating and treating paid.
  7. Introduction to Health Policy from Johns Hopkins University can give you a basic understanding of how policy affects the way the body is treated in medical settings.
  8. Issues in complentary and alternative medicine from The Open University provides an overview of health practices that fall outside the Western medical tradition. Also addresses how these practices work with the human body.

Body Systems

The human body is made up of different systems that have separate functions. Get an idea of what system is designed to do.

  1. A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain from MIT offers a look at how the brain works. Includes information on the differences between a healthy brain and an unhealthy brain.
  2. Gastroenterology from MIT provides a look at the gastrointestinal system and how it works.
  3. Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology from Tufts University is designed to help you learn about diseases that affect the digestive system.
  4. Renal Pathosphysiology from Tufts University explores the importance of the renal system — especially the kidneys. Provides an overview of how the renal system works, and how it can be affected by disease.
  5. Cardiovascular Pathophysiology from Tufts University looks at the way the heart and the rest of cardiovascular system work.
  6. Musculoskeletal Pathophysiology from Tufts University provides information on how the muscles and the skeleton work together. Also explores the effects of degenerative diseases on the musculoskeletal system.
  7. Opthamology Grand Rounds from Tufts University provides interesting insight into how the eyes work. There is also special cases of eye care and disease from the New England Eye Center Grand Rounds.
  8. Molecular Biology for the Auditory System from MIT provides a look at how the ears work.
  9. Acoustics of Speech and Hearing from MIT looks at the ways the human ear transforms sound into something intelligible to the hearer.

Reproduction and Genetics

Learn about reproduction, as well as learn more about how genetics form the building blocks of the body and determine how it works.

  1. Human Reproductive Biology from MIT looks at both the female and male reproductive systems. Looks at reproductive development, and diseases that can result.
  2. Biology of Sex from San Diego State University provides materials that help you understand how sex works from a biological standpoint.
  3. Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemology from Johns Hopkins University tracks how reproduction works, as well as devotes time to addressing issues related to infertility, contraception and public policy.
  4. Preventing Infant Mortality and Promoting the Health of Women, Infants, and Children from Johns Hopkins University addresses the issues of how to better take care of those directly involved in child bearing and rearing.
  5. Gene Expression an its Regulation from the University of Alberta probes genetic function, as well as the biological processes behind the way genes are put together.
  6. Genetics from Tufts University focuses on genetics and how they can be applied to modern medicine. Also includes information on how genetic diseases work in the body.
  7. Genomic Medicine from MIT addresses the concept of using genes to enhance medicine. Also addresses the latest genomic technologies.
  8. Genomics and Computational Biology from MIT looks at the relationships seen in genes, and how to model them using computers.

Conditions, Illness and Disease

Different conditions of illness and disease can change the way the body works. Learn how diseases and other adverse conditions affect the human body.

  1. Microbiology from Tufts University looks at the microbes that cause diseases. Learn how microbial pathogens work in the body.
  2. Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases from Johns Hopkins University provides a look at understanding infectious diseases and looks at the development of acute infections.
  3. Pathophysiology of Infectious Diseases from Tufts University follows the development of diseases, and the courses they take in the human body.
  4. Images of Memorable Cases: 50 Years at the Bedside is a collection resource from Connexions that provides a look at medical diagnosis, providing interesting case studies in illness.
  5. Diabetes Mellitus: Diagnoses and Pathophysiology from Tufts University provides helpful insights into diabetes and how it works in the human body. Looks at both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  6. Impact of Pandemic Influenza on Public Health from Johns Hopkins University looks at the development of different kinds of flu in the human body, as well as its rapid spread and how it affects societal response.
  7. America’s Battle for a Cure: The Culture and Politics of Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment from Columbia University provides a look at breast cancer, and the issues surrounding it. Also addresses the progression of the disease.
  8. Biography of the AIDS Epidemic from Columbia University looks at the development of AIDS as a disease, as well as how it affects the human body.
  9. Malariology from Johns Hopkins University looks at malaria and how it affects humans. Also looks at parasitic diseases in general.
  10. Brain injury: Recovery from Psychology Wiki looks at he impact of brain injury, and treatments for helping someone recover.
  11. Confronting the Burden of Injuries from Johns Hopkins University provides insight into the human body and how it (and the mind) reacts to injuries.

Mental Health

The mind is an important part of the body. And, while the brain still remains in large measure shrouded in mystery, it is possible to learn to improve mental health and enhance the working of both mind and body.

  1. Mental Health practice: Bonnyrigg from The Open University approaches issues relating to mental health. Also distinguishes mental illness from mental health.
  2. General Psychology from the University of California Berkeley provides a good overview of how the brain works, and looks at mental health.
  3. Clinical Psychology from the University of California Berkeley offers a look into the theory and practice of psychology and dysfunction.
  4. Psychiatric Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University addresses mental illness and psychiatric disorders that can occur and affect the body as well as the mind.
  5. Psychology of Personality from University of California Berkeley looks at how personality is developed, and how it works in humans.
  6. Challenging ideas in mental health from The Open University provides a look at how mental health is addressed, including policy questions.

Nutrition and Fitness

What we eat and how we exercise impacts our bodies’ function. In order to understand how the human body works, it is important to understand the effects of nutrition and fitness.

  1. Introduction to Human Nutrition from the University of California Berkeley looks at how the digestive system and the metabolism work, and how nutrients impact the body.
  2. Critical Analysis of Popular Diets and Dietary Supplements from Johns Hopkins University explores how diet fads and the supplements we take affect the human body.
  3. Principles of Pharmacology from MIT looks at different pharmacological agents affect the human body.
  4. Principles of Drug Development from Johns Hopkins University looks at how drugs are developed, and the kinds of effects they have on the body.
  5. Nutrition and Medicine from Tufts University addresses nutrition as part of the medical establishment, and looks at how it affects the human body.
  6. Food and Nutrition Policy from Johns Hopkins University looks at how the policies adopted can affect human health.
  7. Alcohol and Human Health from The Open University provides a look at how alcohol affects the human body and its function.
  8. Improving aerobic fitness from The Open University provides insight into the helpful effects of fitness on the body.

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