1. Form and Function: What are its main parts and what do the parts do? How does it use or generate electricity? How do electrons move through it?
The SA node, or Sinoatrial node tells your heart how fast to beat. It generates electricity through changes in the movement of calcium, potassium, and sodium ions. Electrons move through the sinus node, then the atrioventricular node, then the bundle of His. This divides into right and left pathways which lead to the right and left ventricles, respectively.
2. What are the social implications? (How might people be affected?) Consider less developed countries and locations with different climates or geography.
The SA node functions like a sparkplug in a car engine. If it stops working the ‘gas’ (blood) can’t get through, so the ‘car’ (body) stops. The blood carries oxygen to various parts of the body, especially the brain, which can only survive a maximum of five minutes without oxygen, so if it stops working and medical aid cannot be delivered fast enough, the patient will die.
3. What are the ethical implications? (What is morally right or wrong?)
There are no real ethical implications to do with the SA node, as it is a natural part of the human body rather than an invention of man.
4. What are the environmental implications? (How does it affects the natural world?)
Polyurethane is used in the making of artificial pacemakers. Polyurethane spray has bad effects on humans and other organisms, so I would say that there are negative effects on the environment when the SA node doesn’t work.
I think that we did a good job overall of sticking to our rules, which we decided on at the beginning of this project. We did our research efficiently, and stayed on topic for the most part in the time that I was present. I was absent for one of our work periods, so I am unsure as to how well my partner did. One thing that we could have done better – it would have been good to figure out exactly what we were doing for our model before we began work.
A picture of our model (created by Aubrey during my absence):