Courses

Life Sciences 2: Evolutionary Human Physiology and Anatomy

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2018

Why is the human body the way that it is? This course explores human anatomy and physiology from an integrated framework, combining functional, comparative, and evolutionary perspectives on how organisms work. Major topics, which follow a life-course framework, include embryogenesis, metabolism and energetics, growth and development, movement and locomotion, food and digestion, stress and disease, and reproduction. Also considered is the relevance of human biology to contemporary issues in human health and biology.

HEB 1210: Research in Comparative Biomechanics

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

This class introduces students to experimental techniques used to investigate the structure and physiology of humans. Students undertake a supervised research project in the Skeletal Biology and Biomechanics Laboratory. Students meet to introduce their project, discuss their work and progress, and to present their final results. An extensive commitment of time in the laboratory is required. Grades are based on the work completed, the oral presentation, and a short research paper.

See also: Other Classes

HEB 1420: Human Evolutionary Anatomy

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

How did the human body evolve, and how does it develop, grow and function? This course provides an integrative regional overview of human anatomy, with an emphasis on the musculo-skeletal system, and a comparative approach to the evolution of modern anatomy. Additional topics include skeletal and dental development, and gross anatomy of the nervous, circulatory, and digestive systems.

See also: Other Classes

HEB 2100: Diet and Exercise (seminar)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

This seminar considers evolutionary factors underlying how variations in diet and exercise affect the human body. Why do we tend to crave foods rich in fat and sugar? How unhealthful are saturated fats? Why has the prevalence of food allergies skyrocketed? Why are we so susceptible to sports injuries? Is exercise really medicine?

Weekly readings and discussion will be used to explore how ancestral diets and forms of physical activity have shaped human anatomy and physiology, and how differences between past and present diets and forms of exercise may contribute to illness, mortality, and variations in reproductive success. In doing so, we challenge popular conceptions of what it means to be “healthy.”

 

See also: Other Classes

Science of Living Systems 16: Human Evolution and Human Health

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2017

How and why did humans evolve to be the way we are, and what are the implications of our evolved anatomy and physiology for human health in a post-industrial world? Why do we get sick, and how can we use principles of evolution to improve health and wellbeing? To address these questions, this course reviews the major transitions that occurred in human evolution, from the divergence of the ape and human lineages to the origins of modern humans. Also considered are the many effects of recent cultural and technological shifts such as agriculture and industrialization on human health.

See also: Other Classes

If you are an undergraduate who is interested in working in the lab, please take LS2. This is the prerequisite for HEB 1210, which is the research course for the Skeletal Biology and Biomechanics Lab. If you have any questions, contact nick_holowka@fas.harvard.edu.