Cardiology

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This month we got to meet the amazing Emily Sharpe, a healthcare consultant who got her PhD in Cardiology. She taught us all about myocytes (muscle cells) in the heart, variations in heart rate, and how cardiac output changes over time.

When isolated, a myocyte "beats" on its own, to its own rhythm of electrical signals. But when grouped together, the myocytes sync up to produce a unified heart beat – and what better way to illustrate this than with cookies!

myocite-cookie-heart.gif

After decorating (and eating) our "myocytes," we measured our individual heart rates before and after a bit of exercise, to calculate the difference. We saw that resting heart rate, max heart rate, and the difference between them varies greatly from person to person.

Along the way, there was lots of fascinating discussion about how/why the heart behaves the way it does (and how we are made of electricity!). We also got to hear from Emily about her graduate school experience and advice for anyone who might be interested in pursuing scientific research.