The Rx Bricks Podcast
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Gastrulation is a major milestone in development. It is the process of forming a trilaminar (three-layered) embryo by creating the three germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm). These germ layers are the building blocks for forming the entire body. The term gastrulation means formation of the gastrula, which is the name of the three-layered embryo. Gastrulation…Listen »
When you know the meaning of the word autonomic, the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) becomes clearer. Autonomic denotes involuntary or subconscious activity. In physiology, it refers to the many bodily functions that are subconsciously controlled, such as breathing, digestion, and—most relevant to our discussion here—heartbeats. The ANS is the neural network that controls…Listen »
Aneuploidies are chromosome number abnormalities. Trisomies fall under the umbrella of aneuploidies. The term trisomy comes from tri, meaning tripled, and soma, meaning body—the tripling of a single chromosomal body. This serious genetic abnormality can have significant effects on development. There are two types of trisomies: X/Y and autosomal. The X/Y trisomies result from an…Listen »
The 22 bones that make up the human skull can be divided into two groups: The eight bones that make up the neurocranium, which houses the brain The 14 facial bones, including the mandible, which make up the structure of the face Grouping the 22 bones this way makes it easier to commit them to…Listen »
Glucose is the main source of energy for all forms of life, but it isn’t usually stored as individual C6H12O6 molecules. Animals use glycogen to do that job. Glycogen is a large branched polymer of glucose molecules, linked together by α-1,4 and α-1,6 glycosidic bonds. The liver and muscles break down the stored glycogen whenever the…Listen »
Cardiac auscultation is a clinical skill that involves listening to heart sounds using a stethoscope. It is a low-tech way of detecting disease directly without expensive scanners, blood work, or pathology reports—and another reminder that the art of medicine is not a lost art despite today’s technology. Moreover, heart disease is so common that we…Listen »
Eukaryotic cells reproduce themselves by going through the cell cycle, which divides one cell into two. The cell cycle comprises two main phases, interphase and mitosis, both of which are further broken down into steps, as well as a separate resting phase. When a cell divides appropriately, this allows our bodies to fix damaged tissue…Listen »
Hyperthyroidism is an elevation in the serum thyroid hormones T3 and T4 (thyroxine), caused by excess thyroid hormone production from the thyroid gland. This can result from an abnormal thyroid gland (primary hyperthyroidism) or increased synthesis of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) by the anterior pituitary gland (secondary hyperthyroidism) or by overdosing on thyroid medication (exogenous…Listen »
You probably know that the kidneys play an important role in maintaining blood pressure within the normal range. You might also know that they do this by regulating blood volume and the degree of arterial contraction or dilation (the systemic vascular resistance). But do you know how the kidneys do this? The answer is the…Listen »
Glycolysis is the first step of metabolism and the biochemical pathway by which glucose is converted into pyruvate. Some cells use glycolysis to make pyruvate to use in other metabolic processes; others, like erythrocytes, rely on glycolysis as their main means of energy production. Because glycolysis is central to energy production, it is tightly regulated…Listen »