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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Chapter 1: Introduction and Homeostasis
1. What is mass balance? How does it apply to the concept of homeostasis?
2. Define homeostasis as a concept. What is the function of homeostasis? What is the result of loss of
3. What is negative feedback and what are the components of a response loop? Be able to apply the
concept of negative feedback and maintaining homeostasis to specific examples (eg. maintaining body
temperature or blood glucose).
4. How do positive and negative feedback loops differ? How does positive and negative feedback relate
to homeostasis? Be able to apply these concepts to specific examples.
Chapter 2: Atoms, Ions, and Molecules
1. Define the following: element, atom, proton, neutron, electron, salt, ion, cation, anion, molecule,
2. What is an element? What atomic structure defines an element?
3. Describe the following chemical bonds: ionic bonds, polar and nonpolar covalent bonds, hydrogen
bonds. What role do electrons play in each type of bond? How can each type of bond be broken?
4. What are the components of a chemical reaction? How does the concentration of the reactant and
product affect the rate of reaction? What is chemical equilibrium and how are the products and
reactants affected when chemical equilibrium is disrupted?
5. What is a solution? What is a solvent? How do polar (water) and nonpolar (fat) solvents differ? What is
a solute? What is an acid? What is a base? How do buffers prevent fluctuations in pH? Know, in
particular, the bicarbonate buffer discussed in lab.
6. What are some common solutes found in the body? Which are hydrophobic, hydrophilic, and
amphipathic? What is the biological significance of this chemical characteristic? Also know the terms
lipophilic and lipophobic.
7. Describe the general chemical composition (you do not need to memorize specific chemical structures),
physical characteristics, and biological functions of the four groups of organic molecules:
a. Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, especially glucose & fructose; disaccharides; glycogen
b. Lipids: saturated & unsaturated fatty acids; triglycerides; phospholipids; cholesterol
c. Protein: amino acids; peptide bonds; primary structure; secondary structure; tertiary structure;
quaternary structure. What is the significance of the three-dimensional shape of a protein?
d. Nucleic acids: nucleotides; DNA; RNA; ATP
8. Protein interactions: Describe how protein function can be activated when a protein binds to a ligand.
What factors affect protein binding and activity? What factors affect protein shape and function?
Ch. 3: Membrane Structure (6th ed: pg. 63 – 69; 7th ed: pg. 59 – 65)
1. Identify the following fluid compartments and how they relate to each other: intracellular fluids,
cytoplasm, cytosol, extracellular fluids, interstitial fluids, plasma.
2. What are the general functions of the plasma membrane?
3. Describe the structure and/or function of the following aspects of cell membrane structure:
phospholipids, cholesterol, lipid bilayer, micelle, carbohydrates, membrane proteins, glycolipids,
4. Describe the fluid mosaic model.
5. What is the function of membranes within a cell? How does the structure of intracellular membranes
compare to the plasma membrane?
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Ch. 5: Membrane Dynamics
1. Explain the principle of mass balance and how it applies to physiological systems such as fluid balance
or metabolism (see Chapter 1 as well).
2. What is the difference between homeostasis and equilibrium? What is meant by chemical
disequilibrium and dynamic steady state? How do these principles apply to body fluid compartments?
3. In which compartments are the following solutes most abundant: Na+, K+, Ca+2, Cl–, protein,
bicarbonate ion (HCO3–)?
4. What makes a membrane selectively permeable? Why must cell membranes be selectively permeable?
What is a penetrable solute versus a non-penetrating solute?
5. Define osmosis and describe the force that drives osmosis. What is osmolarity? What is tonicity?
What makes a solution hypertonic, isotonic, or hypotonic?
6. What is osmotic equilibrium? What is solute disequilibrium? Why is important that these be
maintained? How are they maintained?
7. Explain how diffusion works. What factors affect the rate of diffusion and how?
8. What is the difference between passive transport and active transport? What is the relationship
between these types of transport and concentration gradients?
9. Describe the function of the following types of membrane proteins: structural proteins, receptors,
channel proteins, carrier proteins, and membrane-bound enzymes.
10. What is simple diffusion? What is facilitated diffusion? What factors affect facilitated diffusion and
how do they work?
11. How does solubility (water soluble vs. fat soluble) of a molecule affect transport?
12. What is the most important active transport pump in the body? Is it a symport or an antiport? Explain
secondary active transport.
13. Describe the following types of vesicular transport: phagocytosis, endocytosis, exocytosis.
Chapter 4: Cellular Metabolism
1. Describe the difference between potential energy and kinetic energy. What are the different forms of
2. What is the relationship between energy and chemical reactions?
3. What is activation energy?
4. What is an endergonic reaction and an exergonic reaction?
5. Understanding enzymes:
a. Define enzyme. What type of organic molecule are enzymes?
b. What is a substrate?
c. What is an active site?
d. How does the name of an enzyme relate to its function?
e. How do enzymes catalyze chemical reactions?
6. What is a metabolic pathway? What is a biosynthetic, or anabolic pathway? What is a degradative, or
catabolic pathway?
7. What is ATP and how is energy stored in this molecule? How is energy released? What is the
importance of this molecule in the cell?
8. What is the function of an electron carrier (NAD+/NADH, FADH+/FADH2)? What are oxidation and
reduction reactions?
9. What is cellular respiration?
10. Describe the flow of energy in a cell from glucose to ATP during aerobic respiration: glycolysis, citric
acid cycle, electron transport system. What is the energy yield of each of these pathways?
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
11. What substrates are needed for the first reaction of each of these metabolic pathways? What are the
final products of each pathway? Where do these metabolic pathways occur in a eukaryotic (ie. human)
12. Rank the following substrates in terms of their potential energy (in other words, their potential for
making ATP): glucose, pyruvate, acetyl CoA, NADH, and FADH2,
13. What is the difference between substrate phosphorylation and oxidative phosphorylation? Which is
more efficient?
14. What is the pathway responsible for fat metabolism? How do triglycerides enter the aerobic respiration
pathway? Why is fat more efficient than carbohydrates or protein as an energy source?
14. What is anaerobic respiration (fermentation) and when is it used? What determines VO2, VO2 max,
and aerobic capacity?
15. CO2 is derived from what molecule?
16. What is the role of O2 in cellular respiration? How is it metabolized? What compound does it produce?
Chapter 6: Communication, Integration, and Homeostasis
1. What are the four basic methods of cell-to-cell communication?
2. What is the role of a gap-junction in cell-to-cell communication?
3. What is the difference between a paracrine and an autocrine?
4. How do hormones, neurohormones, and neurotransmitters differ?
5. What is a cytokine?
6. What is a receptor and what is its function? Define agonist and antagonist.
7. How do lipophilic (fat soluble) and lipophobic (water soluble) differ in how they act on a cell?
8. What is signal transduction and what are the basic components of a transduction pathway? How does a
signal cascade amplify a cell’s response?
9. What is the role of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation? What are the enzymes responsible for
these modifications? What is a second messenger and how does it bring about a response in a cell?
10. What are the four common membrane receptor types?
11. What are some common ways that signal pathways can be modulated?
12. How does the endocrine system compare to the nervous system in terms of specificity, signaling
mechanism, speed and duration of the signal, and signal intensity?
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Chapter 7: The Endocrine System
Define hormone.
Describe the three chemical classes of hormones: peptide and protein hormones, steroid hormones, and
amine hormones. Describe how they differ structurally and how they differ functionally.
Compare and contrast a simple endocrine reflex pathway with a simple neuronal reflex pathway for
maintaining homeostasis. Be able to recognize examples of each.
Describe the basic neuroendocrine reflex pathway using the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid system as
an example. Be able to apply this model to other anterior pituitary hormones. What is the portal system
and its significance? Remember that hypophysis is another name for the anterior pituitary.
Which hormones are produced by the anterior pituitary and what are their general functions?
Which hormones are produced by the posterior pituitary and what are their general functions? How
does the regulation and release of posterior pituitary hormones differ from the regulation and release of
anterior pituitary hormones?
Which hormone is regulated by positive feedback? What is the stimulus? What are its functions?
What neurohormones are produced by the adrenal medulla, the posterior pituitary, and the
hypothalamus? What are the general functions of these neurohormones?
What are some possible causes of endocrine imbalances? Recognize examples of each.
Chapter 8: The Nervous System
1. How are the following components of the nervous system organized? CNS, PNS; sensory neurons
(afferent), efferent neurons; somatic motor division, autonomic division; sympathetic and
parasympathetic divisions.
2. What are the three classes of neurons? How do they differ?
3. Describe the structure of a neuron, including cell body, dendrite, axon, axon hillock, axon terminal,
4. What is the role of myelination of a neuron?
Membrane Potential: Concepts from Chapter 5 (6th ed: pg. 63 – 69; 7th ed: pg. 59 – 65)
a. What is a membrane potential? What is the resting membrane potential?
b. How do ions, electrochemical concentration gradients, and differential permeability of a membrane
contribute to the establishment of a resting membrane potential? Which ions make the primary
contribution to a resting membrane potential?
c. What is the role of the Na+/K+ pump in maintaining the resting membrane potential?
d. What is meant by depolarization of a membrane? What causes this to happen?
e. What is meant by hyperpolarization? What causes this to happen?
How do chemical, mechanical, and voltage-gated ion channels differ? At what point during the
stimulation of a neuron are these different channels activated? What is the effect of opening each of
these channels on the action potential?
What is the role of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in the axon terminal?
What is the direction of flow of each of the following ions: Na+, K+, Ca2+, Cl–. What affect does the
flow of each of these ions have on the polarity of a membrane? What type of channel(s) is/are used by
each of these ions and where are they located on a neuron? What type of potential is produced with the
flow through each type of channel?
What is a graded potential? What is the difference between a graded potential and an action potential?
What is the relationship between graded potentials and the "all or none" rule of action potentials?
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
10. What is a threshold potential? What is the effect of threshold on an action potential?
11. Describe the changes that occur to an excitable membrane during an action potential.
12. What is the refractory period and what is its function? What is the difference between the relative
refractory period and the absolute refractory period?
13. What is saltatory conduction and what role does it play in motor movement?
14. What is the consequence to the resting membrane potential if the K+ or Na+ concentration in the ECF is
too high or too low (hyper- or hypo-kalemia and hyper- or hypo-natremia)? What effect does the
change in RMP have on the production of an action potential?
15. What is the role of neurotransmitters in synaptic transmission?
16. Describe the events that occur at a chemical synapse during synaptic transmission.
17. What is an excitatory synapse and an inhibitory synapse? What are EPSP and IPSP and how do they
contribute to the generation of an action potential on the postsynaptic neuron? What type of
neurotransmitter is used to produce each of these graded potentials?
18. Describe temporal summation and spatial summation and their effect on the action potential.
Chapter 11: Efferent Nervous System
1. What is the "fight-or-flight" response of the sympathetic nervous system? Which body systems are
stimulated by the sympathetic system? Which body systems are inhibited?
2. What are the "housekeeping" functions of the parasympathetic nervous system? Which body systems
are stimulated by the parasympathetic system? Which body systems are inhibited?
3. What is the relationship between the adrenal medulla and the sympathetic nervous system? What
hormones are secreted by the adrenal glands and what are their functions?
4. Describe the process of impulse transmission across the neuromuscular junction, including the action
potential on the motor neuron, the role of voltage gated Ca+2 channels, exocytosis of synaptic vesicles,
the release of neurotransmitter, the effect of neurotransmitter binding to receptors on the motor end
plate, and the generation of the end plate potential.
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Chapter 12: Muscles
1. Describe each of the following structural elements of a muscle: muscle fiber, myofibril, thick and thin
filaments, myosin and actin, H zone, A band, I band, and sarcomere. Understand the relationship of
each of the previous components to each other in terms of level of organization. Describe the changes
in a sarcomere during a contraction.
2. Describe the sliding filament mechanism, including the role of myosin and actin, ATP hydrolysis, and
cross-bridge formation.
3. Describe how a muscle contraction is regulated, including the role of the troponin-tropomyosin
complex, Ca+2, and the sarcoplasmic reticulum.
4. Describe how a muscle contraction is initiated by an action potential and how it is stopped, including
the role of the transverse tubules, the neuromuscular junction, and acetylcholine.
5. Describe the relationship between ATP, creatine phosphate, oxygen, glycogen, glucose, and aerobic
and anaerobic respiration in muscle metabolism.
6. Describe the properties of the following types of muscle fibers:
a) slow-twitch oxidative fibers (red aerobic)
b) fast-twitch oxidative fibers (intermediate, red aerobic)
c) fast-twitch glycolytic fibers (white anaerobic)
7. Describe the length-tension relationship between the length of a muscle and tension development
(strength of contraction).
8. What is the relationship between an action potential and the latent period, contraction time, and
relaxation time of the resulting muscle contraction? Understand how the time frame of a muscle
contraction can result in the summation of twitches.
9. Describe the following types of contraction associated with graded responses: twitch, summation,
tetanus, and recruitment.
10. Describe a motor unit. What is the significance of the size of a motor unit?
11. Describe the difference between an isotonic contraction and an isometric contraction, and their
relationship to load. What is an eccentric action?
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Chapter 14: Cardiovascular Physiology
1. Describe the relationship between blood pressure gradients, volume, and resistance and how they
determine blood flow. What is the difference between hydraulic pressure and hydrostatic pressure?
What is cardiac output?
2. Explain the factors that influence resistance. Describe the effect of vasoconstriction and vasodilation on
blood flow.
3. Describe the structure and function of each part of following parts of the heart: the right and left atria,
right and left ventricles, septum, the pulmonary arteries and veins: inferior and superior vena cava, and
aorta; tricuspid and bicuspid valves, papillary muscles, chordae tendineae, and the aortic and
pulmonary semilunar valves.
4. Describe the mechanism responsible for opening and closing the heart valves. Describe how the heart
sounds are produced. What is a heart murmur?
5. Describe the basic organization of the blood vessels, including pulmonary and systemic circulation,
arteries, veins, and capillaries.
6. Trace the pathway of blood through the heart and the vessels of the cardiac circulation listing all
structures and vessels by name.
7. How does myocardial cell contraction compare to skeletal muscle cell contraction? Include differences
in Ca+2 release, graded contractions, length-tension relationship, action potentials, and refractory
8. Describe the flow of Na+, K+ and Ca+2 ions in myocardial action potentials. What produces the
plateau phase and what is its purpose?
9. Describe how an action potential is generated in an autorhythmic cell of the conduction system
(pacemaker potentials) and how this compares to an action potential on a neuron.
10. Describe the components of the heart's electrical conduction system and how the system functions.
What is heart block?
11. Describe the three major waves of an electrocardiogram (P, QRS, and T waves) and how they correlate
with contraction events through the heart.
12. Describe the cardiac cycle and the changes that occur in blood volume, pressure gradients, and blood
flow. Correlate the electrical and mechanical events of the cardiac cycle with these changes.
13. Define the following terms: systole and diastole, end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, and stroke
14. Define cardiac output and explain its relationship to stroke volume and heart rate. Describe the factors
that regulate and influence cardiac output. What is venous return? What is the relationship between the
control of cardiac output and the autonomic nervous system? What is the ultimate control of cardiac
output? (ANSWER: the body's need for oxygen!)
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Ch. 15: Blood Flow and the Control of Blood Pressure
1. Describe the structural and functional differences between arteries, arterioles, capillaries, veins,
venules, and endothelium.
2. What is the relationship between compliance, recoil, and blood pressure in arteries?
3. Describe the changes in blood pressure throughout the circulatory system, from the heart through the
arteries, arterioles, capillaries, veins, and back to the heart.
4. Describe how blood pressure is measured using sphygmomanometry.
5. Define systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, pulse pressure, and mean arterial pressure. What is the
significance of these measurements?
6. Describe how mean arterial blood pressure is regulated by cardiac output, peripheral resistance, and
blood volume.
7. What is the function of vasoconstriction in arterioles and their role as resistance vessels? How is
vasoconstriction regulated? What is the role of vasoconstriction in perfusion and distribution of blood
8. What is the difference between rate of blood flow and velocity of blood flow? How does crosssectional area of the blood vessels affect these measurements? (See Ch. 14)
9. Describe the physical and mechanical characteristics of capillaries that allow them to be so efficient at
exchanging materials with cells in your tissues, including capillary structure, capillary distribution, and
the relationship between rate of blood flow and total cross-sectional area of the capillaries.
10. Explain the role of hydrostatic pressure (net filtration pressure) and colloid osmotic pressure (oncotic
pressure) in capillary filtration.
11. Describe the structure and function of the lymphatic system and how lymphatic fluids are returned to
the blood circulation.
12. Explain how the baroreceptor reflex maintains blood pressure.
13. Describe how cholesterol is transported by high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein
(LDL), and how it is involved in the development of atherosclerosis.
14. Define and describe the following pathologies: atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, thrombus,
hypertension, congestive heart failure ischemia, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, congestive
heart failure. Explain how compensation can delay symptoms of cardiovascular disease.
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Chapter 17: Respiratory Physiology
1. What is the difference between cellular respiration and external respiration?
2. What is the function of the following respiratory structures: pharynx, epiglottis, trachea, bronchi, lungs,
bronchioles, alveoli, visceral and parietal pleura, and the diaphragm and intercostal muscles.
3. Define the following respiratory volumes: tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve
volume, residual volume, vital capacity, forced expiratory vital capacity, and FEV1 and the FEV1/FVC
ratio. What is the significance of pulmonary function tests (spirometry)?
4. What are the units of gas pressure? What is partial pressure of a gas? What is Boyle’s Law? Describe
the relationship between pressure and volume.
5. Describe how the following properties are involved in or influence ventilation: atmospheric pressure,
intrapulmonary pressure, intrapleural pressure, gas pressure gradients, the role of the diaphragm and
intercostal muscles, compliance, elastic recoil, alveolar surface tension and alveolar size, and
6. What is pneumothorax? How is one brought about?
7. What is the importance of ventilation-perfusion matching? What controls vasodilation and constriction
of pulmonary arterioles? What controls bronchoconstriction and dilation of airways? How do these
control mechanisms help match ventilation to perfusion?
8. How does bronchodilation and bronchoconstriction affect ventilation?
Chapter 18: Gas Exchange & Transport
1. What factors influence gas exchange between the alveoli and the capillaries. How is solubility
important to gas exchange and what factors influence solubility?
2. Describe how gases are transferred between the alveoli and the pulmonary capillaries. Include the
forces and barriers involved.
3. Explain the causes of the following respiratory pathologies and whether they are restrictive or
obstructive disorders. How would this be determined? Emphysema, fibrosis, pulmonary edema,
asthma, and bronchitis.
4. What are the two ways that oxygen is transported in the blood? What effect does temperature and pH
have on oxygen-hemoglobin binding?
5. What is the relationship between high altitude physiology and the understanding of the causes of
hypoxia? What effect does high altitude have on oxygen loading of hemoglobin? What are the
physiological effects of high altitude and hypoxia? How does the body adapt to high altitude? What are
the symptoms of acute mountain sickness?
6. What are the three ways carbon dioxide is transported in the blood? What is the effect of CO2 on the
pH of plasma? What effect does pH have on O2 binding to hemoglobin?
7. Describe how carbon dioxide is converted into bicarbonate ion, and the role of carbon dioxide in acidbase balance in the blood. What is the role of carbonic anhydrase?
8. Describe the factors that control respiration, including the peripheral and central chemoreceptors, H+
ion concentration, O2 partial pressure, and CO2 partial pressure.
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Chapter 19: The Kidneys
1. Describe the general functions of the urinary system.
2. Describe the anatomical components of the urinary system including the kidneys, the ureters, the
urinary bladder, and the urethra.
3. Describe the structure and function of the nephron: the glomerular capsule (Bowman's), proximal
convoluted tubule, loop of Henle, distal convoluted tubule, and collecting tubule. Describe how these
structures are arranged in relationship to the kidney as a whole.
4. Describe the vascular system associated with the nephron: the afferent arteriole, the glomerulus, the
efferent arteriole, and the peritubular capillary bed.
5. Describe the process of glomerular filtration, including significance of glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
and the forces that contribute to the GFR. Describe how GFR is regulated.
6. Describe the process of tubular reabsorption, including reabsorption of Na+ and glucose; hormonal
control by aldosterone and the renin-angiotensin system; the different compounds that can be
reabsorbed; and the factors that govern reabsorption.
7. What is saturation, transport maximum (Tm), and renal threshold and how are they related? How is this
related to diabetes mellitus?
8. Describe the process of tubular secretion, and the types of compounds that are secreted.
Ch. 20: Fluid and Electrolyte Balance
1. Describe the relationship between blood pressure (blood volume), blood osmolarity, and water balance.
2. Describe the process of urine production and the factors that govern water balance.
3. Describe the composition of normal urine. Which components fluctuate under normal circumstances?
Which components would not normally be found in urine and what abnormal physiological conditions
would these components indicate?
4. Describe the countercurrent multiplier effect of the loop of Henle and explain how the loop of Henle
helps to maintain water balance.
5. Describe the effects of antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) and aldosterone. Describe how these
hormones are regulated. Describe the role of these hormones and the thirst response in maintaining
blood pressure.
6. Define pH and how it is measured.
7. What is the effect of acidosis and alkalosis on biological tissues?
8. Describe the mechanisms used by the body to regulate blood pH including chemical buffers, the
respiratory system, and the urinary system.
Fall, 2016
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Denise Lim, Instructor
Bio 5 - Human Physiology
Study Guide
Chapter 24: Immune System
1. What are the basic differences between bacteria and viruses?
2. Describe the body’s first line of defense.
3. What is chemotaxis and phagocytosis? What role do they play in the second line of defense?
4. Describe the process of inflammation. What are the four characteristics of inflammation?
5. What is an antigen? What molecules make the best antigens?
6. Describe the general structure of an antibody.
7. Describe clonal expansion. How does clonal expansion help protect the body against future infection
by the same pathogen?
8. Describe the humoral response. What is the function of a B cell? What is the difference between an
effector cell and a memory cell? What is the difference between the primary response and the
secondary response?
9. Describe the functions of antibodies: stimulation of phagocytosis (opsonization), agglutination
(clumping of antigen), stimulation of killer cells, the activation of complement system, stimulation of
inflammation, and neutralization.
10. Describe the cell-mediated response. How does it differ from the humoral response?
11. What is antigen-presentation?
12. What is a helper T cell? What is a cytotoxic, or killer T cell?
13. What is major histocompatibility complex? What is its function?
14. What are interleukins?
15. What is an allergic response? What is the cause?
16. Describe the technique and significance of blood typing, both for ABO blood type and Rh blood type.
Fall, 2016
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