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Medicine LibreTexts


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  • Gross and microscopic structure of the human body through lecture and laboratory study of dissections, histology slides, anatomy models, and prosected human cadavers. Primarily intended for Nursing, Respiratory Care, Allied Health, Surgical Technology, Kinesiology, and other health-related fields.

    Compiled by Prof. Yancy Aquino

    • 1: Overview & The Microscope
      WHAT YOU’LL LEARN TO DO: Describe and identify anatomical position and locate major organs.
    • 2: Cytology
      In this lab students will learn to identify main external and internal cell structures.
    • 3: Histology
      Epithelial tissue serves two main functions in the body. (1) It provides linings for external and internal surfaces that face harsh environments. The outer layer of the skin is epithelial tissue, as are the innermost layers of the digestive tract, the respiratory tract, and blood vessels. (2) It forms glands that secrete materials onto epithelial surfaces or into the blood. Sweat glands, salivary glands, mammary glands, and pituitary glands are examples of glands made of epithelial tissue.
    • 4: The Integumentary System
      Although you may not typically think of the skin as an organ, it is in fact made of tissues that work together as a single structure to perform unique and critical functions. The skin and its accessory structures make up the integumentary system, which provides the body with overall protection. The skin is made of multiple layers of cells and tissues, which are held to underlying structures by connective tissue.
    • 5: The Axial Skeleton
      The bones of the human body can be divided into two broad groups, the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton comprises the bones found along the central axis traveling down the center of the body. The appendicular skeleton comprises the bones appended to the central axis.
    • 6: The Appendicular Skeleton
      The appendicular skeleton is made up by the bones attached or appended to the axial skeleton. These are the bones of the limbs, hands, and feet, the bones of the pectoral (shoulder) girdles, and the coxal bones of the pelvic girdle.
    • 7: Joints
      The adult human body has 206 bones, and with the exception of the hyoid bone in the neck, each bone is connected to at least one other bone. Joints are the location where bones come together. Many joints allow for movement between the bones. At these joints, the articulating surfaces of the adjacent bones can move smoothly against each other. However, the bones of other joints may be joined to each other by connective tissue or cartilage.
    • 8: The Axial Muscles
      Skeletal muscle is found attached to bones. It consists of long multinucleate fibers. The fibers run the entire length of the muscle they come from and so are usually too long to have their ends visible when viewed under the microscope. The fibers are relatively wide and very long, but unbranched. Fibers are not individual cells, but are formed from the fusion of thousands of precursor cells. This is why they are so long and why individual fibers are multinucleate (single fiber has many nuclei).
    • 9: The Appendicular Muscles
    • 10: Nervous Tissue
      Nervous tissue is composed of two types of cells, neurons and glial cells. Neurons are the primary type of cell that most anyone associates with the nervous system. They are responsible for the computation and communication that the nervous system provides. They are electrically active and release chemical signals to target cells. Glial cells, or glia, are known to play a supporting role for nervous tissue.
    • 11: The Central Nervous System (Brain)
      The brain and the spinal cord are the central nervous system, and they represent the main organs of the nervous system. The spinal cord is a single structure, whereas the adult brain is described in terms of four major regions: the cerebrum, the diencephalon, the brain stem, and the cerebellum. A person’s conscious experiences are based on neural activity in the brain. The regulation of homeostasis is governed by a specialized region in the brain.
    • 12: Cranial and Spinal Nerves
      The description of the CNS is concentrated on the structures of the brain, but the spinal cord is another major organ of the system. Whereas the brain develops out of expansions of the neural tube into primary and then secondary vesicles, the spinal cord maintains the tube structure and is only specialized into certain regions. As the spinal cord continues to develop in the newborn, anatomical features mark its surface.
    • 13: The Somatic Nervous System (Special Senses)
      There are four primary senses that have specialized organs associated with them: the eye, the ear, the nose and the tongue. These organs process visual, auditory, olfactory and taste sensations respectively.
    • 14: The Endocrine System
      The endocrine system consists of cells, tissues, and organs that secrete hormones as a primary or secondary function. The endocrine gland is the major player in this system. The primary function of these ductless glands is to secrete their hormones directly into the surrounding fluid. The interstitial fluid and the blood vessels then transport the hormones throughout the body. The endocrine system includes the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and pineal glands.
    • 15: Blood
    • 16: The Heart
      The human heart is located within the thoracic cavity, medially between the lungs in the space known as the mediastinum.
    • 17: Blood Vessels and Circulation
      Different types of blood vessels vary slightly in their structures, but they share the same general features. Arteries and arterioles have thicker walls than veins and venules because they are closer to the heart and receive blood that is surging at a far greater pressure.
    • 18: The Lymphatic System
      The lymphatic system is the system of vessels, cells, and organs that carries excess fluids to the bloodstream and filters pathogens from the blood. The swelling of lymph nodes during an infection and the transport of lymphocytes via the lymphatic vessels are but two examples of the many connections between these critical organ systems.
    • 19: The Respiratory System
      The respiratory system consists of specific organs and structures used for gas exchange in animals and plants. The anatomy and physiology that make this happen varies greatly, depending on the size of the organism, the environment in which it lives and its evolutionary history. In land animals the respiratory surface is internalized as linings of the lungs.
    • 20: The Digestive System
      The function of the digestive system is to break down the foods you eat, release their nutrients, and absorb those nutrients into the body. Although the small intestine is the workhorse of the system, where the majority of digestion occurs, and where most of the released nutrients are absorbed into the blood or lymph, each of the digestive system organs makes a vital contribution to this process.
    • 21: The Urinary System
    • 22: The Reproductive System (Male)
    • 23: The Reproductive System (Female)