Monday, August 8, 2011

How to study human anatomy

Most people believe that human anatomy is one of the hardest subjects to master. One of the main reasons behind this beleif is that there is so much to memorize in the subject. It looks almost impossible to the students. Above that, many of the terms are in Latin, which most of us don't understand. If you have to study anatomy yourself, the problem is worsened even more. To make the learning process easier you have to break it down into three steps. Once you do that the learning process will become much simpler and almost effortless. These are the three steps that can improve your study of anatomy and physiology.

Consider anatomy as a visual science:

People learn the best if they see the subject of study. It is good if you have an opportunity to go to the lab to study anatomy first hand. But it can be done even at home. Do not underestimate the power of visualization and animation. The pictures in your textbook are good but why not get something more detailed. The technology nowadays has reached such a level that you don't even need a lab. All you need is a piece of software that can show you the muscular and bone structures on your screen in three dimensional representations.

Create connections between terms:

It is always frustrating to try to memorize the words you don't know the meaning. Creating some rules or combining them into groups or pairs can tremendously help in your effort to memorize those anatomy terms. As an example consider the use of directional terms. You can create a simple pair like anterior/posterior. They are opposites. The only thing to memorize is that they go together. If you know only one of them, the other will come automatically. Like if you know that posterior is back so subsequently anterior is front.

Choose the best study guide:

This is something most people just ignore. They say that all guides are the same and there is no difference among them. The fact is contrary to this. You depend too much on your guide or textbook or whatever you use. So you should make sure that it is the best available product. It would ensure that your time is not wasted just because you didn't spend a few hours selecting the best product.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Human Skeletal System

Skeletal system is a major system of the body, which is comprised of joints cartilages and bones. These basic tissues jointly form a hard and firm framework, identified as skeleton of human body. The bony skeleton is a pretty special structure. It is tough and hard, but at the same time it allows movements at numerous parts. In addition, it presents amazing level of flexibility at a number of locations for example the back bone.

The main as well as the most vital component of skeletal system of body is bone. Bones are of many different types for instance long bones, short bones, irregular bones, flat bones and sesamoid bones. All of them have their own necessity in making of the skeletal system. Bone by itself is a unique form of connective tissue, that is impregnated with inorganic salts especially the salts of calcium. This kind of impregnation makes it tough and inflexible, therefore it can endure forces of compression. In this manner, bones compose an efficient structure for the body to be crafted around.

The second component of the skeletal system is cartilage. Cartilages are of three different variations: Fibrous Cartilage, Hyaline cartilage and Elastic Cartilage. Each of these types has unique worth. Cartilages are necessary for elasticity and flexibility in the hard bony skeletal framework. Probably the most evident example of flexibility is the back bone, in which pads of fibrous cartilage (Intervertebral cartilaginous discs) can be found between vertebrae and consequently the column is able to bend over in various pathways. Cartilages also form an essential portion of joints, where they cover the articulating surfaces to lower rubbing.

The 3rd component of skeletal system is formed by joints. Joints are parts in the skeletal frame where a joining is produced between “two bones”, “a bone and cartilage”, or “a cartilage and cartilage”. The most significant function of joints in skeletal frame is that they permit movements in the hard and rigorous framework. At joints, the bones can move in different directions and for that reason produce different types of movements. These movements are mandatory for all styles of body actions. This demonstrates the significance of joints in human skeletal system.

Skeletal system does a number of different roles in body. Quite possibly the most noticeable of these are: creating leverage for movements of the body, providing strength and support, protection of delicate organs, and production of blood cells. Every one of these attributes are important for survival and a healthy lifestyle. The significance of the functions performed by the skeletal system can be properly comprehended in diseases because of abnormalities of the components of skeletal system.

Suggested Reading:
To study the skeletal system of human body in detail, the author of this post suggests you to read the following resources:
Skeletal System of Human Body
Basic Anatomy of Bone
Basic Anatomy of Cartilage
Basic Anatomy of Joint

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What is an organ system?

An organ system in science is a gang of parts of body , which work collectively for single intent. If any of these body parts fail, it will result in a extensive measure of pressure on the other body organs, and can possibly induce the whole organ system to turn off, with the final end quite often appearing to be terminal. The dependance of the body organs on each other is essential for usual functions of life. As an illustration, the digestion , which occurs inside stomach, an area of the digestive system, will be unbeneficial if for example the intestines cease to operate correctly.
The body of human beings features 10 systems. These organs systems are identified based on their functions. The ten organ systems of human body are: excretory, digestive, circulatory, nervous, respiratory, muscular, reproductive, skeletal, endocrine and integumentary. There are actually maladies which can be quite often affiliated with each body system and varied techniques are necessary to alleviate these maladies. A lot of clinical professionals are experts in dealing with issues having an effect on several systems of human body. As an illustration, a urologist would take care of people experiencing difficulty with the urinary element of the system of excretion, or individuals who want therapy for a problem related to the reproductive system.
A lot of these organ systems explain themself in their function. For example, the circulatory system is liable for distributing blood all over the body of organism. The system of excretion accounts for eradicating waste matter. The endocrine system and the integumentary system are a couple of those body systems most people are probably not as experienced with. The endocrine organ system is liable for correspondence through cells of body , which provide hormones. A variety of body organs make it possible. The integumentary system is that one ,which is concerned specifically with the skin, and its appendages.
It is conceivable to operate lacking numerous components of an organ system, but never ever without the essential feature. In that instance the integumentary organ system, as an illustration, it is unachievable to retain existence without having skin and its appendages. It's always very practical, however, to retain existence not having hair. However it must be documented hair, or fur, could very well be a great deal more vital for a lot of species compared to it might be for other ones. Accordingly, the way any system behaves, and its usefulness, is to some extent subject to the species.
Many varieties of animals possess different systems. There are numerous creatures, for instance the jellyfish, which is viewed as the species of animals that contain no system, at least not in the normal meaning. The one organ system that can be considered a system in the jellyfish is digestive organ system. Unlike creatures similar to jellyfish, body of a human possesses a full range of 10 systems, which are altogether established and purposeful.
The study of systems of human anatomy is very important. It forms a basic part of the study of anatomy. To study human anatomy, visit:
What is human anatomy?
Importance of learning human anatomy?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Human Anatomy and human physiology two distinctive but strongly affiliated principles which are typically researched alongside one another. In basic terms, human anatomy is the study of  the morphology of the body, on the other hand human physiology entails the study of functions of particular parts together with organ systems within the person. On the larger aspect, human anatomy describes the structure whereas human physiology teaches the functionality of body of a human. An awareness of human anatomy is essential for the analysis of human physiology. In a similar fashion understanding human physiology is really important to folks who like to learn how anatomical structures succeed. Subsequently it is self evident that both anatomy  and physiology are related to each other very closely and both ought to be learned and understood simultaneously.
Both human anatomy and human physiology had been researched for years and years. Humankind have frequently held a desire for how they and various other creatures are structured and how they perform their activities. Some people all the way through our history have also been curious about judging and diversifying varied living things to search for resemblances and specify variance.
The research of human anatomy is focused on understanding the proportions, figure, and specific location of various structures in human body. It constantly focuses about dissection, whereby samples are attentively cut up to demonstrate the structures inside. Large structures are generally uncovered using the naked eye, or recognized with magnification of a microscope for more detailed study. Over the dissection operation, students may well mindfully register all kinds of things they go through, and then judge the way systems in the human body are affiliated. An incomplete information about human anatomy may bring about large frustration for doctors, for the reason that understanding human anatomy is a necessary area of grasping the actual growth of health problems.
Human anatomy is often thought of as a static study, whereas physiology is far more dynamic, concerning the chemical, physical, and electrical systems which aid the human being do the job, from the tasks that reinstate heart beat to the confusing systems related to perception of visual signals. To study physiology, it is usually recommended to study living beings or structures to totally recognize physical tasks, much like the discharge of neurotransmitters in  human brain and the saving of energy in cells of body. Both human anatomy plus human physiology are generally analyzed using dissection as well as clinical studies of products from the specimen.
Students of medical sciences go through human anatomy together with human physiology frequently during their learning period, so they learn how human body runs all together, and how the completely different systems inside human body are related to one another. This field of study at the same time create a subject of benefit for the people in numerous allied health  duties, cover anything from x-ray techs who require a methodical idea of human anatomy to undertake their job.
The structure and function of parts of human body are accurately connected to each other and really, the learning of a single of these two is unfinished without the other. Considering that the content of human anatomy is structure and the topic of human physiology is function, it is comparable to suggest that human anatomy and human physiology are very closely connected to each other and the study of a single of these two only is rudimentary without the other. Despite the tight relationship, it is required to have a border amongst both of them as both fields of study are really massive in capacity and grasping both together is a very difficult process.
For more information on human anatomy, read: What is Human Anatomy?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Understanding the mechanism of breathing in human beings

Breathing is actually a mechanical procedure consisting of 2 stages:
1) Inspiration or inhalation or intake of fresh air into the lungs.
2) Expiration or exhalation or out push of foul and ingested air out from the lungs.
Breathing is actually associated with the existence of life itself. The lungs their selves can neither draw in air nor force it outside the body. Subsequently, human beings breath by means of suction pump procedure. The chest-wall as well as the diaphragm acts to be a substantial pump in relocating air within and outside the lungs. In humans throughout ordinary breathing, 500ml of air moves inside and outside the lungs with every breath.
Process of breathing:
We realize that breathing is made of 2 stages known as breathing in or inspiration and breathing out or expiration. Countless factors make up the actual mechanism of breathing, such as.
(1) Contraction and relaxation of the intercostal muscles in between the ribs create changes in the posture of ribs and sternum. Whenever those muscles contract, the ribs are raised and progress further up as well as in front and as these muscles relax, the ribs become down and transfer inward and backward. The bone of the chest additionally relocates to the inner side and to the back.
(2) Contraction and relaxation of the muscles of diaphragm produce variations in its shape. Once all these muscles contract, the diaphragm results in being dome shaped or convex
(3) The spongy and also flexible form of the lungs triggers expansion and contraction. Lungs broaden during the process inhalation and contract during exhalation.

Breathing in or inspiration:
In the humans, breathing in is not passive procedure. For the period of inspiration, the intercostal muscles among the rib cage of body contract and drag the ribs towards the front and outwards, pushing the sternum further aside from the spine. Because of the contraction of the intercostal muscles and of the diaphragm, the measurements of the chest as one is raised and the pleural cavities in it are as a result enhanced. Because the pleural cavities are not open hence their enhancement sometimes build partial vacuum in them. The lungs are actually stretchy and are in communication with the environment through the air passages (trachea, bronchi). When the force round the lungs is lessened, the air from outside flows within them via the trachea and bronchi. This way the lungs extend to stuff the pleural cavities and the stress inside and on the outside of the chest becomes equal. As a result the system of human breathing is a suction-pump mechanism. The lungs are made in such a way that they have the ability to expand and contract by motions of the ribs and diaphragm.

Breathing out or expiration:
Breathing out in humans is often a passive process. In intense muscular exercise however, the breathing out also gets energy consuming. During the process of expiration, the intercostal muscles of the ribs relax, the ribs move towards the lower aspect and towards the inner side. Hence the volume of the chest cavity is diminished from side to side. The sternum comes to its original spot, lowering the size of the chest cavity from the front to rear. Simultaneously muscles of the diaphragm relax therefore, the diaphragm takes on its dome shaped position. Thus together with the relaxation of the muscles of diaphragm and of the intercostal muscles, the specifications of the chest cavity all together is lessened. This lessening in the volume of the chest puts stress on the lungs. The lungs theirselves are extremely flexible and usually tend to come back to their original measurements. When the lungs are pushed, the waste air in them is expelled or expiration takes place.

Suggested Pages on the Web:
The following pages are related to this article and should be read to grasp the concept of mechanism of breathing completely.
Human Breathing Mechanism
Differentiating respiration and breathing
Respiration and breathing: The difference

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Understanding breathing and respiration

Commonly the terms respiration and breathing are used as if they have the same meaning but actually the two are very different processes and they need to be distinguished from one another. In simple terms the respiration is a large scale process of the living body and breathing is just a phase of the overall large scale process of respiration. Breathing is the starting phase of the process of respiration and respiration is a process which has its roots at the cellular level of the bodies of living organisms. To elaborate the difference between respiration and breathing, they need to be separately defined and understood.


Respiration is one of the characteristic processes of life and without the process of respiration life cannot survive. It is one of the key features of life. The process of respiration can be defined as the process in which the organic food is utilized at cellular level to produce energy for all the activities of the body. From the definition it is clear that respiration is the process which is responsible for production of energy for the activities of living organisms. Without respiration the energy demand of the living bodies cannot be met. Because energy is continuously needed by the living organisms therefore respiration is also a continuous process and it continues 24 hours a day. In the process of respiration oxygen is used to oxidize the organic food materials to obtain energy from them thus oxygen is a necessary requirement of the process of respiration and without oxygen respiration cannot take place. The actual process of obtaining energy from food occurs at the cellular level but the transport of oxygen to the cells and obtaining of oxygen occurs at a bigger level.


Respiration needs oxygen to burn the food to get energy from it and breathing is the phase of respiration in which oxygen is brought into the body. Respiration is a chemical process but breathing is a purely mechanical process in which the lungs suck the air in and then expel it out. When the air is sucked in, the oxygen is transferred from the lungs to the blood from where it goes to the cells of the body. When the air is expelled out, the carbon dioxide is excreted from the body. So it is clear that breathing is that phase of the process of respiration in which the body gets oxygen from air and releases carbon dioxide out.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Evolution of skeletal system in animals

The evolution of different groups of multicellular animals reflects the evolution of skeleton. The earliest vertebrates were fish like having different organs for swimming. The jawless fishes swam with undulationsof their body. Usually there were no paired fins and the body moved by alternating waves or ripples passing throughout the body from head to tail of the organism. These waves passed through the muscles on either side of the body. This caused the body to undulate from side to side. These undulations were transmitted through the tail and the back of the body as a series of backward pushing against the denser water and as a reaction to these series of backward pushes the animals of that time achieved a very effective method of moving efficiently. This is the primary type of locomotion in the vertebrates. For such swimming animals the backbone is generally flexible. This character is found in fishes where the vertebral column lacks the articulation for locking the individual bones.

Among the fishes there was a kind of lobe finned fish in which the paired fins were supported by a series of bones arranged in particular way. At the base of each fin was a single long bone. On the upper side was another bone called the shoulder bone and towards the lower side was two bones long in nature lying side by side. On the top of each long bone were many short bones. This was the beginning of the development of four legged or tetrapod vertebrate skeleton. The long bone was that of the upper part of the arm or leg and two lower long bones were that of the middle part of the arm or leg. The several bones were of the feet or hands. Thus the lobe finned fishes can be regarded as the ancestors of amphibians. As the amphibians evolved and left the water they had to face the force of gravity of earth and had to tolerate tense water conditions on land. Hence the vertebral column or back none became stronger for the support of the body and the vertebrae were therefore linked by interlocking segments. In the amphibians the legs sprawled out from the body so the animals dragged themselves on the ground. This type of locomotion also characterized the first reptiles. There was a trend among reptiles of bringing feet beneath the body and raising the body off the ground. Some of the reptiles adopted this method which was efficient for walking.

From the reptiles two divergent lines appeared. In some reptiles forelimbs were changed into wings and became the ancestors of birds because they adopted the habit of flight. Other reptiles became bipedal in course of time. In mammals the bones of limbs have undergone modifications; they walk on hind limbs or legs and the forelimbs are used for feeding. One very special type of locomotion found among the primates is brachiation. They swing through the trees by using their grasping hands and long arms.

To study the details of human skeleton, visit:  
Skeletal System
Types of Skeletal Systems
Introduction to Human Skeleton

Monday, March 7, 2011

Types of skeletal systems in animals

The term skeleton refers to the framework of the animal body around which the whole body is built. Skeleton is the collective name for all the hard and rigid structures in the body forming the framework of the body. The skeletal systems are of three basic types that are;
  • Hydrostatic skeleton
  • Exoskeleton
  • Endoskeleton
Each one of these is now described in detail;
  • Hydrostatic skeleton:
Some of the soft bodied invertebrates like the sea anemones and annelids etc are deprived of hard skeleton. In such animals the coelom filled with a fluid acts as a kind of skeleton and this skeletal system is called the hydrostatic skeleton. It provides support and helps in locomotion. The body of sea anemone is surrounded by muscle fibers and tentacles surround its mouth. The body and the tentacles are extended with the seawater present in the cavity of sea anemone. The pressure of muscle fibers on the liquid in the body cavity helps in maintaining the position of sea anemone in water. Hydrostatic skeleton in the earth worm enables it to move on the earth.
  • Exoskeleton:
The exoskeleton is that type of skeleton which lies outside the soft parts of the body, providing a covering to them. It is in the form of hard and rigid plates composed of dead substance secreted by cells. Familiar examples of this type of skeleton are those found in the insects, the horny scales, feathers and hairs. In many cases the exoskeleton is very rigid and heavy. It restricts the movements of the animal to the extent that the animal is passive and slow or even sessile.
One group of animals however has attained a very successful solution of the difficulty posed by the rigidity and weight of the exoskeleton. These animals are arthropods. They are completely encased in a very light substance known as chitin. Furthermore, the exoskeleton instead of being formed of just one piece or even two pieces, is divided into several distinct sections. Thus the arthropods have ease of motion with a protective outer covering. This is a factor in their biological success. It presents one great disadvantage, which is that if the animal is to grow at all it must remove its exoskeleton. Arthropods do this by molting or ecdysis.
  • Endoskeleton:
Endoskeleton develops within the skin or in the deeper tissues. The vertebrate skeleton is basically an endoskeleton made up of two types of tissues: bone and cartilage. During early embryonic development the endoskeleton is composed of notochord and cartilage. The notochord in most vertebrates is replaced by vertebral column and the cartilage is replaced by bone in most adults. The endoskeleton gives shape and support to the body and provides a mean of locomotion. For detailed study of human skeleton, visit the link: Human skeletal system

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Branches of human anatomy

The scope of modern human anatomy has become very wide. The reason for this is that with the technological development, human anatomy is now studied with every possible mean that have a potential to enlarge the boundaries of anatomical knowledge. To make the process of learning and understanding easy and effective, human anatomy is divided into a number of branches so that the students can study each of them separately.

Main branches of human anatomy:

The main branches of human anatomy are:

Gross anatomy:

It is by far the most important and conspicuous branch of human anatomy. As the name indicates, it deals with the study of gross structure of human body. It is the macroscopic study of structure of human body. Commonly, gross anatomy is studied with naked eye on a dead preserved body. For this reason, gross anatomy is also known as cadaveric anatomy (cadaver = dead body). There are two approaches to study gross anatomy of human body.
  1. Regional approach: In this approach, the body is studied in parts like upper limb, lower limb, foot, hand etc. All the structures present inside a region of the body are studied collectively. Studying gross anatomy by this approach is very important for students of surgery.
  2. Systemic approach: In this approach, the body is studied in systems such as muscular system, cardiovascular system etc. All the organs that make up an organ system are studied collectively irrespective of their location inside the body.
For more information on gross anatomy, visit the link below (where gross anatomy has been explained on a systemic approach)
Gross anatomy of human body

Microscopic anatomy:

As the name indicates, microscopic anatomy is the study of microscopic details of structure of human body. To study microscopic anatomy, a special instrument known as microscope is used which is vital for this branch of human anatomy. Microscopic anatomy is further divided into two branches: Cytology and Histology. Cytology deals with the microscopic study of cells of human body while histology deals with the microscopic study of tissues of human body. It is worth mentioning here that the term “histology” is commonly used as an equivalent of the term “microscopic anatomy”, however, the difference between the two should be clearly understood.
Microscopic anatomy is extremely important to learn and understand. It forms the basis of understanding for subjects like pathology and medicine and to become an expert in these fields, one has to learn microscopic anatomy completely.
For more information on Histology of human tissues, visit the following page:


It is the study of development of a newborn from fertilization to the fetal stage. In simpler terms, embryology can be defined as the study of prenatal developmental changes in an individual. The developmental history of an organism is known as ontogeny and embryology is closely related to it. Learning human embryology is also important from evolutionary point of view. According to the theory “Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny”, the developmental history of an individual shows its evolutionary history. Embryology also forms the basis of understanding of many birth related diseases and genetic defects.
Living anatomy: It is the anatomic study of a living human body. Living anatomy is very important from clinical point of view because after all, you have to deal with living bodies in clinics. In this branch of anatomy the characteristics of a living human body are studied and then this knowledge is applied in the more practical branch of anatomy known as clinical anatomy.

Clinical anatomy:

As stated above, clinical anatomy is a more practical branch of human anatomy, which deals with the application of anatomical knowledge to clinical practice. In clinical anatomy, a student learns how to apply the knowledge of human anatomy in treating and diagnosing various physiological and pathological conditions.

Surface anatomy:

It is the study of the parts of human body in relation to the surface. In surface anatomy, a student gets to know the relations that exist between the deeper parts of human body and the skin. This study is very important for surgical practice where every structure needs to be located from the surface of the body.

Radiographic anatomy:

This branch of human anatomy is a gift of technological advancements. It is the study of bones and deeper organs of human body by plain and contrast radiography. The radiography is done by ultrasound and computerized tomographic (CT) scans. X-rays are also commonly used for this purpose.

Suggested pages on the web:
Learn human anatomy
Branches of human anatomy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What is human anatomy?

Human anatomy is one of the three basic medical sciences that are complementary for medical students. Anatomy deals with the study of human morphology. In simpler terms, human anatomy is that medical science in which the structure of human body is studied. It has a huge scope and covers all the aspects of human body structure.
Because of the enormous amount of detail in this field of study, it is customarily divided into three major subdivisions.
1) Gross anatomy:
It is the biggest subdivision of human anatomy and deals with the study of gross structure of human body. It has huge clinical importance because it describes the macroscopic details of structure of human body. Gross anatomy has two approaches of study. The first approach is known as systemic approach, in which the human body is considered to be composed of different organs systems such as skeletal system and muscular system. The second approach is known as regional approach in which human body is considered to be composed of different regions such as hand and foot.
2) Microscopic anatomy:
In this subdivision of human anatomy, microscopic detail of human body structure is studied. Microscopic anatomy is also known as histology (which actually is a branch of microscopic anatomy). Histology forms the basis for the study of pathology and medicine.
3) Basic anatomy:
This is sometimes not considered as an important subdivision of human anatomy, however, it is very important especially for new students who don't have any acquaintance with the concepts of anatomy. Basic anatomy explains all the basic concepts of human anatomy that are necessary to understand the complex arrangement of various structures in human body.

For more information of human anatomy, visit the sites below:
Human anatomy
Gross anatomy
Basic anatomy