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Chapter

Cover Human Physiology

The chemical constitution of the body  

This chapter describes the human body as consisting largely of four elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. It shows that about 70 percent of the lean body tissues is water, while the remaining 30 percent made up of organic material (i.e. molecules and minerals). The principal organic constituents of mammalian cells are the carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and nucleic acids, which are built from smaller molecules belonging to four classes of chemical compounds: sugars, fatty acids, amino acids, and nucleotides respectively. The chapter outlines the principal minerals found in tissues: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. It gives an approximate indication of the chemical composition of the body for a young adult male, noting that there is individual variation and that the proportions of the various constituents vary between tissues and change during development.

Chapter

Cover Human Physiology

What is physiology?  

This chapter emphasizes the importance of having a sound knowledge of the structure and function of the body for anyone concerned with medicine or the health sciences. Such a knowledge provides a foundation on which to build strategies for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. It introduces physiology, which is the study of the functions of living matter and is concerned with how an organism performs its varied activities. The success of physiology in explaining how organisms perform their daily tasks is based on the notion that organisms are intricate and exquisite machines whose operation is governed by the laws of physics and chemistry. The chapter outlines how a full knowledge of human anatomy requires the examination of the human body. This is complemented by modern imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can visualize the internal structures of the body in life.

Chapter

Cover Biochemistry

Living Cells  

This chapter talks about cells, which are the structural units of all living organisms. The human body represents a remarkable illustration of the diversity of cells as it contains about 200 types. This great variation reflects the variety of functions that cells can perform. However, no matter what their shape, size, or species, cells are also amazingly similar. The chapter shows how cells are surrounded by a membrane that separates them from their environment. It explains that they are composed of the same types of molecules. The chapter reviews the structural hierarchy of life on earth and argues that it extends from the biosphere to biomolecules. Cells are considered the basic unit of life, since they are the smallest entities that are actually alive.

Chapter

Cover Biological Science

Digestive System  

This chapter argues that the digestive system is one of the most important systems of the human body. The digestive system aims to break down complex molecules into smaller ones in an effort for them to be absorbed in the bloodstream to provide nutrients for the body. The digestive tract produces a range of enzymes that are responsible for the digestion of macronutrients. The chapter details the histology and regulation of the digestive tract with reference to its four main layers: mucosa, submucosa, muscularis externa, and serosa. It shows how the nervous and endocrine systems contribute to the control of the digestive tract.

Chapter

Cover Biological Science

Digestive System  

This chapter argues that the digestive system is one of the most important systems of the human body. The digestive system aims to break down complex molecules into smaller ones in an effort for them to be absorbed in the bloodstream to provide nutrients for the body. The digestive tract produces a range of enzymes that are responsible for the digestion of macronutrients. The chapter details the histology and regulation of the digestive tract with reference to its four main layers: mucosa, submucosa, muscularis externa, and serosa. It shows how the nervous and endocrine systems contribute to the control of the digestive tract.

Chapter

Cover Thrive in Human Physiology

Cardiovascular physiology  

This chapter focuses on the cardiovascular system. This provides cells with oxygen and nutrients and transports metabolic waste products away from cells. The chapter talks about the heart and the extensive system of vessels known as the circulatory system. It explains that the heart acts as a pump while the circulatory system acts as a transport system for blood. The chapter highlights the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system which is essential in order to maintain an appropriate cellular environment for all cells in the human body. It emphasizes that the heart can be thought of as a pump that ejects blood into the pulmonary and systemic circulations.

Chapter

Cover Cell Structure and Function

Introduction to anatomy and embryology  

Joanne Murray and Ian Locke

This chapter begins by examining anatomy and physiology. Anatomy defines the spatial/structural relationships between the various components and organ systems of the body. Meanwhile, physiology is the study of the function of the body and the systems within it. Fine anatomy is the detailed, microscopical structure of individual organs or tissues. The chapter then describes the gross features of the human body and differentiates between fine and gross anatomy. The human body is composed of 11 major organ systems; each of these systems is composed of various cell and tissue types. The chapter also looks at fertilization and implantation, before considering foetal development. Finally, it studies the continued development of the ageing human through childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and into old age.

Chapter

Cover Histopathology

Mortuary practice  

Ishbel Gall

This chapter focuses on the functions which may be fulfilled by a mortuary and post-mortem facility. These include receipt and storage of the deceased; investigation of the cause and/or circumstances of death by performing a post-mortem examination of the deceased; demonstration of post-mortem findings to clinical staff and to allow teaching; and viewing and/or identification of a body, if requested or required. The mortuary delivers the last point of care for pathology and can be the final stage of the patient care pathway. The chapter then outlines the naturally occurring processes which occur after death, including rigor mortis and decomposition. It looks at the work of the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and how it impacts on the mortuary. The chapter also differentiates between consented, or authorized, post-mortem examinations and those instructed by legal process.

Chapter

Cover Inorganic Chemistry in Biology

The important elements in biology  

This chapter talks about essential elements which are derived from the s-, p-, and d-blocks and analyses the different general functions of each block. It discusses the vital role played by elements other than carbon for specific functions and emphasizes a fine balance between a deficiency, an excess intake, and a short range of daily intake that is essential and optimal. It also outlines the importance of organic compounds in the functioning of the human body. It mentions elements that have become of marked clinical value. The chapter analyses highly toxic elements, such as soft cations that bind sulfur ligands and S-containing amino acids. It points out that all toxic elements are chemically similar to an essential element.

Chapter

Cover Organs, Systems, and Surgery

A Brief History of Surgery  

This chapter provides a brief history of surgery, and highlights the importance of understanding the anatomy and physiology of the human body. It details how technological advances have affected the development of surgery. In early human history, surgery was crude and possibly performed for magico-religious reasons. As anatomical knowledge advanced, surgeons were able to learn how they could safely operate on various parts of the body. The chapter explains that the horrifying casualties of the First and Second World Wars resulted in significant improvements in trauma surgery and reconstructive surgery. Moreover, post-war innovations allowed more adventurous surgical procedures and higher survival rates from more routine procedures.

Chapter

Cover Human Nutrition

Anthropometry  

Barry Bogin and Laura Medialdea Marcos

This chapter explains that anthropometry is the scientific measurement and analysis of variation in the size and shape of the human body. Anthropometry can provide a relatively quick and inexpensive means for the assessment of nutritional status. Thus, anthropometric assessment most commonly involves the measurement of height, weight, fatness, and muscularity and may include the estimation of biological maturation. The chapter shows that dietary intake and nutritional balance are key determinants of human physical growth and development. It then considers how to minimize the inaccuracy of recordings before detailing the use of anthropometric references and standards to estimate levels of under-nutrition and over-nutrition.