Anatomy

Anatomy

Overview

Anatomy is a branch of biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 and medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 that is the consideration of the structure of living things
Body plan
A body plan is the blueprint for the way the body of an organism is laid out. An organism's symmetry, its number of body segments and number of limbs are all aspects of its body plan...

. It is a general term that includes human anatomy
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

, animal anatomy (zootomy), and plant anatomy
Plant anatomy
Plant anatomy or phytotomy is the general term for the study of the internal structure of plants. While originally it included plant morphology, which is the description of the physical form and external structure of plants, since the mid-20th century the investigations of plant anatomy are...

 (phytotomy). In some of its facets anatomy is closely related to embryology
Embryology
Embryology is a science which is about the development of an embryo from the fertilization of the ovum to the fetus stage...

, comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny .-Description:...

 and comparative embryology
Phylogenetics
In biology, phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms , which is discovered through molecular sequencing data and morphological data matrices...

, through common roots in evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

.

Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy (or macroscopic anatomy) and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy
Gross anatomy
Gross anatomy is the study of anatomy at the macroscopic level. The term gross distinguishes it from other areas of anatomical study, including microscopic anatomy, which is studied on a microscopic scale, typically with a microscope....

 is the study of anatomical structures that can, when suitably presented or dissected
Dissection
Dissection is usually the process of disassembling and observing something to determine its internal structure and as an aid to discerning the functions and relationships of its components....

, be seen by unaided vision with the naked eye.
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Anatomy is a branch of biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 and medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 that is the consideration of the structure of living things
Body plan
A body plan is the blueprint for the way the body of an organism is laid out. An organism's symmetry, its number of body segments and number of limbs are all aspects of its body plan...

. It is a general term that includes human anatomy
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

, animal anatomy (zootomy), and plant anatomy
Plant anatomy
Plant anatomy or phytotomy is the general term for the study of the internal structure of plants. While originally it included plant morphology, which is the description of the physical form and external structure of plants, since the mid-20th century the investigations of plant anatomy are...

 (phytotomy). In some of its facets anatomy is closely related to embryology
Embryology
Embryology is a science which is about the development of an embryo from the fertilization of the ovum to the fetus stage...

, comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy
Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny .-Description:...

 and comparative embryology
Phylogenetics
In biology, phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms , which is discovered through molecular sequencing data and morphological data matrices...

, through common roots in evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

.

Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy (or macroscopic anatomy) and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy
Gross anatomy
Gross anatomy is the study of anatomy at the macroscopic level. The term gross distinguishes it from other areas of anatomical study, including microscopic anatomy, which is studied on a microscopic scale, typically with a microscope....

 is the study of anatomical structures that can, when suitably presented or dissected
Dissection
Dissection is usually the process of disassembling and observing something to determine its internal structure and as an aid to discerning the functions and relationships of its components....

, be seen by unaided vision with the naked eye. Microscopic anatomy is the study of minute anatomical structures on a microscopic scale. It includes histology
Histology
Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. It is performed by examining cells and tissues commonly by sectioning and staining; followed by examination under a light microscope or electron microscope...

 (the study of tissues), and cytology
Cell biology
Cell biology is a scientific discipline that studies cells – their physiological properties, their structure, the organelles they contain, interactions with their environment, their life cycle, division and death. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level...

 (the study of cells). The terms microanatomy and histology are also sometimes used synonymously (in which case the distinction between histology and cell biology isn't strictly made as described here).

The history of anatomy
History of anatomy
The development of anatomy as a science extends from the earliest examinations of sacrificial victims to the sophisticated analyses of the body performed by modern scientists. It has been characterized, over time, by a continually developing understanding of the functions of organs and structures...

 has been characterized, over time, by a continually developing understanding of the functions of organ
Organ (anatomy)
In biology, an organ is a collection of tissues joined in structural unit to serve a common function. Usually there is a main tissue and sporadic tissues . The main tissue is the one that is unique for the specific organ. For example, main tissue in the heart is the myocardium, while sporadic are...

s and structures in the body. Methods have also improved dramatically, advancing from examination of animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s through dissection of cadaver
Cadaver
A cadaver is a dead human body.Cadaver may also refer to:* Cadaver tomb, tomb featuring an effigy in the form of a decomposing body* Cadaver , a video game* cadaver A command-line WebDAV client for Unix....

s (dead human bodies) to technologically complex techniques developed in the 20th century including X-ray
X-ray machine
An X-ray generator is a device used to generate X-rays. These devices are commonly used by radiographers to acquire an x-ray image of the inside of an object but they are also used in sterilization or fluorescence....

, ultrasound, and MRI.

Anatomy should not be confused with anatomical pathology
Anatomical pathology
Anatomical pathology or Anatomic pathology is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the gross, microscopic, chemical, immunologic and molecular examination of organs, tissues, and whole bodies...

 (also called morbid anatomy or histopathology
Histopathology
Histopathology refers to the microscopic examination of tissue in order to study the manifestations of disease...

), which is the study of the gross and microscopic appearances of disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

d organ
Organ (anatomy)
In biology, an organ is a collection of tissues joined in structural unit to serve a common function. Usually there is a main tissue and sporadic tissues . The main tissue is the one that is unique for the specific organ. For example, main tissue in the heart is the myocardium, while sporadic are...

s.

Superficial anatomy


Superficial anatomy
Superficial anatomy
Superficial anatomy is a descriptive science dealing with anatomical features that can be studied by sight, without dissecting an organism...

 or surface anatomy is important in anatomy being the study of anatomical landmarks that can be readily seen from the contours or the surface of the body. With knowledge of superficial anatomy, physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

s or veterinary surgeon
Veterinary surgeon
Veterinary surgeon is a term used to describe:*The full title of a vet, who treats disease, disorder and injury in animals, in the United Kingdom and several Commonwealth countries**See also Veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom...

s gauge the position and anatomy of the associated deeper structures.
Superficial is a directional term that indicates one structure is located more externally than another, or closer to the surface of the body.

Human anatomy





Human anatomy, including gross human anatomy
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

 and histology, is primarily the scientific study of the morphology
Morphology (biology)
In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features....

 of the adult human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 body.

Generally, students of certain biological sciences
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, paramedic
Paramedic
A paramedic is a healthcare professional that works in emergency medical situations. Paramedics provide advanced levels of care for medical emergencies and trauma. The majority of paramedics are based in the field in ambulances, emergency response vehicles, or in specialist mobile units such as...

s, prosthetists and orthotists, physiotherapists
Physical therapy
Physical therapy , often abbreviated PT, is a health care profession. Physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment/intervention,and rehabilitation...

, occupational therapists
Occupational therapy
Occupational therapy is a discipline that aims to promote health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful activities. Occupational therapists work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, and/or emotionally disabling condition by utilizing treatments...

, nurses, and medical students
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

 learn gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy from anatomical models, skeletons, textbooks, diagrams, photographs, lectures and tutorials. The study of microscopic anatomy (or histology
Histology
Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. It is performed by examining cells and tissues commonly by sectioning and staining; followed by examination under a light microscope or electron microscope...

) can be aided by practical experience examining histological preparations (or slides) under a microscope
Microscope
A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy...

; and in addition, medical students generally also learn gross anatomy with practical experience of dissection
Dissection
Dissection is usually the process of disassembling and observing something to determine its internal structure and as an aid to discerning the functions and relationships of its components....

 and inspection of cadaver
Cadaver
A cadaver is a dead human body.Cadaver may also refer to:* Cadaver tomb, tomb featuring an effigy in the form of a decomposing body* Cadaver , a video game* cadaver A command-line WebDAV client for Unix....

s.

Human anatomy
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

, physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 and biochemistry
Biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

 are complementary basic medical sciences, which are generally taught to medical students in their first year at medical school. Human anatomy can be taught regionally or systemically; that is, respectively, studying anatomy by bodily regions such as the head and chest, or studying by specific systems, such as the nervous or respiratory systems. The major anatomy textbook, Gray's Anatomy
Gray's Anatomy
Gray's Anatomy is an English-language human anatomy textbook originally written by Henry Gray. The book is widely regarded as an extremely influential work on the subject, and has continued to be revised and republished from its initial publication in 1858 to the present day...

, has recently been reorganized from a systems format to a regional format, in line with modern teaching methods. A thorough working knowledge of anatomy is required by physicians, especially surgeons
Surgery
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

 and doctors working in some diagnostic specialties, such as histopathology
Histopathology
Histopathology refers to the microscopic examination of tissue in order to study the manifestations of disease...

 and radiology
Radiology
Radiology is a medical specialty that employs the use of imaging to both diagnose and treat disease visualized within the human body. Radiologists use an array of imaging technologies to diagnose or treat diseases...

.

Academic human anatomists are usually employed by universities, medical schools or teaching hospitals. They are often involved in teaching anatomy, and research into certain systems, organs, tissues or cells.

Other branches

  • Comparative anatomy
    Comparative anatomy
    Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. It is closely related to evolutionary biology and phylogeny .-Description:...

     relates to the comparison of anatomical structures (both gross and microscopic) in different animals.
  • Anthropological anatomy or physical anthropology relates to the comparison of the anatomy of different races of humans.
  • Artistic anatomy relates to anatomic studies for artistic reasons.

See also


Human anatomy:
  • List of human anatomical features
  • List of human anatomical parts named after people
  • Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy
    Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy
    Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy is a series of anatomy lessons on video presented by Robert Acland. Dr. Acland is a professor of surgery in the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine...

  • Physiology
    Physiology
    Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...


General anatomy

  • Anatomical terms of location
    Anatomical terms of location
    Standard anatomical terms of location are designations employed in science that deal with the anatomy of animals to avoid ambiguities that might otherwise arise. They are not language-specific, and thus require no translation...

  • Bibliography of anatomy
  • Body plan
    Body plan
    A body plan is the blueprint for the way the body of an organism is laid out. An organism's symmetry, its number of body segments and number of limbs are all aspects of its body plan...

  • Charaka
    Charaka
    Charaka, sometimes spelled Caraka, born c. 300 BC was one of the principal contributors to the ancient art and science of Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in Ancient India...

    , referred to as the Father of Anatomy
  • Foundational Model of Anatomy
    Foundational Model of Anatomy
    The Foundational Model of Anatomy Ontology or the FMA, is a reference ontology for the domain of anatomy. It is a symbolic representation of the canonical, phenotypic structure of an organism; a spatial-structural ontology of anatomical entities and relations which form the physical organization of...

  • History of anatomy
    History of anatomy
    The development of anatomy as a science extends from the earliest examinations of sacrificial victims to the sophisticated analyses of the body performed by modern scientists. It has been characterized, over time, by a continually developing understanding of the functions of organs and structures...

  • List of anatomical topics
  • Superficial anatomy
    Superficial anatomy
    Superficial anatomy is a descriptive science dealing with anatomical features that can be studied by sight, without dissecting an organism...

  • Cat anatomy
    Cat anatomy
    -Mouth:Cats have highly specialized teeth for the killing of prey and the tearing of meat. The premolar and first molar , together the carnassial pair are located on each side of the mouth. These teeth efficiently function to shear meat like a pair of scissors...

  • Dog anatomy
    Dog anatomy
    Dog anatomy includes the same internal structures that are in humans. Details of structures vary tremendously from breed to breed, more than in any other animal species, wild or domesticated, as dogs vary from the tiny Chihuahua to the giant Irish Wolfhound....

  • Fish anatomy
    Fish anatomy
    Fish anatomy is primarily governed by the physical characteristics of water, which is much denser than air, holds a relatively small amount of dissolved oxygen, and absorbs more light than air does.- Body :...

  • Bird anatomy
    Bird anatomy
    Bird anatomy, or the physiological structure of birds' bodies, shows many unique adaptations, mostly aiding flight. Birds have a light skeletal system and light but powerful musculature which, along with circulatory and respiratory systems capable of very high metabolic rates and oxygen supply,...

  • Spider anatomy
    Spider anatomy
    The anatomy of spiders includes many characteristics shared with other arachnids. These characteristics include bodies divided into two segments, eight jointed legs, no wings or antennae, the presence of chelicerae and pedipalps, simple eyes, and an exoskeleton which is periodically shed.Spiders...


External links