Anatomy (Greek anatom?, "dissection") is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its beginnings in prehistoric times. Anatomy is inherently tied to developmental biology, embryology, comparative anatomy, evolutionary biology, and phylogeny, as these are the processes by which anatomy is generated over immediate (embryology) and long (evolution) timescales. Anatomy and physiology, which study (respectively) the structure and function of organisms and their parts, make a natural pair of related disciplines, and they are often studied together. Human anatomy is one of the essential basic sciences that are applied in medicine.
The discipline of anatomy is divided into macroscopic and microscopic anatomy. Macroscopic anatomy, or gross anatomy, is the examination of an animal's body parts using unaided eyesight. Gross anatomy also includes the branch of superficial anatomy. Microscopic anatomy involves the use of optical instruments in the study of the tissues of various structures, known as histology, and also in the study of cells.
The history of anatomy is characterized by a progressive understanding of the functions of the organs and structures of the human body. Methods have also improved dramatically, advancing from the examination of animals by dissection of carcasses and cadavers (corpses) to 20th century medical imaging techniques including X-ray, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging.
Selected general anatomy article
Title page of American 20th edition (1918)
Gray's Anatomy is an English written textbook of human anatomy originally written by Henry Gray and illustrated by Henry Vandyke Carter. Earlier editions were called Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical, Anatomy of the Human Body and Gray's Anatomy: Descriptive and Applied, but the book's name is commonly shortened to, and later editions are titled, Gray's Anatomy. The book is widely regarded as an extremely influential work on the subject, and continued to be revised and republished from its initial publication in 1858 to the present day. The latest edition of the book, the 41st, was published in September 2015. Read more...
Selected anatomical feature
Lateral view of the human ankle
The ankle, or the talocrural region, is the region where the foot and the leg meet. The ankle includes three joints: the ankle joint proper or talocrural joint, the subtalar joint, and the inferior tibiofibular joint. The movements produced at this joint are dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the foot. In common usage, the term ankle refers exclusively to the ankle region. In medical terminology, "ankle" (without qualifiers) can refer broadly to the region or specifically to the talocrural joint.
The main bones of the ankle region are the talus (in the foot), and the tibia and fibula (in the leg). The talocrural joint is a synovial hinge joint that connects the distal ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower limb with the proximal end of the talus. The articulation between the tibia and the talus bears more weight than that between the smaller fibula and the talus. Read more...
An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that coexist in organ systems.
A given organ's tissues can be broadly categorized as parenchyma, the tissue peculiar to (or at least archetypal of) the organ and that does the organ's special job, and stroma, the tissues with supportive, structural, connective, or ancillary functions. For example, in a gland, the tissue that makes the hormones is the parenchyma, whereas the stroma includes the nerves that innervate the parenchyma, the blood vessels that oxygenate and nourish it and carry away its metabolic wastes, and the connective tissues that provide a suitable place for it to be situated and anchored. The main tissues that make up an organ tend to have common embryologic origins, such as arising from the same germ layer. Functionally related organs often cooperate to form whole organ systems. Organs exist in most multicellular organisms. In single-celled organisms such as bacteria, the functional analogue of an organ is known as an organelle. In plants, there are three main organs. A hollow organ is an internal organ that forms a hollow tube, or pouch such as the stomach, intestine, or bladder. Read more...