Anatomy (Greek anatomē, '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, both over immediate and long-term timescales. Anatomy and physiology, which study the structure and function of organisms and their parts respectively, make a natural pair of related disciplines, and 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. 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. (Full article...)
Selected general anatomy article
An anatomical variation, anatomical variant, or anatomical variability is a difference between the anatomical structures of animals from the same species. The variations are seen as normal in the sense that they are found consistently among different individuals, are mostly without symptoms, and are termed anatomical variations rather than abnormalities. Some variations are found in different species such as polydactyly, having more than the usual number of digits.
Anatomical variations are mainly caused by genetics and may vary considerably between different populations. The rate of variation considerably differs between single organs, particularly in muscles. Knowledge of anatomical variations is important in order to distinguish them from pathological conditions.
A very early paper published in 1898, presented anatomic variations to have a wide range and significance, and before the use of X-ray technology, anatomic variations were mostly only found on cadaver studies. The use of imaging techniques have defined many such variations. (Full article...)
Selected anatomical feature
A human showing the wrist in the centre.
In human anatomy, the wrist is variously defined as (1) the carpus or carpal bones, the complex of eight bones forming the proximal skeletal segment of the hand; (2) the wrist joint or radiocarpal joint, the joint between the radius and the carpus and; (3) the anatomical region surrounding the carpus including the distal parts of the bones of the forearm and the proximal parts of the metacarpus or five metacarpal bones and the series of joints between these bones, thus referred to as wrist joints. This region also includes the carpal tunnel, the anatomical snuff box, bracelet lines, the flexor retinaculum, and the extensor retinaculum.
As a consequence of these various definitions, fractures to the carpal bones are referred to as carpal fractures, while fractures such as distal radius fracture are often considered fractures to the wrist. (Full article...)
Image showing different structures around and relating to the human uterus.
The uterus (from Latin "uterus", plural uteri) or womb () is the main female hormone-responsive, secondary sex organ of the reproductive system in humans and most other mammals. Things occurring in the uterus are described with the term in utero. In the human, the lower end of the uterus, the cervix, opens into the vagina, while the upper end, the fundus, is connected to the fallopian tubes. It is within the uterus that the fetus develops during gestation. In the human embryo, the uterus develops from the paramesonephric ducts which fuse into the single organ known as a simplex uterus. The uterus has different forms in many other animals and in some it exists as two separate uteri known as a duplex uterus.
In medicine, and related professions the term uterus is consistently used, while the Germanic-derived term womb is commonly used in everyday contexts. (Full article...)
Ala-al-Din abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Abi-Hazm (/ Abi-Haram) al-Qarshi al-Dimashqi (Arabic: علاء الدين أبو الحسن عليّ بن أبي حزم القرشي الدمشقي), known as Ibn al-Nafis (Arabic: ابن النفيس), was an Arab polymath whose areas of work included medicine, surgery, physiology, anatomy, biology, Islamic studies, jurisprudence, and philosophy. He is known for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood. The work of Ibn al-Nafis regarding the right sided (pulmonary) circulation pre-dates the later work (1628) of William Harvey's De motu cordis. Both theories attempt to explain circulation. 2nd century Greek physician Galen's theory about the physiology of the circulatory system remained unchallenged until the works of Ibn al-Nafis, for which he has been described as "the father of circulatory physiology".
As an early anatomist, Ibn al-Nafis also performed several human dissections during the course of his work, making several important discoveries in the fields of physiology and anatomy. Besides his famous discovery of the pulmonary circulation, he also gave an early insight of the coronary and capillary circulations. He was also appointed as the chief physician at al-Naseri Hospital founded by Sultan Saladin. (Full article...)