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Introduction

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 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

Because animals can change orientation with respect to their environment, and because appendages (arms, legs, tentacles, etc.) can change position with respect to the main body, it is important that anatomical terms of location refer to the organism when it is in its standard anatomical position.

Thus, all descriptions are with respect to the organism in its standard anatomical position, even when the organism in question has appendages in another position. However, a straight position is assumed when describing the proximo-distal axis. This helps avoid confusion in terminology when referring to the same organism in different postures. Read more...

Selected anatomical feature

The mandible

The mandible, lower jaw or jawbone is the largest, strongest and lowest bone in the human face. It forms the lower jaw and holds the lower teeth in place. The mandible sits beneath the maxilla. It is the only movable bone of the skull (discounting the ossicles of the middle ear).

The bone is formed in the fetus from a fusion of the left and right mandibular prominences, and the point where these sides join, the mandibular symphysis, is still visible as a faint ridge in the midline. Like other symphyses in the body, this is a midline articulation where the bones are joined by fibrocartilage, but this articulation fuses together in early childhood.

The word "mandible" derives from the Latin word mandibula, "jawbone" (literally "one used for chewing"), from mandere "to chew" and -bula (instrumental suffix). Read more...

Selected organ

Diagram showing the small intestine and surrounding structures

The small intestine or small bowel is an organ in the gastrointestinal tract where most of the end absorption of nutrients and minerals from food takes place. It lies between the stomach and large intestine, and receives bile and pancreatic juice through the pancreatic duct to aid in digestion.

The small intestine has three distinct regions – the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The duodenum, the shortest, is where preparation for absorption through small finger-like protrusions called villi begins. The jejunum is specialized for the absorption through its lining by enterocytes small nutrient particles which have been previously digested by enzymes in the duodenum. The main function of the ileum is to absorb vitamin B12, bile salts, and whatever products of digestion were not absorbed by the jejunum. Read more...

Selected biography

William Harvey

William Harvey (1 April 1578 – 3 June 1657) was an English physician who made seminal contributions in anatomy and physiology. He was the first known physician to describe completely, and in detail, the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the brain and body by the heart, though earlier writers, such as Realdo Colombo, Michael Servetus, and Jacques Dubois, had provided precursors of the theory. In 1973, the William Harvey Hospital was constructed in the town of Ashford, a few miles from his birthplace of Folkestone. Read more...

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Animal anatomy(23 C, 122 P)
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Embryology(10 C, 171 P)
Histology(8 C, 113 P)
History of anatomy(2 C, 58 P)
Organs (anatomy)(21 C, 32 P)
Anatomical pathology(2 C, 113 P)
Plant anatomy(7 C, 144 P)
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Sexual anatomy(6 C, 43 P)
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Tissues (biology)(9 C, 75 P)
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WikiProjects

Some Wikipedians have formed a project to better organize information in articles related to Anatomy. This page and its subpages contain their suggestions; it is hoped that this project will help to focus the efforts of other Wikipedians. If you would like to help, please swing by the talk page.

Good article new good articles since last newsletter include Thyroid, Hypoglossal nerve, Axillary arch, Human brain, Cerebrospinal fluid, Accessory nerve, Gallbladder, and Interventricular foramina (neuroanatomy)
Essay There is Introduction to Anatomy on Wikipedia published in the Journal of Anatomy [1]
Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal. We reach two projects goals of 20 good articles, and less than half of our articles as stubs, in July 2017. [2]
Project page A discussion about two preferred section titles takes place here.

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