Human Anatomy and Physiology

The human body is one of the most complicated machines ever created by nature. Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that while mankind can construct unimaginably fast supercomputers, the ability for such devices to mimic even the simplest of human actions is only now becoming a reality. So, it is wise to have a quick look at some of the basics of human anatomy and physiology.

The Skeleton

The skeleton provides the support that our bodies need to remain upright and strong. Without this lattice of bones, we would immediately collapse to the floor. It is interesting to note that while bones and ligaments are extremely strong, they are also quite flexible. So, this structure can adapt to changing stresses and it has even been shown that over time, bones that are placed under pressure will actually grow thicker.

Muscles

Muscles are the only tissues within the body that have the ability to contract. Thus, they allow for all physical movement while simultaneously protecting our delicate organs. Different types of muscles will obviously perform different functions and unique varieties such as cardiac muscles are controlled completely independent of our conscious thought.

The Immune System

The immune responses of our bodies are controlled by a complex communication of lymph nodes, glands, chemical impulses and substances such as white blood cells and platelets within the bloodstream. Those with compromised immune systems as the result of an injury or illness are at a higher risk for developing numerous ailments. As we age, the immune system tends to grow weaker, although this will vary from individual to individual.

The Nervous System

Nerves and neurons help our body to understand and adapt to the world around us. There are two parts to this framework: the central nervous system (known as the CNS) and the peripheral nervous system. The CNS is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral (or outside) system includes all of the nerves that communicate information back to the brain (via the spinal cord). Unlike tissues, bones and the immune responses, damage to the nervous system will generally not heal. This is the reason why back or neck injuries can often result in paralysis.

It should be noted that this is only an extremely general overview of the physiology of the human body. All of these systems are highly complex and are a result of millions of years of human evolution. The advancement of medical technology has allowed us to develop a thorough understanding of our own anatomy.