Anatomy - Term Overview

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The anatomy concept allows to name the analysis of the conformation, the state and the links of the different sectors of the body of the human being and other living beings.

Anatomy, therefore, studies the characteristics, location and interrelationships of the organs that are part of a living organism. This discipline is responsible for developing a descriptive analysis of living beings.

The first anatomical study dates from 1600 BC and is recorded on an Egyptian papyrus. Through it, we can know that this ancient civilization had important knowledge regarding the viscera and human structure, While little did they know how each organ worked.

Who increased the knowledge in this branch was Aristotle, in the fourth century BC At that time the first dissections of human corpses were carried out and, thanks to them, the functioning of the different parts of the organism could be known.

Later, the Romans and the Arabs advanced a little further, and later, during the Renaissance, new studies emerged that became known as modern anatomy that was based, not on the writings of a few thousand years ago, but on actual observation that various scientists carried out, among which was Andrés Vesalio, one of the key representatives of this science.

Various classifications

According to your approach, it's possible to divide anatomy into clinical or applied anatomy (links a diagnosis to a treatment), descriptive or systematic anatomy (divides the organism into systems), regional or topographic anatomy (appeals to spatial separations), anatomy physiological or functional (focuses on organic functions) or pathological anatomy (specialized in the damage suffered by organs), among others.

In turn, according to the type of organisms that this science studies, it can be called plant anatomy and animal anatomy.

The anatomy of plants, also known as plant anatomy is a branch of botany that is responsible for studying the internal structure of the species that belong to the Kingdom Plantae. This science includes the study of organisms starting at the cellular level and covering both tissues and bone structure.

Animal anatomy, for its part, can be subdivided into human, animal and comparative anatomy. The first two are those that study each species (humans or other animals) according to the behavior of their cells and organs. Comparative anatomy is the one that complements the first two and allows to establish similarities and differences between different types of living beings of the Animal Kingdom.

The human anatomy, as its name implies, is dedicated to the study of the structures of the human body. In general, it's oriented to the knowledge about macroscopic structures, since other disciplines (such as histology or cytology ) are in charge of minor elements, such as cells or tissues. The human body can be understood as an organization of structures at different levels: molecules that form cells, cells that make up tissues, tissues that establish organs, organs that are integrated into systems, etc.

It's worth mentioning that anatomy can also focus on the study of biological processes such as the development of life (through the study of embryos) or the pathologies that individuals of a species can suffer (studying diseased organs to detect patterns of common diseases among living beings of the same).

On the other hand, there are also surgical anatomy (it is in charge of studying the best ways to perform operations on the various organs) and artistic anatomy (it is in charge of anatomical issues related to the representation of the human figure in art ), which allow connect anatomy with other activities. In turn, the anatomy can be named taking into account the techniques used for its study, such is the case of microanatomy.

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