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Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology, 11th Edition


Author: Elaine N. Marieb

Publisher: Pearson


Publish Date: January 12, 2014

ISBN-10: 321919009

Pages: 656

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Most of us are naturally curious about our bodies; we want to know what makes us tick. Infants can keep themselves happy for a long time staring at their own hands or pulling their mother’s nose. Older children wonder where food goes when they swallow it, and some believe that they will grow a watermelon in their belly if they swallow the seeds. They scream loudly when approached by medical personnel (fearing shots that sting), but they like to play doctor. Adults become upset when their hearts pound, when they have uncontrollable hot flashes, or when they cannot keep their weight down.

Anatomy and physiology, subdivisions of biology, explore many of these topics as they describe how our bodies are put together and how they work.


Anatomy (ah-nat′o-me) is the study of the structure and shape of the body and its parts and their relationships to one another. Whenever we look at our own body or study large body structures such as the heart or bones, we are observing gross anatomy; that is, we are studying large, easily observable structures. Indeed, the term anatomy, derived from the Greek words meaning to cut (tomy) apart (ana), is related most closely to gross anatomical studies because in such studies preserved animals or their organs are dissected (cut up) to be examined. Microscopic anatomy, in contrast, is the study of body structures that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. The cells and tissues of the body can only be seen through a microscope.


Physiology (fiz″e-ol′o-je) is the study of how the body and its parts work or function (physio = nature; ology = the study of). Like anatomy, physiology has many subdivisions. For example, neurophysiology explains the workings of the nervous system, and cardiac physiology studies the function of the heart, which acts as a muscular pump to keep blood flowing throughout the body.

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