1.4. Organs, Systems and Apparatuses

1.1.4.SistemasThere are some tasks in a multicellular being that must be achieved by cells of different kinds working together (such as pumping blood throughout the human body). In this case, cells of different tissues gather and make up an organ (epithelial, connective, muscle and adipose cells make up the heart).

Several organs working together in a common general task make up an organ system, e.g., the heart and the blood vessels make up the circulatory system. And when two organ systems work cosely together in a common function are said to constitute an apparatus: the muscular system and the skeleton form the motor apparatus, because both contribute to the function of locomotion in an animal.

Put simple, the human organ systems contribute to the three vital functions as follows:

  • Nutrition is fulfilled through:
    • The Digestive System, which (a) takes in the food, (b) breaks it down into nutrients and other substances, (c) absorbs the nutrients into the blood, and (d) gets rid of the non assimilable substances in the form of faeces.
    • The Circulatory System (a) transports those absorbed nutrients to all the cells of the body and (b) transports waste substances to the kidneys, the sweat-glands and the lungs.
    • The Excretory System expells of the waste substances arriving to the kidneys, by producing and releasing urine.
    • The Respiratory System (a) takes in oxygen (a nutrient) which is absorbed into the blood and (b) gets rid of the carbon dioxide (a waste substance).
  • Reproduction is carried out through the male and female reproductive systems which (a) produce the specialized reproductive cells (sperm and egg cells), (b) allow those reproductive cells to join in pairs, and (c) grow the embryo coming out of a fertilised egg-cell.
  • Interaction is fulfilled through:
    • The Sensory Organs, which continuously detect bits of information coming from the inside of the body or from the environment.
    • The Nervous System, which collects that sensitive information, interprets it, and generates response orders.
    • The Endocrine System, which cooperates in conveying those response orders by means of substances, called hormones, that are released by glands and travel through the blood.
    • The Skeleton and the Muscle System, which carry out most of those response orders produced in the nervous system.


Organs, Systems and Apparatuses

 Google body.On Zygote Body (old Google Body) you can view the underlying anatomical layers one by one using a slider, switch on labels to identify each body part, use the search box as a search engine for any body part (muscles, organs, bones etc), and what’s more, you can also share the exact scene you are viewing by copying and pasting the URL. As of writing this, the website will only work in Firefox and Chrome browsers.

 DirectAnatomy.DirectAnatomy.com comes with an interactive interface with four angles of view allowing you to browse through more than 1,200 annotated anatomy images. A clickable menu on the left displays the specific body part on the right. The human body tour also gives you an insight into the physiological and pathological makeup of our bodies.

 The virtual body.The Virtual Body takes you on four tours: The Human Brain, Skeleton, Human Heart, and Digestive Tract. Then there are some cool standalone tours within each.

 Human body & mind.The BBC’s webpage is a resource rich place to discover and play interactive games while learning all about the human body. The games include Senses challenge, Organs Game, Skeleton Game, Muscle Game and Nervous System Game. The games are superbly designed and mostly involve dropping a body part onto a human figure.

 Artificial anatomy.This one is not a fully fledged anatomical course, but a cool and short 10 question quiz on different body parts. It is a Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History resource. With a mouse rollover you have to match the thumbnail with its location on the skeletal structure named ‘Jerome’. You can also turn Jerome around for another view.

 Online examination of human anatomy and physiology.Visually learn about the human body using interactive flash animations.

 The ultimate human body quiz.Not that much, but a set of ten not-so-easy questions to test your knowledge on the human body.

 Zoom into hair.View the inner structure of a hair, progressively magnified.

 Zoom into a tooth.View the inner structure of a tooth, progressively magnified.

 Anatomy of the human body.The Bartleby.com edition of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries.


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