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For instance. amazing photography and authoritative explanations to teach you more. did you know you really have 16 senses? We also explain the weirdest and most wonderful bodily phenomena. while being mind-blowing in complexity. Welcome to BOOK OF THE HUMAN BODY The human body is truly an amazing thing. cramps to blisters. In this new edition of the Book of the Human Body. we explore our amazing anatomy in fine detail before delving into the intricacies of the complex processes. We will tour the human body from head to toe. using anatomical illustrations. our bodies are unmatched by any other species on Earth. This book will help you understand the wonder that is the human body and in no time you will begin to see yourself in a whole new light! . from blushing to hiccuping. functions and systems that keep us going. Capable of awe-inspiring feats of speed and agility.

BOOK OF
THE

HUMAN
BODY Future Publishing Ltd
Richmond House
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Bournemouth
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Website www.futureplc.com
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Senior Art Editor Greg Whitaker
Assistant Designer Briony Duguid
Cover images Thinkstock; Dreamstime; DK images

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How It Works Book Of The Human Body Eighth Edition
© 2016 Future Publishing Limited

Part of the

bookazine series

CONTENTS
A-Z of the human body 064 How the liver works
074 Urinary
system
explained

008 A-Z of the human body 066 The small intestine
014 068 The human ribcage
How does
hair grow? 070 How the pancreas works
072 How your bladder works
074 The urinary system
076 Inside the human stomach
078 The human hand
080 How your feet work
082 Hacking the human body

Human anatomy
018 50 amazing body facts
026 Human cells
028 Inside a nucleus
029 What are stem cells?
030 Brain power
034 Vision and eyesight
036 How ears work
038 The tonsils
039 Vocal cords
034
040 All about teeth The inner
workings of
042 Anatomy of the neck the eye
044 The human skeleton
046 The spine The body at work
048 How the body moves
090 The science of sleep
050 How muscles work
098 The blood-brain barrier
052 Skin colour / Skin grafts
099 Pituitary gland up close
053 How many cells do we have?
100 The human digestion
054 The human heartbeat system explained
056 Heart attacks 102 Human respiration
058 The human kidneys 104 Dehydration / Sweating
060 Kidney transplants 105 Scar types
062 Vestigial organs 106 The immune system 135
What is a
063 How the spleen works 110 The cell cycle tracheotomy?

6

Dreamstime. for fat 173 What causes insomnia? Science Photo Library. ALamy 165 174 Hair growth / Blonde hair Growing appearance pains 175 Why do we get angry? 112 Human pregnancy 114 Embryo development 114 Stages of 116 Altitude sickness / Synapses pregnancy 117 Biology of hunger 118 What is saliva? 119 Neurotransmitters and your feelings 082 Hacking 120 White blood cells human bodies 122 The science of genetics 127 What is anxiety? 128 Circulatory system 130 How your blood works 134 Blood vessels / Hyperventilation 135 Tracheotomy surgery 136 Hormones 138 Exploring the sensory system 7 . Thinkstock. 159 Correcting heart rhythms / Curious questions Salt / Adam’s apple 144 Left or right brained? 160 Seasickness / Rumbling 102 stomachs Human 146 Brain freeze respiration 161 Blisters / Cramp 147 Runny nose / Comas 148 Sore throat / Ears pop / 162 Brain control / Laughing Freckles 149 Memory / Toothpaste / 163 Dandruff / Eye adjustment / Epidurals Distance the eye can see 150 Blush / Caffeine / Fainting 164 Allergies / Eczema 151 What is Tinnitus? / When does 165 Growing pains / Squinting the brain stop growing? 152 What is keratin? / 166 What are twins? How can the sun lighten hair? 168 Alveoli 153 What powers cells? 154 Can we see thoughts? 169 Migraines / Eyedrops 156 How anaesthesia works 170 Paper cuts / Pins and needles / Funny bones 157 Decongestants / plasma 158 Enzymes / Love 171 Aching muscles / Fat hormone 172 Stress / Cracking knuckles / 171 Upper arm and leg Hormone © Sol 90.

A-Z OF THE HUMAN BODY A-Z of the HUMAN BODY Take a tour of your anatomy with our head-to-toe guide 8 .

It looks most complex clear but is actually object in the made up of several layers known universe. Light bends slightly contains an estimated 86 as it passes through the cornea. filling with air. It of cells. corneal damage. packed tightly inside the breath you take. When you breathe in. each of helping to focus incoming rays on which makes hundreds. possible to donate corneas for © WIKI. Pneumocytes The alveoli are made from thin. Brain The brain is not Cornea The b just the most complex c cornea is the structure in the protective coating that human body. They look a little bit like bunches and out of the blood with each of grapes. picking up oxygen mean feat. flat cells called pneumocytes. That’s around a quarter of expand. Alveolus Each individual air sac in the lungs is known as an alveolus. Understanding alveoli How does your body pack such a huge surface area inside your chest? Branching The lungs are branched like trees. Thinkstock connections to the others transplant. 9 . Capillary Surfactant Some of the pneumocytes Tiny blood produce a surfactant. in fact. which coats the walls of the alveoli and stops them alveoli.DID YOU KNOW? There are 206 bones in the human body. sticking together. they capillary by diffusion. 32 in each arm. or the back of your eye. helping to restore vision to people with around it. metres. including 28 in the skull. and the body does it blood vessels called capillaries. packing as many alveoli as possible into a small space. minimising the distance that gases have to travel. The Red blood cells Blood cells move the size of a tennis court! Packing surfaces of the alveoli are just one through the all of that into your chest is no cell thick and surrounded by tiny capillaries in single file. even thousands of It is. and dropping carbon using structures called alveoli. but keeps your eye free of it is also the dust and debris. and 31 in each leg Gas exchange Alveoli Gases are swapped at the surface of the alveoli – they travel As an adult. your lungs lungs in order to maximise the use in or out of the a have a total surface area of around 50 square of the available volume in the chest. a vessels run fluid similar to washing-up close to the liquid. allowing gases to diffuse easily in dioxide as they go. billion nerve cells.

Carbohydrases Carbohydrates Enzymes like amylase break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. tidying up when e called ‘biological catalysts’. You are full of get involved in the reactions. and it’s mainly found in the neck and shoulders. to form a complex. Proteins Proteases Enzymes like pepsin Lipases break down proteins Lipase breaks fats and Fats into amino acids. or bending molecules. but the in your digestive system. bringing them close together so that your body. The enzymes molecules are no longer needed. oils into fatty acids and triglycerides. heart and spine 10 . Present in almost to other molecules. the enzyme is Fat breaking down. and along the spinal cord. There are others responsible for building This enzyme brings two molecules close together they can react. Digestive enzymes These recipes are written in combinations These microscopic molecules break your of four-letter code (ACTG). reactions. Brown fat burns calories to keep you warm. This scan shows the distribution of brown fat around the head. it carries the genetic recipes needed to build. DNA is dissolved chemicals with the they just help them to packaged into 23 pairs of potential to come together or happen faster. Children have more brown fat than adults. chromosomes break apart to form the Some of the most well- in each cell biological building blocks that known enzymes are the ones you need to stay alive. these aren’t the only enzymes in d single structure inside your body is your DNA. Enzymes are molecules with ‘active sites’ that lock on breaking down the molecules in your food. and their can combine or break apart more easily. and in humans food down into absorbable chunks are 3 billion letters long. shoulders. snipping so that they can react every cell (red blood cells get rid of theirs). Substrate Products The substrate is the This stress causes the specific molecule that substrate to break apart. A-Z OF THE HUMAN BODY Enzymes Enzymes are often their structures so that they molecules. around the organs. grow. reactions happen too slowly These are important for DNA Perhaps the most important on their own. repair and maintain you. Stress The enzyme puts stress You have two main types of fat: Complex on the links holding the f brown and white. However. The enzyme and the substrate join together substrate together. In humans. while white fat stores energy and produces hormones. and even destroying job is to speed up chemical themselves do not actually invading pathogens.

In your thumb. there are shaped bone. are in the thumbs. only around 100. Thinkstock. 11 . you’ve got ball for turning. but contained within a fluid-filled capsule. lining your eyelids. enzymes i your intestines and begins a 7. The around in circles. Many joints are also sideways motion. backwards. this. but they do Ball and and socket joints. Joints There are more than 200 bones in the Types of joints Each type of joint in your body allows for a different Immovable Some bones are fused together to form joints j human body. and is filled with digestive and hormones into your body. which allow the bones to flex past one another. Endocrine glands produce hormones. which allow the widest not allow much side-to. such as at the Gliding “There are more Gliding joints are found between flat bones. which are released into the blood to send chemical Hair You have around 5 million hair follicles signals across the body. food enters g These structures are responsible for producing and releasing fluids. can move forwards The only saddle joints Cartilage covers the ends of the bones at and backwards. and to make you move in all the right places. including the bones that make up the skull. helping to prevent the surfaces They allow forwards. allow forward and than 200 bones in enabling them to slide past one another. h and. The others are spread across your body – on your skin. the saliva and mucus. and even glands (green branches) (in the case of eyebrows) diverting sweat and rainwater away from your eyes. provides lubrication to keep things moving smoothly. Hair has many functions. you have hinge and rotates inside joints. backwards movement. side-to-side and of movement. They allow movement backwards movement. gliding joints. helping to keep endocrine glands (blue clusters) and exocrine you warm. end of one bone is shaped like a ball. which is found in the ear and helps to transmit sound Glands IntestinesAfter exiting your stomach. Illustration by Alex Phoenix / Greg Whitaker many joints.DID YOU KNOW? The smallest bone in your body is the stapes. After endocrine and exocrine. which open and close just like a door.000 of those are on your scalp. enzymes that get to work breaking down and There are two major types: absorbing the molecules from your meal. and inside your nose and The pancreas has both ears. At the knees and elbows. together by different types of joints. the large intestine absorbs as much water Exocrine glands produce as possible before the waste is passed out. but they the human body” don’t rotate. © WIKI. but in the human body not side to side.5-metre journey out of your body. trapping dirt and debris. As we age. and cushioning the backwards and impact as you move. socket side or forwards and These joints allow range of movement. and thickness and colour Several metres of intestines are release these through ducts of our hair changes packed into your abdomen onto the skin or surfaces of other organs. substances like sweat. the widest range forwards. and some side-to-side. there is a saddle joint that enables a side-to-side and Hinge The knees and elbows Saddle open-close motion. which only limited rotation. Ellipsoidal These joints. from rubbing together. The small intestine comes first. surprisingly. another cup- And in your wrists and ankles. These are called synovial joints. base of your index finger. Pivot These joints are adapted In your hips and shoulders. they are linked range of movement that don’t actually move.

Excess water and waste products are sent on to the bladder as urine to be excreted. but there is a second network cell. Lymphatic Mitochondria system Everyone knows about the m We know that our bodies need oxygen and nutrients to survive. called nephrons. cleaning the blood every time it passes through. Renal pyramid These structures Renal vein transport urine towards After it has been filtered. A-Z OF THE HUMAN BODY Adrenal gland Kidneys The kidneys These simple-looking organs are packed with microscopic filtration machinery On top of each kidney is an endocrine gland that produces hormones. with with lymph nodes. where it leaves the kidneys. The fluid then tracks through bendy tubes (known as convoluted tubules). through the renal artery. that forces water and waste out through gaps in the vessel walls. and they use a complex chain of tubes and vessels that is often of proteins that shuffle forgotten. The lymphatic system electrons around to collects fluid from the tissues. including adrenaline. and narrower on the way out. It is also used by the can be easily used. the ureter. keep your blood Ureter clean and your Urine produced by the Renal artery Blood enters the kidney body hydrated” kidneys travels to the bladder for storage. Blood cells and proteins remain in the bloodstream. and mitochondria are the powerhouses l circulatory system that transports blood around the that turn these raw materials into energy. helping to keep your hydration levels stable. used as folds inside outposts by the immune system 12 . Depending on how much salt and water are in your body. There are hundreds in every body. and produce chemical returns it to the blood via veins in energy in a form that the chest. Blood Renal medulla Renal cortex The inner part of the Blood is filtered in passes in through knots of blood kidney is responsible the outer part of vessels that are wider on the way in for collecting the the kidney. Mitochondria have a distinctive two-layered The lymphatic system is studded structure. This urine and then creates an area of high pressure sending it out towards the bladder. “Your kidneys clean blood leaves the kidney through the renal vein. immune system to monitor and fight infection. Each kidney has around a million of these miniature filtering systems. Your kidneys keep your k blood clean and your body properly hydrated. your kidneys adjust the amount of fluid that they get rid of. where important minerals are collected and returned to the blood.

and enzymes that break down food in the cerebrum is responsible the small intestine. and it can be further divided into two to your stomach. These are the longest as well as looking spinal nerves in the after bladder and body. with one running bowel function. your head to your toes and The peripheral nervous system is the this stretchy muscular everywhere in between. The cerebellum coordinates movement. like keeping your heart and include responses like the knee-jerk beating and your stomach churning. and runs the leg muscles. but this bundle of four muscles in the upper leg is an important one. 11 of which lie between the ribs. The somatic you swallow. the background. o known as the ‘food pipe’. all the way down to the hand. It produces breathing. and are responsible for that odd ‘funny bone’ feeling. circular The central nervous system is the brain nervous system looks after everything that muscles contract to and spinal cord. 13 . which allows them to happen at super speed. Ulnar nerve These nerves run over the outside of the elbow. They bypass the brain. like push food into your centre of your body. The quadriceps femoris connect © Thinkstock the pelvis and thigh to the knee and shinbone. transmitting signals from reaction. The nervous network of nerves that feed the rest of your tube links your mouth system can be split into two main parts: body. and makes up the control you consciously feel and move. These are known as ‘spinal reflexes’. and it makes the for higher functions. supplying the arm. Quadriceps q There aren’t many body parts that begin with the letter Q.DID YOU KNOW? If you could spread your brain out flat. which Thoracic nerves There are 12 pairs of regulate the levels of sugar in the blood. The spinal cord links the brain to the rest of the body. starting charge of the vast majority of signals. it would be the size of a pillowcase Nervous system Oesophagus Sometimes n This is your body’s electrical wiring. Median nerve Lumbar nerves This is one of the There are five pairs of major nerves of lumbar nerves. While the brain is in clenching your leg muscles and sensing digestive tract. its own. Sacral nerves There are five pairs of sacral nerves. Sciatic nerves supplying the ankles. thoracic nerves. They carry signals to the Spinal cord chest and abdomen. the pain if you step on a nail. parts: somatic and autonomic. feeding messages backwards and forwards via branching nerves. down each leg. Your nerve network Brain Pancreas This leaf-shaped organ plays two p The nervous system sends electrical The brainstem controls messages all over your body basic functions like vital roles in digestion. hormones insulin and glucagon. When central and peripheral. and are used to straighten the leg. The autonomic at the top and moving spinal cord can take care of some things on system takes care of the things that go on in down in waves.

It is made up of three also contains melanocytes. Tongue Papilla The tongue is a powerful t muscle with several important functions. are known as filiform The umbilical cord is vallate papillae. swallowing. and are linked at the front to a wide. with around 1. with a whopping 1. After birth. The next three pairs. The placenta attaches to the wall of the mother’s uterus. the final two Not everyone has the same the outside. At The rest of the bumps. covering most the very back of the tongue are the of the tongue. In total. And at the tip are the most well-known job is to taste. Each papilla can have hundreds of taste buds. It nourishes the floating ribs. Microvilli tapping into her blood supply to extract oxygen and Taste pore nutrients. These a layer of supporting tissue are constantly being replaced called the hypodermis. which by a layer of stem cells that sit contains storage space for fat. the dermis The dermis contains hair don’t link up at all. flat bone called the sternum (or breastbone). buds each. The epidermis ribs. which connect in pairs to the thoracic vertebrae of the spine at the back. top layer of skin. each containing papillae. which produce the colour indirectly. but its taste buds each. and distinct layers: the epidermis on pigment melanin. they are known as papillae. Under this is layers of flattened cells. and do not have any taste usually cut at birth. number of ribs. At the sides are buds at all. and performs a vital role in keeping your body supplied with oxygen. blood vessels. fungiform (mushroom-shaped) The bumps on the tongue are not all papillae. and produces and is made up of overlapping sweat and sebum. nerves and and are known as sometimes the floating ribs are missing right at the bottom. glands. Seven of these pairs are called true ribs. known as false Skin Your skin is the largest just beneath.000 even keeping your mouth clean. connect to the sternum s organ in your body. around 250 taste buds. speech and the foliate papillae. the ribcage is made from 24 curved bones. and there are four different types. u and connects a developing baby to its placenta. as beneath. It is vital for Taste bud chewing. separating the baby from the placenta 14 . Tongue leaving a scar called the belly button. and the hypodermis follicles. A-Z OF THE HUMAN BODY Ribcage This internal armour protects r your heart and lungs. The epidermis is waterproof. but some don’t have any Umbilical cord This spongy structure is packed with blood vessels. the cord dries up and falls away.600 taste taste buds.

landmark in order to find the right place for When the vocal cords are closed. delivering a attack. and they work to contain which pathogens they’ve fought before. layer of defence – the adaptive immune responsible for producing new The first line of defence is called the innate system. z of the key muscles When these cells arrive in your tissues. responsible for swallowing infections and smile.DID YOU KNOW? Every second. Lymphocytes and pulling your These are the lips up and out. the little lump that or voice box. they xiphoid process as a vibrate. These cells mount a stronger and blood cells. specialists of the Depending on your adaptive immune Neutrophils system. If the innate immune system can’t keep the y types of bone marrow: yellow and each with a unique role to play in keeping infection at bay. They are present in responsible for deadly attack. There are several different types. joining the cleaning up dead cells. been infected with viruses. cheek dimples. while yellow immune system. or ‘big eaters’. your bone marrow produces more than 2 million new red blood cells Vocal Xiphoid cords process This is the v The vocal cords are folds of membrane x technical term used for found in the larynx. then they call in the second red. as well as killing cells that have marrow There are two main defending your body from attack and disease. Meet some of the cells that fight to Basophils keep you free from infection The chemicals that are produced by these cells help Yellow marrow is to increase blood flow to mainly found in the © Thinkstock tissues. or to speak and sing. and can even remember marrow contains mainly fat. causing inflammation. large numbers in the blood. producing sound. These cells are the first ones more specific attack. pressure builds and they vibrate chest compressions during CPR. tasked with infections by swallowing and digesting bacteria. Medical passes through the gap professionals use the between the folds. long bones of the arms and legs Zygomaticus Eosinophils These cells contain major granules full of This is one Monocytes chemicals that can be used as a weapon against pathogens. they responsible for your turn into macrophages. 15 . Red marrow gradually changes into yellow marrow Your immune army as you get older. As air breastbone. it is also cell targets a different line of defence against the muscle enemy. corner of the mouth to the cheekbone. on the scene. Red marrow is your body free of infection. White blood cells Yellow w These specialist cells make up your own personal army. allowing us sternum. Each individual These cells are your first anatomy. They can be can be found at the used to change the flow of air bottom of your out of the lungs.

HUMAN ANATOMY 026 018 Inside our 50 facts human about the cells body 046 Our vital spine 018 50 amazing body facts 040 All about teeth 056 Heart attacks From head to toe Dental anatomy and more Why do they happen? 026 Human cells 042 Anatomy of the neck 057 Heart bypasses How are they structured? Impressive anatomical design How are blockages bypassed? 028 Inside a nucleus 044 The human skeleton 058 Human kidneys Dissecting a cell’s control centre A bounty of boney facts How do your kidneys function? 029 What are stem cells? 046 The human spine 060 Kidney transplants Building block bring new life 33 vertebrae explained The body’s natural filters 030 Brain power 048 How the body moves 062 Vestigial organs About our most complex organ The types of joints explained Are they really useless? 034 The science of vision 050 How muscles work 063 How the spleen works Inside the eye Muscle power revealed Learn how it staves off infections 036 How ears work 052 Skin colour / Skin grafts 064 How the liver works Sound and balance explained Skin facts explained The ultimate multitasker 038 The tonsils 053 How many cells do we have? 066 The small intestine What are these fleshy lumps? What makes up our bodies? How does this organ work? 039 Vocal cords 054 The human heartbeat 068 The human ribcage See how they help us talk What keeps us going strong? The function of the ribs 16 .

Alamy 066 Inside the small intestine 070 How the pancreas works The body’s digestive workhorse 082 Hacking 072 How your bladder works our health Waste removal facts 074 The urinary system How we process waste 076 Inside the human stomach How does this organ digest food? 078 The human hand Our most versatile body part 080 How your feet work Feet facts and stats 082 Hacking the human body How will technology cure us? 17 . 042 Anatomy of the neck © Dreamstime. Science Photo Library.

looking at everything from tongue rolling and why we are ticklish through to pulled muscles and why we dream. and many have an evolutionary tale behind them. There’s more we don’t know about the body than we do know. we’d fail abysmally. Asking these questions is only natural but most of us are too embarrassed or never get the opportunity – so here’s a chance to clear up all those niggling queries. We’ll take a head-to-toe tour of the quirks of human biology. This includes many of the quirks and seemingly useless traits that our species carry. 18 . not all of these traits are as bizarre as they may seem. However. HUMAN ANATOMY 50 Amazing facts about the human body There are lots of medical questions everybody wants to ask but we just never get the chance… until now! T he human body is the most complex organism we know and if humans tried to build one artificially.

DID YOU KNOW? Useless body parts include the appendix. Studies on actually feeling the rest of the body? families and twins have shown that it simply cannot be a case of just genetic direct transmission © Dora Pete Only a small amount – inheritance. but know though – such as which areas of Wernicke’s area also combines it with it interprets the light Wernicke’s area is where you interpret your brain are responsible for various visual data. you’re grow like the environmental influence. If they blood to your brain may well remember your dreams. doctors and alter your persona. the truth is 6 What is a pulse? 3 Do eyeballs likely to be more complex. signals in your eyes into the language you hear. you’re suddenly wide awake and your some people play with their hair press both at the eyes spring open. it – but it’s extremely rare that you’ll mechanism. keep scientists. Scientists your complex sensory system. A interpret sound waves patterns. pattern recognition and cerebral activation in response to a stimulus (seeing an apple and recognising it). the coccyx and wisdom teeth 1 Pre-motor cortex How do Frontal lobe The pre-motor cortex is where Primary motor cortex we think? The frontal lobe is where your personality is. philosophers busy for decades to come. and then you types of thoughts and decisions. you’re coming out of a different phase. There is likely When you feel your to be an overlap of genetic factors and own pulse. and where your thoughts and emotions form. do we wake up beautiful. of well-trodden pathways that lead from your brain to your muscles in less Temporal lobe © SPL than just a second. sports doctor might state that when into meaningful you choose to run. if press more complex than you think. will argue that a network of Broca’s area is The primary auditory neurons cannot possibly explain the where you form complex is right next to complex words many thousands of thoughts and the ear and is where you and speech emotions that we must deal with. you activate a series information. which is but beware. you’ll will take longer and you might not end up there. The primary motor cortex and the primary somatosensory cortex are the areas which receive sensory innervations and then What are thoughts? This question will Removing this or damaging it can co-ordinate your whole range of movements. There I’m constantly are five stages of sleep which represent playing with my hair too hard and you the increasing depths of sleep – when This is a behavioural response – can actually faint. Ask around – the fact that of your heartbeat some people can learn to do it suggests down your artery. and also many area Primary auditory complex scientists. you traits are perfectly normal. It all depends how you want to Parietal lobe The parietal lobe is responsible for define the term ‘thoughts’. eg the radial arteryat the wrist. Sleep is a gift from nature. can compress an artery against a bone. it’s often a natural when they’re nervous or bored. and. Broca’s Philosophers. some of your movements are co-ordinated. rather than genetic (inborn). this is actually why that in at least some people it’s You can only feel a babies appear to be so environmental (ie a learned behaviour) pulse where you 2 In the mornings. 5 Why can some people roll their tongues but others can’t? Although we’re often taught in school that tongue rolling is due to genes. definitely faint! want to open your eyes straight away! 19 . will form a response via Broca’s area. may talk about synapse formation. The temporal lobe Occipital lobe decides what to do with The occipital lobe is all There are some specifics we do sound information and the way at the back. or open our The carotid artery can be felt against eyes first? 4 Why do we fiddle subconsciously? the vertebral body.as a protective behavioural psychologists can help eg when your alarm clock goes off. If begin to interfere with your life. For same time and awakening and you’re coming out of the vast majority of people such you’ll cut off the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. as their eyes are out of proportion and so appear bigger. shapes and patterns.

and under the highest pressure as it leaves the heart and enters the elastic aorta. The furthest point head each year? without it. and blood flow of length. This gas has stereoscopic – ie both eyes contribute. However.5cm) a month These demand a massive vessels are often the might tends to be considered 25 per cent of the blood first to get blocked by average. In terms heart. Although not so funny as the brain interprets this This massive vein sits grow from their sudden trauma as pain to your forearm and fingers! behind the aorta but is no poor relation – 5. but we don’t really notice. The inferior vena cava average person bony prominence of the ‘humerus’ bone.but don’t be surprised if from each heart beat! fatty plaques. They are also used to help fine-tune our voices when we speak. these 0. HUMAN ANATOMY 2D field The areas from 120 to 180 degrees are seen as 2D as only one eye contributes. Blood is moving fastest system will compensate. through the gastrointestinal tract. health status. have ingested – such as a sparkling drink.5-1 inch (1.2-2. The kidneys grow older. 20 . 10 Why does it feel so weird when you hit your funny bone? 13 How many inches of hair does the You’re actually hitting the ulnar nerve as it wraps around the 4. rush-hour veins to get back to your heart. overlap from the other eye so we see in 2D. pathogens from the upper back-road capillary system. The central portion of this naturally from your 3D field (approximately 120 degrees) is binocular or stomach. Under pressure © SPL as the rest of your immune arranged in a circle. The central 120-degree either been swallowed © Matt Willman allowing depth perception so that we can portion is the 3D part of our vision as both eyes see in 3D. leading to a ‘funny’ sensation. narrowest part of the are thought to help fight off down the motorway-like arteries. Each © Frettie of lymphatic tissues which red blood cell within this has to go from your heart. but also for pleasure when kissing. You won’t 1. As you 3. meaning that there is no something that you we use the most. The sound is 8 What is the point 11 How fast does blood travel round the human body? vibrations which are taking place in the oesophageal of tonsils? sphincter. can see at the back of your throat are just part of the ring of tonsils. blood These arteries and It’s different for everybody – your wouldn’t get back L ULNAR NERVE veins are the furthest age. anywhere between here is slow. The ones you large bowel) to the more essential (eg muscles). The peripheral edges are or is the result of contribute – this is the part monocular. 7 What’s my field of vision in degrees? 12 Why do we burp? A burp is the bodies The human field of vision is just about 180 way of releasing gas degrees. The process the tonsils themselves can typically takes about a minute. the The tonsils are collections Your total ‘circulating volume’ is about five litres. typically for eating. 9 What are lips for? Lips are predominantly used as a tactile sensory organ. When you’re in a rush sometimes even become and your heart rate shoots up. genes © SP to your heart. away from your and gender all play a role. you’re outside this range. The most miss them if they’re taken important organ The brain has its own out for recurrent infections special blood supply 2. the time reduces as the infected – leading to blood diverts from the less-important structures (eg tonsillitis. nutrition. and then back through the respiratory tract.

one might become a forearm. blood supply – and genes and hormonal changes. the umbilical cord is clamped several centimetres away from people think they are harmless Your eyes remain shut as a the baby and left to fall off. eyebrows can No two fingerprints are the same help to keep sweat and – either on your hands or between two people – and that’s down to your unique set of genes.DID YOU KNOW? The average person breaks wind between 8-16 times per day 14 Why are everyone’s fingerprints 20 WHY DO MEN HAVE NIPPLES? Men and women are built from the same template. education. the faster the growth genes to do different things. The nerves). but they remember very few of them. However some radial.It’s different for everybody! 24 WHY DOES MY ARM TINGLE AND FEEL HEAVY IF I 19 What gives me my personality? Researchers have spent their whole lives trying to FALL ASLEEP ON IT? This happens because you’re compressing a nerve as you’re lying on your arm. Biologically. does hair growth become so erratic? Hair follicles in different parts of your The longer the bone at the end body are actually programmed by your of a digit. Some 18 Is it possible to keep your eyes open when you sneeze? oxygen and nutrients with the mother’s blood. 16 Why. Most the spray and nasal bacteria an ‘innie’ or an ‘outie’ – it’s © Tristanb people have four to eight dreams entering and infecting your probably all just luck. per night which are influenced by eyes. which that’s just to name a few. and there are clear personality skin of your arm and three types. Your fingerprints are fine ridges of skin in the tips of your fingers and toes. your supplying your hand (the upbringing. your dreams more clearly. There are several nerves supplying the answer this one. The urban myth that stress. yet in another pair. surroundings. They are useful for improving the detection of small vibrations 21 WHAT’S THE POINT OF EYEBROWS? and to add friction for better grip. you might tingle in your best friends. Most of it is down to the genes that result 15 Why do we only remember from when your parents come together to make you. professor and the other a murderer. 22 WHAT IS A BELLY BUTTON? The umbilicus is where a baby’s blood flows through to get to the placenta to exchange some dreams? Dreams have fascinated humans for thousands of years. There is research to prove that if your eyes will pop out if you keep them open is unlikely to happen – but keeping 23 WHY IS IT THAT FINGERNAILS GROW MUCH FASTER you awake from the rapid eye them shut will provide THAN TOENAILS? movement (REM) part of your sleep some protection against cycle. although it’s unclear how much. More importantly in humans. Once out. anxiety and desires. can go bald due to a combination of activity. you’re likely to remember nasty bugs and viruses. as we get older. Some hair colours win out (typically the dark ones) whereas some (eg blonde) are less strong in the genetic race. 17 Why do we all have different coloured hair? rainwater from falling into your eyes. and these different? are just a remnant of a man’s early development. Most of it is your environment – that is. Your personality forms in the front lobes of your brain. 21 . No while others think they are vital to defence mechanism to prevent one quite knows why you’ll get our emotional wellbeing. Men – nutrition. may not happen in other areas (eg nasal hair). hand or fingers. sun exposure. they are key aids to non-verbal communication. so depending on strongest research in this comes from studying twins which part of your arm you lie – what influences one set of twins to grow up and be on. median and ulnar of it is genetic. However there follicles on your arm produce hair much are many other influences too slower than those on your head. eg the rate of the nail.

the appendix has no useful jaundice. Those who are blood group O have no antigens so can give result of overstretching. but they have antibodies to A and B so can only receive O back! A You have A antigens and B antibodies. ice. is a tear in a group which flex the knee. O You have no antigens but have A and B Though warming up can help prevent antibodies. You can donate to B and AB. cent of the cardiac 4. of muscle fibres as a AB. the appendix can burst and gallstones can lead to a buildup of lead to widespread infection which can bilirubin due to altered physiological 27 Which be lethal. or type A and you’re given B. This is a protective mechanism to prevent But the liver gets the food or foreign bodies entering the back of most blood – 40 per the throat at times other than swallowing. B You have B antigens and A antibodies. and down the glossopharyngeal nerve. processes. but can’t receive A. AB and O (universal recipient). O. Vagus nerve The vagus nerve is stimulated. or none – in which case you’re blood type These are a group of Strain O. donate to all: A. can get inflamed. You can donate to A and AB. You can receive blood groups A. blood to anyone. If you’re three main muscles A pulled muscle. Foreign bodies oxygen from blood. if you’re blood type strain. You can receive blood groups B and O. The gag output compared to 2. B. AB You have A and B antigens and no antibodies. sending signals leads to ‘gagging’.9-3. but can’t receive B. leading to forceful contraction of the stomach and diaphragm 80 per cent of the to expel the object forwards. It is actually due to a buildup function and is actually a remnant of of bilirubin within your body. B or AB and can from walkers to marathon runners. 22 . However. heart. Soft palate This forceful expulsion The soft palate (the fleshy part of the the kidneys. You can have A antigens. you can safely receive any type. AB and O.9in). © SPL organ uses up the most oxygen? The heart is the most efficient – it extracts 30 What is the gag reflex? 3. B antigens. which mouth roof) is stimulated. 1. HUMAN ANATOMY 25 What makes some blood groups incompatible while others are universal? Your blood type is determined by protein markers known as antigens on the surface of your 26 What is a pulled muscle? The hamstrings red blood cells. © SPL Pulled muscles are treated with RICE: © SPL rest. B. your antibodies attack the B antigens. which only receives 5 per cent. when our development. If it isn’t quickly Diseases such as hepatitis and removed. or the whites of the eyes is called however. but can’t receive A. but there are other causes. they can happen to anyone. You can receive blood groups A and O. It typically measures normally this is excreted in the urine 5-10cm (1. You can receive blood group sprains. your antibodies will attack foreign blood. and vomiting. compression and elevation 28 What is the appendix? I’ve heard it has no use 29 Why does people’s but can kill you… skin turn yellow The appendix is useful in cows for if they contract digesting grass and koala bears for liver disease? digesting eucalyptus – koalas can have This yellow discolouration of the skin a 4m (13ft)-long appendix! In humans. if you don’t have the antigen. and can donate to AB. However. but if it gets blocked it (hence why urine has a yellow tint). which can develop into retching get 25 per cent.

You unexpected nature of this stimulus that means you can find an ambidextrous person. and these people are equally capable with both and expect your body to stay healthy. your body needs © Klaus D. Germany Light touches. drink plenty of clear fluids when you’re feeling unwell. Food contagious. rough. papilloma virus. insects or other controls the opposite side of a diet balanced with humans. 23 . and they can be food groups. Although some researchers say these twitches are The immune response leads to inflammation and the release of associated with stress or inflammatory factors into your blood stream. They typically occur on the face and shoulders. also come up anywhere from the genitals to the feet! 38 WHY DO I TWITCH IN 35 Why do we get a high temperature when we’re ill? MY SLEEP? This is known in the medical world as a myoclonic twitch. which is handy for seeing! © shlomit g © Loyna 36 WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE FRECKLES? Freckles are concentrations of the dark skin pigment melanin in the skin. Your eyelashes are programmed to grow to a certain length and even re-grow if they fall out. These lead to an increased caffeine use.DID YOU KNOW? Your brain interprets pain from the rest of the body. However you can fat to survive. but can this balancing act. just like those on your head. Each follicle is genetically programmed to function differently. and are more common in light-skinned people. it’s important to you. but doesn’t have any pain receptors itself 32 Why don’t eyelashes keep growing? Your eyelashes are formed from hair follicles. Wiehl. They are also a well-recognised genetic trait 33 What makes us 34 Could we survive on and become more dominant during sun-exposure. spiders. left-handed? vitamins 31 Why are we ticklish? One side of the brain is more dominant over the other. 37 WHAT IS A WART? right and left hands! Warts are small. they are likely heart rate and blood flow. arms and body. This can lead to increased heat sleep process. It is the proportions round growths of the skin of these which keep caused by the human us healthy and fit. which increases your core body temperature to be a natural part of the – as if your body is doing exercise. co-dominant. Since each hemisphere of the brain alone? No. by feathers. the brain. for this reason. you can’t make yourself laugh. but they won’t grow beyond a certain length. They commonly charts can help with © Jeinny Solis occur on the hands. meaning the left which send impulses to the somatosensory cortex in controls the right side of your vitamins. There are You can get these different types which can occur in different parts of the from the five major body. Certain areas are more ticklish – such as the body. It is the hemispheres. Although you can give yourself goosebumps where hemispheres are can’t cut one of these through light tickling. be tickled. protein. Peter. This is why right-handed minerals feet – which may indicate that it is a defence people have stronger left brain carbohydrates. and mechanism against unexpected predators. it’s perfectly normal. can stimulate fine nerve-endings in the skin your body. If it happens to production and thus dehydration.

If the SAN fails. which down. with the liquid absorbing much of the irritant. Damage to the blood vessels After trauma such as a fall. The sinoatrial node (SAN) is in the wall of the right atrium of the heart. © David Benbennick to improve hearing. a pacemaker can send artificial electrical signals to keep the heart going. eventually reaching the eyes of the cutter. HUMAN ANATOMY 39 What triggers 3x © SPL the heart and keeps it beating? The heart keeps itself beating. Ventricular systole 3. The haemoglobin in cutting red blood cells is broken down. sodium and potassium move across membranes. 42 What is the little triangle shape on the side of 43 When we’re tired. The pressure onions can be largely mitigated by submerging the low levels of. first to contract. syn- propanethial-S-oxide gas is produced. The sympathetic nervous system sends rapid signals from the brain to stimulate the heart to beat faster when we need it to – in ‘fight or flight’ scenarios. the eyes then to a combination of genetic factors into the skin follow protocol and generate tears from their tear and hormones. The heart can beat at a rate of 60 beats per minute constantly if left alone. ready for the next beat. and is where the heartbeat starts. why do we get bags under the ear? This is the tragus. than women? where it proceeds to activate sensory neurons and ‘Simple’ male pattern baldness is due 2. so they win (or lose?) in from the bruise then onion in water prior to or midway through cutting. As such. 3. this particular hormone contest! helps stem the bleeding. brown or purple discolouration depending on the volume of blood and colour of the overlying skin. and are the and they send high-pressure refill. are what give the dark discolouration of a bruise. making them puffy. This occurs as when an onion is cut with a knife. 44 Why do more men go bald the small capillaries are torn and burst. which men tissues surrounding the Interestingly. Blood leaks create a stinging sensation. as a direct consequence. but it may help to efficiently when you’re asleep so excess water can reflect sounds into the ear pool under the eyes. allowing enzymes to break down amino acid sulphoxides and generate sulphenic acids. the volatile gas generated by cutting have high levels of but women have vessel. Ventricular diastole Diastole = relaxation The atria are the low-pressure upper The ventricles contract next. emptying blood out into the aorta to blood into the ventricles. Discolouration Haemoglobin is then broken down into its smaller components. 24 . This volatile gas then diffuses in the air surrounding the onion. which is volatile. an irritant gas once cut. nutrition. However – we often need it to go faster. and these by-products give a onions make dark yellow. 40 Why do bruises go 41 Why © Lali Masriera purple or yellow? does A bruise forms when capillaries under the skin leak and allow blood to settle in the surrounding tissues. Atrial systole Systole = contraction 2. supply the body. These beats occur due to changes in electrical currents as calcium. Definitions 1. The most implicated Blood settles into the glands in order to dilute and remove the irritant. Despite us cry? popular belief. The heart is now relaxed and can chambers. Fatigue. It serves our eyes? no major function that we Blood doesn’t circulate around your body as know of. age and genes also cause bags. These sulphenic acids are then rearranged by another enzyme and. you cannot age a bruise – different people’s Onions make your eyes water due to their expulsion of bruises change colour at different rates. many of its internal cells are broken 1. hormone is testosterone.

the proteins lose their from one cell. potatoes and cold spoons 47 Why do we get itchy? Itching is caused by the release of a 48 Why do some hereditary conditions skip a transmitter called histamine from mast cells which circulate in your body. 49 Why do amputees sometimes still 45 Why do we blink? Blinking helps keep your eyes clean and moist. There isn’t a surgical cure as yet. The heart (cardiac muscle) is the hardest-working muscle. including tea bags. Some genes are sting or an allergic reaction. 50 Which muscle produces the most powerful contraction relative to its size? The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle and forms the bulk of your buttock. This leads to the strong bonds and disengage. the muscle bulk contracts. This is the muscle that clenches the jaw shut – put a finger over the lowest. Unbinding halves of most people’s bodies are different! We all start Now the binding sites are free on actin. outer part of your jaw and clench your teeth and you’ll feel it. though time and special medications can help lessen the pain. Since the nerves have been cut. they won’t shine send impulses to the brain via nerves through. when all return to their original resting state. if two recessive which causes the desire to itch. This binding changes the shape of action potential causes calcium ions to flood across the tropomyosin. sometimes struggle to adjust to the loss of a limb. protein muscle fibres. keeping it moist and also annoyance to a debilitating pain. Taking the first step 2. and from there they varying characteristics. This is the of the proteins contract. the myosin heads When the energy runs out. another protein which is bound to actin. such as a bee Genes work in pairs. Preparation Muscle contraction starts with an impulse received from the The calcium binds to troponin which is a receptor on nerves supplying the muscle – an action potential. and it can still ‘interpret’ the limb as being there.DID YOU KNOW? There are many home remedies for baggy eyes. However. and ‘dominant’ half. 46 How come most people have one foot larger than the other? Cross bridge detaches Energised myosin head Most people’s feet are different sizes – in fact the two 3. generation? These cells are often released in response to a stimulus. contraction of the newly formed protein complex. as it is constantly beating and clearly can never take a break! However the strongest muscle based on weight is the masseter. genes combine (one from your mother and one from your father). Blinking spreads secretions from the tear glands (lacrimal fluids) feel pain in their amputated limbs? This is ‘phantom limb pain’ and can range from a mild over the surface of the eyeball. genes give them forge strong bonds in these points. The muscle fibres are formed from two These shape changes lead to the opening of a series of key proteins: actin and myosin. The brain can sweeping away small particles such as dust. the recessive trait will show through. This the actin protein. it interprets these new signals as pain. Myosin head Actin filament Actin filament is pulled 1. Binding 4. 25 . unbinding stage. They lead ‘recessive’ and if paired with a to inflammation and swelling. binding sites on the actin protein. but as the cells multiply.

enter the bloodstream. but what are they or control centre. All animal cells contain a nucleus. Endoplasmic reticulum The groups of folded membranes (canals) which acts like a control hub telling the connecting the nucleus to the cytoplasm are cell what to do and contains the cell’s called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In turn. 26 . which all have different tasks. if not it is known as ‘smooth’ jelly-like substance called cytoplasm ER. To keep these cells working. Most of the studded with ribosomes the ER is referred to material within a cell is a watery. If genetic information (DNA). such as skin or muscle. One vital example of an endoplasmic organelle is a ribosome. You are here because every cell inside your body has a specific function and a very specialised job to Ribosomes do. Ribosomes are crucial in the production of proteins from amino acids. as ‘rough’ ER. cells with similar jobs to do form tissue. however. When grouped together in layers or clusters. around the cell. each one working to keep the can be found either floating in the cytoplasm or attached like studs to the body’s various systems operating. Within the cytoplasm is a variety of structures called organelles. which circulates cell but also have differing functions. for The amount of energy used by a cell is measured transportation either in and around the in molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). HUMAN ANATOMY Cell structure Cell membrane Surrounding and supporting explained each cell is a plasma membrane that controls everything that enters and exits. There are many different types of These tiny structures make proteins and cell. Both help transport materials around the (cyto means cell). the Golgi body is one These organelles supply cells with the energy that processes and packages proteins. Golgi body Mitochondria Another organelle. Inside the nucleus is DNA information. which is a conveyor single cell is the smallest unit of living belt-like membrane that transports proteins material in the body capable of life. such as manufacturing proteins – the cell’s key Smooth chemicals. necessary for them to carry out their functions. including hormones and enzymes. there are thousands of chemical reactions going on all the time. proteins are essential to Rough endoplasmic building your cells and carrying out the reticulum (studded biochemical reactions the body needs in with ribosomes) order to grow and develop and also to repair itself and heal. The human body has over 75 Nucleus The nucleus is the cell’s ‘brain’ trillion cells. around the cell and is held in by a thin external membrane. cell or out towards the membrane for Mitochondria use the products of glucose secretion outside the cell where it can metabolism as fuel to produce the ATP. these numerous structures can be found either floating reticulum around in the cytoplasm or attached to internal membranes. and how do they work? which explains how to make the essential proteins needed C to run the cell. which consists of two layers. A endoplasmic reticulum. ells are life and cells are alive.

To brain. which and protect the body. RED BLOOD CELLS sugar and amino acid Unlike all the other cells in your body. causing vessels and your digestive tract. you’ll responsible for regulating the find epithelial cells inside your nose. Your bone mass is constantly changing adipose tissue. cells. that’s a third of all your cells. Discover the main types and what they do… water. each differs depending on the Formed in the function it performs and its bone marrow. and they blood around the entire body and the also enable us to move. cardiac and smooth – and your body. mitochondria long filaments called axons. the cell membrane. and reforming and each of the three bone cells plays which can cushion. location in the body. each slow and also involuntary. These cells filter out toxins as well as controlling fat. These cells enable us to feel the cytoplasm. If we gain weight the material. dark and movement. amino acids and enzymes – found inside NERVE CELLS Cardiac muscles. Oxygen is carried organelles that could harm the cell by and pulls the bone with it. while the cones bring colour tissues form a barrier to your world. while the cells fill with more watery fat. You are liver’s specialised cells that topped up with around 25 are involved with the trillion red blood cells – production of proteins and bile. Finally. which are pretty and ribosomes. levels. white adipose tissue stores energy and insulates the body by maintaining body heat. Their signal is converted into a chemical chemical reactions in wave-like contraction aids the transport of signal. such as pain. around your lungs and in your mouth. which the brain lines and protects your © SPL interprets as pictures. These cells then become buried in the your skin and also matrix at which point they become surrounding your other known as osteocytes. Osteocytes organs. BONE CELLS FAT CELLS Pore The cells that make up bone matrix – the hard These cells – also known as adipocytes structure that makes bones strong – consist of three or lipocytes – make up your main types. a pigmented protein digesting the product and then you move. build up bone mass and tissue is found beneath structure. make up the cross the gaps between nerve of which performs a linings of hollow structures such as blood cells (the synapse) that electrical specific role. These contain light- sensitive pigments that EPITHELIAL CELLS convert the image that Epithelial cells make up © Science Photo Library enters the eye into nerve the epithelial tissue that signals. between the precious organs and unwanted LIVER CELLS pathogens or other fluids. and they all have a very specific function to substance – made of perform. © SPL osteoblasts add to bone mass. There are capable of dissolving bone and two types of adipose tissue: white and brown. These © SPL light. and eventually the number of fat osteoclasts are the cells cells will begin to increase.DID YOU KNOW? Bacteria are the simplest living cells and the most widespread life form on Earth Cell anatomy Types of human cell So far around 200 different varieties of cell have been Cytoplasm This is the jelly-like identified. sensations. When triggered by they carry oxygen to all the different unwanted substances and worn-out a nerve signal. meanwhile. can actually create heat and The cones and rods on the retina at the back of the isn’t burned for energy – this is why animals are able to eye are known as photoreceptor hibernate for months on end without food. Around 80 per cent of your red blood cells (also known the liver’s mass consists of as erythrocytes) do not © SPL hepatocytes. insulate its part in this process. As The cells in your liver are well as covering your skin. The brown adipose PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS tissue. Skeletal these cells are Lysosomes muscles contain long fibres that important because This digestive enzyme breaks down attach to bone. The organs and constitute rods enable you to perceive the primary material of your skin. or body fat. The cells that make up the nervous which is fortunate because they are used to system and the brain are nerve cells keep your heart beating. Electrical messages of the heart. which are the contain a nucleus. This come from bone marrow. composition of your blood. digestion of food. these muscles create their own organelles such as the pass between nerve cells along stimuli to contract without input from the nucleus. are involuntary. making in haemoglobin. Smooth muscles. First the osteoblasts. making them the MUSCLE CELLS most common There are three types of muscle cell cell found in – skeletal. recognisable red colour. The size of a fat make up around 90 per cent of cell can increase or the cells in your skeleton and decrease depending on are responsible for the amount of energy it maintaining the bone stores. muscles because they are voluntary. the muscle contracts tissues in your body. We can control skeletal that gives the blood cells their ejecting it outside the cell. The changing its mass. on the other hand. 27 . Found in the walls Within the cytoplasm are or neurons.

Nucleus in context Explore the larger body that a nucleus 2 rules over and meet its ‘cellmates’ 1 3 5 4 Nucleus How do cells survive without Ribosomes Made up of two separate Mitochondrion Double membraned. than their eukaryotic counterparts. the nucleus is 4 Nucleoplasm Some eukaryotic cells have more than one filled with nucleoplasm. semi-jelly material surrounds the nucleolus and keeps the organelle’s structure. this is the heart of the eukaryotic and prokaryotic. prokaryotic cells have fewer functions than other cells. attack invading bacteria. the nucleus is 5 Chromatin Produces chromosomes and aids cell division by two or more nuclei. They have no chloroplasts. the nucleus responsible for making proteins out of amino 2 Nuclear envelope contains a cell’s DNA and controls all acids which take care of growth and repair. contain a nucleus while prokaryotic do not. This is due to the condensing DNA molecules. no and also organise the digestive enzymes that membrane-bound organelles and they don’t proteins for secretion. nucleus – called multinucleate cells – which maintains its structural integrity. in plant cells. this particular area is essential in there is added protection which is granted by the formation of ribosomes. Prokaryotic cells divide asexually with DNA molecules replicating themselves in a process © Alamy that is known as binary fission. more sporadically placed. At the heart of a nucleus you’ll find the fact that a plant cell has a larger vacuole and nucleolus. movement and reproduction. HUMAN ANATOMY Inside a nucleus Dissecting the control centre of a cell Central command Take a peek at what’s happening inside the ‘brain’ of a eukaryotic cell 1 Nuclear pore These channels control the movement of molecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm. Golgi apparatus Instead. S urrounded by cytoplasm. so they do not require a nucleus to act as the control centre for the organism. these cells have their DNA moving Named after the Italian Lysosome Small and spherical. Acts as a wall to protect the DNA within the nucleus of its functions and processes such as The nucleus is the most protected part of and regulates cytoplasm access. In animal cells it is located near its 3 Nucleolus There are two main types of cell: centre and away from the membrane for Made up of protein and RNA. around the cell rather than being housed in a biologist Camillo Golgi. occurring when fusion or division creates Conversely. a viscous liquid This semi-liquid. Ribosomes are a cell wall. a nucleus? entities. they create lysosomes this organelle contains nucleus. ribosomes make this produces energy for Prokaryotic cells are actually much more basic proteins to be used both the cell by breaking inside and outside the cell. Not only down nutrients via are they up to 100 times smaller but they also cellular respiration. As well as the nucleus which manufactures ribosomes. are mainly a comprising species of bacteria. Eukaryotic cells maximum cushioning. jelly-like cytoplasm around it. undertake cell division in the form of mitosis or meiosis like eukaryotic cells do. the cell. 28 .

such as the ability to pluripotent stem cells. Induced they repair tissues and replace explains: “Adult stem cells are pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) can dead cells.” many times – known as range of diseases and disabilities. The IPSCs fill those gaps in order to restore the triggered by signals inside and up the human body. featureless cells that can generate cells that make up embryo because the body is more likely to accept self-generated don’t contain tissue-specific the blood. while external signals medical research. This is estimated 210 cell types that make being replaced. cells that are loosely related. Soon it could become one of them What are stem cells? Understand how these building blocks bring new life S tem cells are incredibly proliferation – while others such special because they have as nerve cells don’t divide at all. IPSCs can treat degenerative structures. which are specialised through a process able to make any one of the caused by cells dying without called differentiation. as Institute at Oxford Martin School indistinguishable from early embryonic stem cells. for example. the condition in the laboratory and investigate the effects of new cells.DID YOU KNOW? Stem cells have the ability to self-renew A stem cell surrounded by red blood cells. which means they be used to take on the constantly replenished by skin are able to produce numerous characteristics of nearby cells. from as Professor Paul Fairchild. cells.” he says. Cloning cells Research on cloning cells can help cure diseases the potential to become There are two stem cell types. Once their true conditions. forget their current role and red blood cells to brain cells. They co-director of the Oxford Stem Cell become pluripotent cells are essential to life and growth. Skin. stem cells. 29 . Scientists can reprogram cells to any kind of cell in the body. outside the cell. is multipotent.” body’s systems. Internal signals This fascinating ability to Professor Fairchild explains the come from strands of DNA that transform and divide has made process to us: “By deriving these carry information for all cellular stem cells a rich source for cells from individuals with rare structures. are disease and baldness. such IPSCs are more reliable than Stem cells begin their life cycle as stem cells in the bone marrow stem cells grown from a donated as generic. Stem cells can replicate they could be used to treat a huge drugs on that disease. Stem cells become within developing embryos. we are able to model include chemicals from nearby potential has been harnessed. found conditions such as Parkinson’s carry oxygen. “In contrast.

outputs are how our brain organises that who you ask. section of the brain where The connections inside a brain are very similar to the Parkinson’s Disease can develop. Dr Paula Tallal. even the internet is rather simplistic when compared to neurons. Science has not given up trying. a co-director of neuroscience at Rutgers University. sexual drive. This is the can re-generate brain cells when you work out at the gym. digestion. but also regulates some hormones. says the brain is constantly the brain So what are the parts of the brain? According processing sensory information – even from infancy. “Inputs – perhaps a hundred or more. and also regulates tremors and reaction when you touch a hot stove. “We learn to put things together so that they become smooth sequences. Parts of In the most basic sense. she has found that young children enjoy having the same book read to them again and again because that is how the brain registers acoustic cues that form into phonemes (sounds) to then become spoken words. or determines how to move an arm and grip a surface. HUMAN ANATOMY Your brain The human brain is the most mysterious – and complex – entity in the known universe I t’s a computer. help you pedal a bike or write an email to a friend. then the brain would be as complex as our galaxy. a thinking machine. more complex than anything in the known universe. interpreting the outside world and making sense of it. Yet. and has made recent discoveries about how we adapt. The fuel – which could be the sandwich you had for lunch or a sugar doughnut for breakfast – causes neurons to fire in a logical sequence and to bond with other neurons. This is how the brain processes Controls metabolic functions such as information. The brain is actually a series of interconnected ‘superhighways’ or 30 . to predict what comes next. the human brain is like a car engine. and not just a few times per minute. thirst. These smooth sequences are observable in the brain. learn new information. Basal ganglia (unseen) Regulates involuntary movements Scientists are just beginning to understand how these brain such as posture and gait when we neurons work – they have not figured out how they trigger a walk. and each one Hypothalamus makes thousands of connections. However. stores memories. In other words.” she says. blood pressure. body temperature. These calculations. our brain is the centre of all input and outputs in the human body. research director with George Mason University. and can actually increase brain capability.” areas that control certain functions and store Tallal says one of the primary functions of the brain is in learning thoughts and memories. perceptions. pain relays. but the chain reaction might help you compose a symphony or recall entire passages of a book. processes thoughts. and reactions occur breathing. internet – the connections are constantly exchanging information. This combination of neurons occurs incredibly fast. There are ten to 100 neurons. millions. there are some key information and controls our motor systems. The brain effortlessly consumes power. a pink organ. memories. if the internet were as complex as our solar system.” says Tallal. we have a lot to learn. hunger. In her research for Scientific Learning. “It’s easiest to to Olds. According to Jim Olds. depending on are sensory information. there are almost too many to count think of the brain in terms of inputs and outputs. and almost instantaneously. or why you other irregularities. for example. In some ways. and a vast collection of neurons – but how does it work? The human brain is amazingly complex – in fact. and reacts to danger.

the planning of movements. motor activity. Includes cerebral cortex the association areas which help process information. before you even actually perform controls thoughts and memories. the main function of Consists of two cerebral hemispheres that controls motor the brain is in ordering information activity. hearing. This section of the brain weighs about 200 grams (compared to 1. calculate the results about a half-second Reflexes. sensation. your brain has already The part of the brain that Tallal says another way to think about the predetermined how to move your elbow and controls intuitive thinking. maybe even simulated this movement more sense of smell and taste.com). be quickly recalled. pathways that move ‘data’ from one part of some cases). Another section controls (www. determine a response. a neurologist voluntary movement – such as patting your and the founder of the Brain Balance Centers knee to a beat. The spinal clasp your hand around the door handle – emotional response. In Analysis of of the brain are hearing. Touch and skin sensations Language Receives signals from eyes Speech Analysis of signal from eyes Hearing Prefrontal cortex ©S PL Temporal lobe Executive functions such as complex What distinguishes the human planning. or tasting and adults. social and verbal brain – the ability to process skills. memorising. the pain reflex – before performing them (or even faster in these are all controlled by sections in the brain. then up into the cerebral cortex which than once. This means that when you reach Limbic system the body to another. Association areas might help us determine language and the tone of someone’s voice. and other higher level functions. brain is by lower and upper areas.brainbalancecenters. the action. sounds sensing. long-term memories. out to open a door. such as the gait of your will then actually predetermine actions and walk – which is passed down from your parents. and anything that requires and interpret what other parts advanced thinking and interactions. Some sections of the brain might control a According to Dr Robert Melillo.DID YOU KNOW? The average human brain is 140mm wide x 167mm long x 93mm high Functions of the Cerebral cortex The ‘grey matter’ of the brain controls cognition.300 grams making sense of it” for the main cortex). These association areas are what distinguishes the human brain from other brains. cord moves information up to the brain stem. Cerebellum “In a sense. The cerebral cortex is the wrinkling part of our brain that shows up when you see pictures of the brain Frontal lobe Complex Primarily controls senses movements such as taste. helps us determine whether an action makes sense or is dangerous. the brain involuntary movements. and Skeletal movement smell. and – interpreting the outside world and other body functions. makes us aware of the feelings of our body and where we are in space. Parietal lobe Where the brain senses touch and anything that Problem interacts with the surface solving of the skin. Interestingly. co-ordination. the brain really does work like a Another interesting aspect is that not only powerful computer in determining not only are there are some voluntary movements but movements but registering memories that can there are also some involuntary movements. 31 .

about 1. According to Dr William Likosky. This creates a kind of circuit in the human body. A neuron is essentially like a hub that along the axon. the more likely they are to bind together and the easier it becomes for that pattern of neurons to fire in synchrony as well as sequentially. works with nearby neurons to generate both an electrical and chemical charge. with a sheen generate the TrackVis of slime. together in time. HUMAN ANATOMY Neuron A neuron is a nerve cell in the brain that can be activated (usually by Neurons glucose) to connect with other neurons and form a bond that triggers an action in the brain.swedish.a fragile harmful or pleasant). 32 . kidney one neuron to another cells. To construct the maps. would immediately think it is. Dr Likosky of the Swedish Medical A thin synapse Institute says another way of thinking about neurons is A thin synapse (measuring just a few that they are like a basketball and the connections (called nanometres) between axons) are like electrical wires that connect to other the neurotransmitter. the brain is highly protected and has hard tissue. but most of the fatty tissue in the brain – which helps pass chemicals and other substances through membranes – is considerably more delicate. Brain maps TrackVis generates unique maps of the brain TrackVis is a free program used by neurologists to see a map of the brain that shows the fibre connections. forms the cause neurons to fire.500 grams and sags almost like a bag filled with water.500 grams” What is my brain like? If you could hold it in your hand… In pictures that we are all accustomed to seeing. the 1. electro-chemical “The more often a collection of neurons are stimulated connection. explained Neurotransmitter Neurons fire like electrical circuits A neurotransmitter is the electro-chemical circuit Neurons are a kind of cell that are in the brain (humans that carries the signal from have many cells in the body. including fat cells. a neurologist at maps might use up to the Swedish Medical Institute (www. the The computers used to human brain often looks pink and spongy.org). organ that weighs the program can take several hours to determine exactly how the fibres are positioning in the brain.000 graphics processors brain is actually quite different from what most people that work in tandem to process the data. Likosky described the brain as being not unlike feta cheese in appearance – a fragile organ that weighs about 1. On every brain.” says Tallal. and gland cells). In the skull. these neural © DK Images pathways help connect one part of the brain to another so that a feeling you experience in one part of the brain can be transmitted and processed by another part of the brain (one that may decide the touch is “The brain . neurons. carried along the axon in Tallal explained that input from the five senses in the body the brain. TrackVis uses fMRI readings on actual patients to generate the colourful and eye-catching images.

you feel the pain in In the spinal cord and in the brain. says Sol Diamond. you can grow new people with a serious spinal cord injury brain cells in the spinal cord and brain.DID YOU KNOW? The adult human brain weighs about 1. whether from your toenail up to your brain or from the un-insulated. Myelinated and throughout the body – a un-mylinated chemical superhighway Some nerves are myelinated (or insulated) with fatty Nerves are the transmission cables that carry brain waves in the tissue that appears white and forms a slower human body. when you are Neuroplasticity kicked in the shin. grey matter – like the kind in the outer layer of the brain – is for processing nerve cells such The spinal cord actually as touch. the nerves others travel short distances – both use nerve is excited – this is when we a de-polarisation to create the circuit. an assistant professor at the © DK Images connection over a longer Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. exercise and become strengthened. is part of the brain and plays a major role Neuronal Scientists have known for the past 100 years or so fibre tracts that the spinal cord is actually part of the brain. For example. while the brain has grey matter on the outside (protected by the skull) and protected white matter on the inside. White matter cells can re-generate. pain and movement. Others are Diamond. According to Melillo. 33 . cells the shin and your brain then tells you can rejuvenate over time when you to move your hand to cover that area. by repeating brain Grey matter cells in the spinal cord activities such as memorisation and cannot regenerate. Nerve triggers When many neurons are activated together at the same time. White matter cells White matter cells in the spinal cord carry the electro-chemical pulses up to the brain. which is why pattern recognition. spring that releases stored energy once work? Nerves carry signals it is triggered. Neurogenesis Grey matter cells According to Tallal. travel shorter distances. cannot recover over a period of time. According to distance. might feel the sensation of touch De-polarisation is like a wound-up or a distinct smell. What does the spinal cord do? Spinal cord core In the core of the spinal cord. the spinal cord is the reverse: Nerve root the grey matter is inside the spinal cord and the Spinal nerve white matter is outside.4kg (or three pounds) How do Nerve transmissions Some nerve transmissions travel great distances through the human body. This process is called neuroplasticity. nerves communicate these signals from one point to un-myelinated and are another. These nerves side of your head.

The light fi rst passes through light. change shape to there is no space for light accommodate objects receptors. a bundle A tough white membrane of fibres that exits through the known as the sclera helps back of the eye. a lens for point on the retina. Fovea Ciliary body This pit at the centre of the This tissue surrounds the lens and back of the eye is rich in light contains the muscles responsible receptors and is responsible for changing its shape. Retina Iris transparent The retina is covered in receptors that This circular muscle controls the Pupil membrane. at the back of the eye. hard to believe that it’s not the product focusing and a light-sensitive membrane. Lens Blind spot The lens is responsible for At the position where the focusing the light. and that then travels to the brain via the million years. The eye functions in a very then moves into the lens. with an opening structure bends the light. focusing it down to a incredibly complex that it’s actually through which the light enters. which contract and relax to alter the which change shape when they are hit by have evolved very gradually from just a simple size of the pupil. opened wide in the dark. which triggers an electrical message light-dark sensor over the course of around 100 a tough protective sheet called the cornea. allowing it to be The pupil is a hole that provides protection preventing the light from scattering closed down in bright light. studying the eyes of various other animals. controlled by the circular and radial muscles Each receptor contains pigment molecules. to maintain the eye’s spherical shape. scientists have been able to show that eyes in the iris. and can optic nerve leaves the eye. The retina is covered in millions of light- of intelligent design. blind spot in our vision. which detect light. 34 . Cornea The pupil and iris are covered in a tough. HUMAN ANATOMY Inside the human eye Uncovering one of the most complex constructs in the natural world T he structure of the human eye is so similar way to a camera. size of the pupil. leaving a natural near and far from the eye. This adjustable optic nerve. or allows light to reach and contributes to and ensuring a crisp image. the back of the eye. It is highly pigmented. for sharp central vision. focusing the light. Optic nerve Signals from the retina travel to the Sclera brain via the optic nerve. But by looking at and The amount of light that enters the eye is sensitive receptors known as rods and cones.

This is perfect for looking at objects in the distance. the ligaments slacken off. the ligaments are pulled tight. A Ciliary muscle A ring of muscle biological lens is actually squishy. Combined image dimensional images. and it focuses surrounding the lens can by physically changing shape. and the subtle differences are used to build these flat pictures into a three. This structure bends the incoming wavelengths so that they hit Lens Accommodation explained The lens is How the lens changes its shape to focus on the right spot on a photographic plate. Contracted When the muscle contracts. each eye sees a image. the ligament ligaments loosen. are nearby. 2D views perceived by each eye.5m (18ft) away. pull it tight. Our eyes are positioned about five centimetres (two inches) apart. relaxes. In the eye. the ligaments pull tight. Beneath the iris. Seeing in three dimensions Individual image Due to the positioning of our eyes. fat lens is working hard to good for looking at good for looking at adjust the lens distant objects. When the muscle is relaxed. or let it relax. or on the responsible for near and distant objects back of the eye. A camera lens is made from solid focusing the glass. allowing the brain to slightly different angle. and focuses on near and distant objects by light on the back of the eye. This is attached to the lens by fibres known as suspensory ligaments. the brain is able to eyes are compared in the brain. it is easy to see the different create the illusion of depth. but with some clever The incoming signals from both internal processing.DID YOU KNOW? 285 million people in the world are estimated to be visually impaired and 39 million of them are blind How the eye focuses The tiny rings of muscle that make your vision sharp C ameras and human eyes both focus light using a lens. The coloured part of the eye (called Relaxed the iris) controls the size of the pupil and ensures When the muscle the right amount of light gets through the lens. using the differences to time. so each sees the world from a slightly Try it for yourself different angle. 35 . perceive depth Our eyes are only able to produce two. dimensional view. this process is known as ‘accommodation’. and is controlled by a ring of smooth muscle called the ciliary muscle. allowing the lens to become fat The ciliary muscle is connected to the lens and round. create a three-dimensional image. thin lens is A round. Suspensory When the ciliary muscle contracts. nearby objects. This is better for looking at objects that by ligaments. physically moving closer or further away. The brain then compares By holding your hand in front of your face and closing one eye at a the two pictures. stretching the lens until it is flat and thin. when objects are closer than about Each eye sees a slightly different 5. Far Near muscles are A flat.

and it canal of the cochlea. ears of the outer ear that collects sound wave vibrations and directs them into the ear. this hammer-shaped bone connects to the eardrum and moves with Auricle (pinna) every vibration bouncing This is the visible part off the drum. work The human ear performs a range of functions. but how do they work? External acoustic meatus (outer ear canal) T he thing to remember when learning This is the wax-lined tube Tympanic membrane about the human ear is that sound is all that channels sound (eardrum) about movement. labyrinthine fluid-filled channels and highly sensitive cells. the air around stretching across the ear canal and the eardrum. The outer ear consists of a skin-covered flexible cartilage flap called the ‘auricle’. Beyond the eardrum. tunes or sounds. which is lined with minute sensory hair cells that pick up on the vibrations and generate nerve impulses that are sent to the brain as electrical signals. These Vibrations that hit the eardrum are transmitted as movement to the waves are detected by the ear and interpreted by three ossicle bones. The brain can interpret these signals as sounds. Next the waves proceed along the incus (anvil) and then on to the (stapes) stirrup. or tympanic membrane. the ear has external. The stirrup presses against a thin layer of tissue called the ‘oval window’. vibrates as sound waves hit it. are three tiny bones called the ‘ossicles’. as ripples. This tissue along the outer vestibular is the eardrum. Running through the middle of The organ of Corti is found here. them is disturbed. spiralling tubes. and this membrane enables sound waves to enter the fluid-filled inner ear. in the air-filled cavity of the middle ear. The first thing a sound wave entering the ear Scala vestibuli encounters is the sheet of tightly pulled tissue (vestibular canal) Incoming vibrations travel separating the outer and middle ear. or ‘pinna’. These are the smallest bones in your body. Sound vibrations hitting the eardrum pass to the first ossicle. the cochlea is the organ of Corti. When someone speaks vibrations from the outer The slightly concave thin layer of skin pinna through the skull to or makes any kind of movement. separating the outer and middle ear. the brain as words. creating a sound wave of alternating high and low frequency. along the cochlea’s tympanic and vestibular canals. Consisting of air-filled cavities. HUMAN ANATOMY Structure Malleus (hammer) How of the ear One of the three ossicles. This feature is shaped to gather sound waves and amplify them before they enter the ear for processing and transmission to the brain. the malleus (hammer). middle and internal parts. 36 . which consists of watery ducts that channel the Cochlear duct The cochlear duct separates the vibrations. The inner ear is home to the cochlea.

meet at the apex of the cochlear spiral (the helicotrema). these looping ducts act like internal same number of cells as the rest of your accelerometers that can actually detect brain cells put together. receptors. It enables positioning of the loops along different you to discern whether your head is planes. connected to the auditory nerve at the Also located within the inner ear. information about sound vibrations to the crista. are the that the area of your brain that’s purely semicircular canals. There are three are full of fluid that transports attaches to the oval window at the fluid-filled channels – the maculae. tiny hairs. that create waves © Science Photo Library 37 . the tympanic which way the head is transferred from the outer ear to the canal and the cochlea duct – moving is passed to middle ear now continue their journey within the spiral of the cochlea. the semicircular canals to the brain. which is information about sounds from there are tiny hair-filled sensory receptors covered in sensory the cochlea to the brain. Like the organ of Corti. hair cells. less to do with sound and more concerned Your sense of balance is so complex with the movement of your head. base of the cochlea. from the ossicles and and semicircular canals. or disturbances of air. called cristae. the upright or not. as well as helping you to semicircular canals employ tiny hair cells maintain eye contact with stationary to sense movement. movement of your head) you a sense of which way your head is in three different directions due to the pointing in relation to gravity. but back of the brain. which send Vestibular nerve through the fluid of the inner ear. From the at right angles to each other Stapes (stirrup) signals that are transmitted to semicircular canals and The stirrup is the third ossicle bone. Movements vestibular canal. the Cochlea A bony snail-shaped structure. The canals are objects while your head is turning. the tympanic canal. vestibules are two chambers (the utricle and saccule). the hair Macula receptors pass information A sensory area Vestibule through the cochlear nerve covered in Inside the fluid-filled to the brain.DID YOU KNOW? The eardrum needs to move less than the diameter of a hydrogen atom in order for us to perceive sound Incus (anvil) Connected to the hammer. which Semicircular canal transforms them into electrical These three loops positioned feature sensory cells. Scala tympani The surfer’s semicircular canals (tympanic are as crucial as his feet when it canal) comes to staying on his board The vestibular canal and this. Think of sounds as movements. the tips of which are embedded in the tectorial membrane. Again filled with dedicated to this one role involves the fluid. A sense of balance The vestibular system functions to give acceleration (ie. both of which contain a Cochlear nerve Crista structure called a Sends nerve impulses with At the end of each semicircular canal macula. electrical signals Sends information to the brain as about equilibrium from nerve impulses. It the brain. The vestibular system incus is the middle ossicle bone the cochlea receives vibrations Inside the inner ear are the vestibule and is shaped like an anvil. Organ of Corti © DK Images The organ of Corti contains rows of sensitive hair cells. When the membrane vibrates.

constant breathing through The lingual tonsils are found at the back of the the mouth can stress the facial bones and tongue towards the root and. In humans the word is actually used to describe three sets of this spongy lymphatic tissue: the lingual tonsils. The adenoids are less commonly infected but. a tonsillectomy may first line of defence against potential infection in be considered. HUMAN ANATOMY What are tonsils for? What purpose do these fleshy lumps in the back of our throats serve? Tonsil locations Where you can find the three pairs of tonsils in your head Open wide to see your own Palatine tonsils Lingual tonsils Pharyngeal tonsils tonsils in the mirror These are the best-known pair The lingual tonsils are found at These are otherwise known as of tonsils. as they’re clearly the rear of your tongue – one at the adenoids and are located T onsils are the small masses of flesh found visible at the back of your throat. a fever. in pairs at the back of the throats of many mammals. These are found tucked away in the interfere with drainage from the sinuses. both the respiratory and digestive tracts. 38 . Tonsillitis is caused by certain bacteria (eg paracetamol are all group A beta-haemolytic streptococci). These are children will sometimes have their adenoid glands removed.where the tonsils are removed. either side in your lower jaw. they’re thought to be the frequently. that result in a treating tonsillitis sore and swollen throat. In these cases. DK Images younger people. when they are. at the back of the sinuses. if you poke your cause deformities as they grow. drained very efficiently by mucous glands so they very rarely get infected. white spots at you can see them if you look in the mirror. you should spot them. they become inflamed. the pharyngeal tonsils and the more commonly Lots of bed rest. and The palatine tonsils are the oval bits that hang recommended for down from either side at the back of your throat – sometimes viral infections. Usually rest and antibiotics will isn’t yet understood. which is why tongue right out. © Thinkstock. nasal pharynx and serve a similar purpose to the which can lead to further infections. In palatine tonsils but shrink in adulthood. The pharyngeal tonsils are also known as the obstruct breathing through the nose and adenoids. the back of the throat and difficulty Although the full purpose of the palatine tonsils swallowing. but occasionally the infection can antibodies and because of their prominent cause serious problems or reoccur very position in the throat. fluids and pain relief like Tonsillitis in focus recognised palatine tonsils. because they produce see it off.

This is primarily due to proposed for this is that a lower tone the different size of vocal folds present voice may indicate a higher level of in each sex. also known as vocal As air is expelled from the lungs.5mm. and at 210Hz in females. a higher average pitch at around 300Hz. situated in the mouth. is where together when speaking and females having smaller folds that create a higher pitch sound. close and vibrate to produce extent we see now to facilitate that we can recognise by the larynx. Movement Vocal cords abl to communicate with eachother of the vocal folds is controlled by the These layers of mucous and it is hypothesised that human vagus nerve. vocal folds vibrate and collide to Trachea The vocal cords are situated which is placed at the top of the produce a range of sounds. The food and liquid travels down to the stomach. and females can have quite low pitch voices. and sound is then further membranes stretch across vocal cords actually developed to the fine-tuned to form words and sounds the larynx and they open. average size for male vocal cords are between 17 and 25mm. with males having larger testosterone present in a male. Oesophagus Vocal cords open when folds that create a lower pitched sound. voices have been seen to be more The vocal cords are situated within the larynx. like ‘b’ or ‘p’. but close completely when you hold your breath How do humans speak? The epiglottis stops food entering the trachea The vocal cords and larynx in particular Tongue have evolved over time to enable humans to This muscle. advanced levels of communication in tongue and lips. Male voices are often much lower than successful in reproduction. This tube. which can further lower the tone of their voice independent of vocal cord Larynx size. They are layers of mucous sound emitted is effected by exactly which is where air from the membranes that stretch across the how the folds collide. An individual from the chest. situated behind breathing. The primary usage of vocal determined by the length. The pitch and tone of male voices Known as the voice box. from the lungs in order to make certain ‘fundamental frequency’ is sounds. Fundamental response to the formation of social frequency in males averages at 125Hz. Epiglottis This is a flap of skin that Differences between male shuts off the trachea when an individual is swallowing and female vocal cords food. the folds. Lips The other major biological Lips are essential for the difference that effects pitch is that production of specific males generally have a larger vocal sounds. tract. 39 .DID YOU KNOW? The vocal cords remain open when you breathe. are situated in the larynx. evolution. but are pulled the trachea. size and cords within humans is in order to be tension of their vocal cords. males can be seen to have quite high pitch voices. and individuals with lower controlling pitch and volume. groupings during phases of primate. The type of at the top of the trachea. and females are normally between 12. From the range in size. trachea. this protects the trachea has been studied in relation to sexual and is heavily involved in success. can affect and produce a dramatic range of sounds in order change sound as it travels up from the vocal cords and out to communicate – but how do they work? through the mouth. different sounds. It stops food and liquids ‘going down the wrong way’. Children have and specifically human.5 and 17. move and stretch lungs travels up through larynx and control how air is expelled as air passes over them. V ocal cords. The reason female voices. however.

digestion. which attacks the the human body. the bacteria in tooth and are tooth and the mouth then metabolises Teeth are the most enduring features of sensitive to keeps the root sugar. food. revolutionary new techniques in the form affects the enamel and dentine. Blood vessels around the teeth and gums. the jawbone. Two hardest material to be found in the human body. Examples of this practice with teeth substances – namely calcium. dentine and enamel. Other species. we see known as dental caries. described as ‘diphyodont’. Teeth have different functions. such as the residue found on bones. outer surface The pulp nourishes the Streptococcus mutans and Humans have various types of teeth of the tooth. Sucrose. only one set of teeth. and diet is also a we are able to eat a complex diet of both connected to the big factor in maintaining meat and vegetables. Incisors tear at clearly seen when tooth healthy – the pulp is responsible for tooth decay. when faced with an aggressive situation. tooth loss can occur of dental implants. This can be dentine and keeps the Lactobacillus – which are that function differently. Some animals develop disease. which collects to a simple ‘grazing’ diet. which are secured dentine of a tooth. it Environmental factors also protects the root have a strong effect. teeth are made of strong the teeth first appear at six months old and are replaced by secondary teeth after six or seven years. the soft tissue of the tooth. old age and gum deep within the bone of the jaw. which have a flatter surface. For this reason. grow a new set of teeth every Egyptian times and today. HUMAN ANATOMY The biological structures that are so versatile they enable us to eat a well varied diet All about teeth The trouble T he primary function of teeth is to crunch and chew food. have collagen fibres. of acid-producing bacteria. such jawbone through good oral health. Because humans have a varied canal and the fructose and glucose cause array of teeth (called collective dentition) nerves. down tissue and creating strong white coating is incredibly the fissures in the enamel. in some and nerves Bone This is the sticky white cases they aid hunting but they also have The blood vessels The bone acts substance called plaque. This aids The root coating. enormous variety of have large flat teeth. as grazing animals for example. for date all the way back to the ancient Tooth decay. strong psychological connotations. contact with different types Bicuspids tear and crush while molars. The mouth contains an specific types of teeth. Cows. while sharks. It is problems. In humans 40 . also often phosphorus and various mineral salts. Enamel Pulp types of bacteria – namely The white. which means temperature. instance. Mammals are pressure and secure within areas around the teeth. for example. they develop two sets of teeth. which restrict them bacteria. looking in the mouth. which is itself enclosed in a With humans. Tooth decay occurs after while bicuspids have long sharp which is protected by the the teeth have had repeated structures that are also used for ripping. Both and nerves carry as an animals and humans bare their teeth important important Plaque is known as a biofilm. breaking shiny substance called enamel. From ancient times healers have sought to try to treat and replace the teeth with false ones. grind the Cementum food before swallowing. This through an accident . nourishment to the anchor for the After eating. The main structure of the tooth is two weeks.

used for chewing. They invented the world’s first dental bridge Inside your Maxilla A layout of the upper area mouth of your mouth Central incisors The upper and lower areas of the mouth are known as the maxilla and the mandible.DID YOU KNOW? The ancient Egyptians had severe problems with their teeth. 1st premolar Age 10 The gums provide a secure hold for the Second premolar tooth. The enamel at the surface of the tooth is highly First premolar 2nd premolar visible while the dentine is a hard but porous tissue found under the enamel. Age 12 Normally there are 20 primary teeth Second molar (human baby teeth) and later. 28 to 32 Central incisors permanent teeth. 2nd bicuspid Wisdom teeth Usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. ten are found in the maxilla (the upper jaw) Mandible A look inside your lower jawbone First and second or not at all premolar teeth and ten in the mandible (lower jaw). They are cut’. the Canine pulp nourishes the dentine and keeps the tooth healthy. pointed teeth that are 1st bicuspid used for holding and tearing at the food within the mouth. Incisor comes from the Latin word ‘to and molar teeth. while the mandible is the v-shaped bone that carries the lower set of teeth. and often 1st molar erupt in a group of four. while the root is anchored right Canine into the jawbone. In the centre of the tooth there is a substance called ‘pulp’ which Lateral incisors Age 11 contains nerves and blood vessels. Of the primary teeth. which includes the Age 17 to 21 wisdom teeth. 2nd molar 3rd molar or wisdom tooth © Science Photo Library Eruption of teeth The approximate ages at which the © Science Photo Library permanent teeth begin to erupt Regular check- ups help keep teeth healthy Age 6 First molar Tooth 3rd molar or wisdom tooth Age 7 Central incisor anatomy 2nd molar 1st molar Age 9 The tooth is a complex structure. while The premolar or bicuspids are Third molar the mature adult has 16 permanent teeth Lateral and central incisors located between the canine (wisdom teeth) in the maxilla and 16 in the mandible. The upper area of the mouth is attached to the skull bone and is often called the upper arch of the mouth. Tooth formation begins before birth. they are used to grip and bite. 41 . Lateral incisors Canine teeth Canine Long.

The muscles and bones provide the strength Phrenic nerve These bones provide and flexibility required. It sends out motor signals down nerves nerves at every level (starting right from the top) and receives sensory which actually control over most of the body. fourth and fifth and protect the spinal oesophagus. Farther back. the oesophagus is a muscular tube which food and drink pass through en route to the stomach. vital functions. HUMAN ANATOMY Anatomy of the neck Explore one of the most complex and functional Get it in the neck We show the major features that are packed into areas of the human body this junction between the head and torso Larynx T he human neck is a perfect blend of form This serves two main Sympathetic trunk Cartilage Oesophagus functions: to connect the and function. third. in the middle of the bony vertebrae. The flexibility of the the heart to the brain. upon which the atlas rotates. adding further stability. These structures must all find innervate the space and function perfectly at the same time. providing a safe platform for it to stabilise on. The trachea is protected by a ring of strong cartilage so it doesn’t collapse. and is collapsed until see). These structures are all highly adapted to achieve their aims. information from all around the body. spinal cord. while allowing enough flexibility to move when stretched. Together these form a special pivot joint that grants far more movement than other vertebrae. something. think about it). Within the supporting bones of the neck sits the spinal cord. vital blood vessels. It has several specific tasks These special nerves run This tough tissue This pipe connects the mouth to the trachea. diaphragm. The carotid arteries and jugular veins. myriad nerves and the neck vertebrae. control sweating. flex and There are two of them tilt many thousands of times a day. and protects the delicate mouth to the stomach. when its Carotid artery The anatomical design of the neck would muscular walls stretch. These arteries transmit oxygenated blood from impress modern engineers. meanwhile. hold up the skull impressive design comes with the trachea. 42 . among other including the larynx. allowing the head to turn. Don’t forget that this amazing anatomical design still allows the vital spinal cord to pass out of the brain. (right and left). The first vertebra is called the atlas and the second is called the axis. which keeps you breathing They must also be able to maintain their shape (without you having to while the neck moves. The axis contains a bony projection upwards. cervical spine allows your head to rotate. and allowing for nodding motions. and cord within. in case one Vertebra becomes blocked. you swallow activities (eg connecting the mouth to the lungs). These bony connections are reinforced with strong muscles. and (eg making it possible to turn our heads to alongside the spinal cord. Above this. where it is the spinal cord sends protected from bumps and knocks. The cord sits Spinal cord Shielded by the vertebrae. which transmits the vital nerves allowing us to move and feel. How does the head connect to the neck? They are connected at the bottom of the skull and at the top of the spinal column. constantly carry blood to and from the brain. the larynx lets air move over the vocal cords so we can speak. however the really These important support to prevent the neck nerves come off the collapsing. while serving as a conduit for other vital and breathing. The skull sits on top of slightly flattened areas of the atlas. to generate your voice. heart rate airways behind.

Spinal cord Vertebrae create a cage of bones to protect the critical spinal cord within. Thinkstock which you can feel. returning it to locate the other vertebrae. of one of the many © SPL. Axis The second cervical vertebra allows rotation of the head.DID YOU KNOW? The hyoid bone at the front of the neck is the only one in the body not connected to another bone Just say no… The neck in context The physiology that lets The human neck relies on a wide array of bones us shake our heads and muscles for support. 43 . Odontoid Axis process In the spinal column. Cervical plexus These nerves provide sensation to the skin and also control the fine movements of the neck. you have got When you shrug your this bone to thank. Seventh cervical vertebra This is the bony Splenius capitis protuberance at the This muscle is an example bottom of your neck. upwards bony projection. So when you’re shaking your head Trapezius to say no. vertebra is what permits the nodding motion of the head. is parallel with the which provides the longitudinal axis stability for the required of the spine. head and neck. Sternocleidomastoid Turn your head left and feel the Atlas right of your neck – this is the The first neck (cervical) muscle doing the turning. the heart. as we see here Atlas Rotation This section The movement of articulates (moves) the atlas around around the odontoid the odontoid peg process which allows for rotation projects through it. this This bony projection is the second vertebra. shoulders this broad muscle tenses up between your shoulder and neck. of the skull above it. strap-like muscles which Jugular vein doctors use it as a kind of control the multitude of These vessels drain blood landmark so they can fine movements of the from the neck.

sexing can be difficult body is more than 20 years old. HUMAN ANATOMY How the Scapula Collarbone human skeleton Sternum works Without a skeleton. is movement ability. and but other forms of tissue such as marrow. The cells contain errors in their DNA Bones are made up of various different and ultimately our bones therefore elements. The primary element weakening of bones and reduced that makes up bone. cells. Bones also produce blood cells within bone marrow and 5. Many becomes more robust in males due to individuals think that bones are solid. the skeleton takes weaken as we age. Female of little holes. It is what gives us our shape and structure and its presence allows us to operate on a daily basis. Skeletons actually do vary between sexes in structure also. strengthen and back of the body. They connect the wrist and the elbow. bones creates a protective As an adult you will have around 206 barrier for organs situated in the bones. but you are born with over 270. osseous tissue. although there are replaced. therefore hips are comparatively cartilage and blood vessels are also shallower and wider. we would not be able to live. Radius/Ulna to live. brand-new within the species. which then starts to arthritis and osteoporosis can often be calcify and develop during gestation and caused by ageing and cause issues with Tarsals following birth. One of the most obvious areas is the pelvis as actually mineralised calcium phosphate. Patella and 20 in males. a female must be able to give birth. they are because of the level of variation we see not replaced with perfect. Conditions such as shape as cartilage. It keeps our shape and The radius and ulna are the bones muscle attached to the skeleton situated in the forearm. The cranium also contained in the overall structure. allows us the ability to move around. and the fuse after birth until around 18 in females sternum at the front. They join to the vertebrae in the spine at the which continue to grow. It also is a fascinating evolutionary link to all living and extinct vertebrates Carpals T he human skeleton is crucial for us 4. while also protecting crucial organs that we need to survive. Phalanges 44 . In utero. chest cavity. heavy muscle attachment and a male’s but actually inner bone is porous and full chin is often more prominent. skeletons are generally more delicate Even though cells are constantly being overall. However. and therefore no cell in our several methods. Rib cage store minerals we need released on a This structure of many single rib daily basis.

It located in the sacrum. many of our bones are still somewhat soft and are not yet fused – this process occurs later during our childhood The primary reasons for the cranium in particular not to 3. “The skull is actually seven separate plates when we are born. Skull sutures Although not generally 1. all the cranial sutures present from The cranium. The plates start suturing Some movement can The only place we see Both elbows and knees together early on. Saddle joints pressure within the spine. The skull is actually in seven separate plates when structure as they carry different we are born and over the first two years these pieces fuse 4. such as the five bones direction. 9. thoracic and that occurs in the first few years of childhood following lumbar. Metatarsals These are the five long bones in the foot that aid balance and movement. Fibula/Tibia These two bones form the lower leg bone and connect to the knee joint and the foot. These be allowed when flat this joint in humans is known as the soft spot – will take around 18 months to joints only allow limited bones ‘glide’ across the thumb. and to the sides. 7. Baby Six year old Adult skull skull skull 8. Phalanges ensure that no more damage is done and the break can heal. between the sexes. located close to the metacarpals make up the fingers. The wrist is limited in rotation. Phalanges located close to the metatarsals are the bones which are present in toes. but the anterior fontanel – commonly are hinged joints. Movement 6. Gliding joints 6. The femur and humerus have ball shaped endings. together slowly and ossify. which thought of as a ‘joint’. Ball and socket joints Both the hip and the shoulder joints are 3. It connects to the pelvis with a ball and socket joint. Pelvis movement in one each other. pins inserted into the bone to realign it or plates to cover the They are joined by 2. Hinged joints 5. However. where bones have fused in childhood are in fact and the majority of the time to heal properly 2. by muscles. you may need metal bending movements. This is the transitional joint between fully heal.DID YOU KNOW? Around five per cent of all animals have backbones and are therefore classified as vertebrates Inside our skeleton Breaking How our joints work The types of joints in our body explained How the human skeleton works and keeps us upright bones 1. if support the body and allow you break it into more than one piece. The bone heals by cartilage and are The long bones in the classified as producing new cells and tiny blood vessels where the semi-mobile hands are called metacarpals. The bones fit bones – the carpals – but the thumb can the trunk of the body and the legs. can see the skeletal differences around age two. a cast external to the body will be metatarsals in the put on around the bone to take pressure off the bone to foot. Vertebrae There are three main kinds of be fully fused at birth is to allow the skull to flex as the vertebrae (excluding the sacrum and baby is born and also to allow the extreme rate of growth coccyx) – cervical. sensory organs are located. Some other bones. Metacarpals break in order for it to heal properly. 45 . Femur 3 skulls © DK Images This is the largest and longest single bone in the body. Cranium Whether it’s a complete break ball and socket joints. Vertebrae immoveable joints. both can take turn in a cavity to allow movement. you may just need to keep it Vertebrae fit together to straight and keep pressure off it until it heals. move back. These vary in strength and birth. forward is one of the key areas in which we early twenties. but the cranium becomes fully fused by moved by ligaments. don’t fully fuse until late teens or together and are moved operate like this. and are fracture or break has occurred and these then rejoin up. which fuse together” Skull development When we are born. is where the brain or just a fracture. If you simply fracture the bone. the equivalent of most breaks or fractures. also known as the skull. For joints.

severance may result in paralysis. Although more studies have shown that often they actually remain commonly referred to in respect of the separate. thoracic. individual to move. HUMAN ANATOMY the skull. A particular feature serving as fantastic shock intervertebral discs and vertebrae to of the spine is how it is actually curved to allow absorbers. and smaller less-obvious curves in the spine The primary functions of the vertebrae that make (the thoracic and pelvic curves) are nearly all movement for shaking up the spine are to support the torso and head. The rest of the vertebrae remain present in the centre of the spinal cord. The sacral vertebrae fuse protective tissue. separated only by thin intervertebral discs which work as ligaments and effectively form joints between the bones. remain upright. such as These discs form a joint to move up and down and side to side. It splits into 31 different during maturity (childhood and teenage years) and sections and stretches 43-45cm. and two have displayed. held the entire distribution during locomotion. your head will occur at this joint protect vital nerves and the spinal cord and allow the – the atlanto-axial joint. C2 and certain aspects of the body. work as movement. supply facets for ribs to attach and nerves Vertebrae are not all fused together because of the to – this is how they are The human spinal cord is an immensely need to move. The primary such flexibility? and support the head and reasons for these are to help distribute C1 (atlas) neck. when we start to walk at about 12-18 of which are articulated (flexible) and nine of legend of Atlas who months and helps us with weight which normally become fused in maturity. individual and discs between them allow them to White matter contains axons tracts move in various directions without wearing the surrounded by fats. you can while also allowing us the articulating vertebrae. 24 They sit between the skull ‘atlas’ after the and thoracic vertebrae. but second lumbar vertebrae. but how Cervical Spine curvature do they support our bodies vertebrae These are the smallest of As you look at the human spine. see some distinct curves. and the vertebrae themselves are primarily distinguished. lumbar. from the brain to between the first and The coccygeal vertebrae will fuse in some cases. C2 (axis) C2 is the pivot for C1 (atlas). Cord vertebrae takes the full impact.46 The human spine The human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae. and they human body. The grey matter contains particularly extensive movement. which pelvis. allowing the head discs more of the neural cell bodies. complex structure made up of nerve cells grouped into five types – cervical. allows us to support the weight of our head evolutionary remnant of a tail our ancestors would at around three-four months. If the trauma causes to-side movement and rotation. By sitting closely together. ligaments while also caused by trauma. Collectively they are referred to as the brain. between each vertebrae far more static. effectively. with ties to the rib cage resisting much Spinal cord injuries are normally and. where the spine trails off into the coccyx – an his shoulders. there is both white and grey matter coccyx (tail bone). bones rubbing together. to ensure no one movement and stop the which can result in loss of feeling. The cervical vertebrae in the neck allow Intervertebral protect them. more axons and glial cells. The lumbar vertebrae allow modest side. sacral and coccygeal. down become solid bones towards the base of the spine. Prior to They are situated between the base of the skull to the world on T this we develop the cervical curve. They facilitate break. distribution of the body’s weight. which developed during gestation. It also produces a base for ribs to They increase in size as you Spinal cords attach to and to protect vital internal organs in the move down the spine. The thoracic are dendrites. and blood vessels to bones down. . The curve which connects the C7’s structures quite spinal column with most familiar to us is the lumbar curve. and a large amount of supporting. with C1. This develops he human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae. unique from the others. It is named between the ribs and pelvis. the vertebrae form a strong pillar structure Thoracic vertebrae The thoracic vertebrae are the which holds the head up and allows for the body to intermediately sized vertebrae. There are seven weight throughout the spine and support This is the vertebrae vertebrae. they can pierce the spinal cord.

but is vestigial remnant of a tail. Coccyx (tailbone) the brain to the white matter. The coccyx can display between three and five nervous 6. dura These connect the spinal nerves connection (in this case the occipital bone) mater and the bone. The rest of the cervical also playing host to numerous between the brain and the body. vertebrae also work to support the weight 9. This area that surrounds the grey but often are not. Spinal nerves of the head. allowing is placed into an elliptical cavity (C1 with adipose tissue (fat). which is filled with primarily made up of lipid tissue L such as supporting weight when sitting. 3. They’re commonly thought to be fused. It is to the brain. Sacral sensory and so on – and are vertebrae 4. blood vessels. Grey matter to form a solid bone. which facets on the connects with the occipital bone via an can be fatal. It the body’s nervous system. Within the horn-like shapes in helps support the lumbar vertebrae The vertebrae (cervical the centre of the spinal cord. Arachnoid mater commonly referred to as ‘mixed We have five sacral Named for its spider web spinal nerves’. It is filled to the spinal cord. surround the vertebrae) most of the important neural cell This thin. Pia mater and connect the coccyx to the spine. The three layers of these communicate information protection between the from around the body to the vertebrae and the spinal cord are DID YOU KNOW? Cartilage (intervertebral discs) actually makes up 25% of the spine’s length spinal cord. Although these vertebrae are a mater and the arachnoid mater. they have several uses. This unique pathway for information to network called the Circle of Compared with vertebra has no ‘body’ and actually looks transfer between the brain and Willis. deliver oxygen-rich blood other vertebrae more like a ring than any other vertebra. This is the space between the pia system. They carry all called the spinal meninges. matter holds axon trails. many ways. but by Neck appearance. sides of the ellipsoidal joint. including by the spinal cord. types of information – motor. lacking sits at the top of the cervical vertebrae and vertebrae. which is created by 1. Spinal cord 7. vertebrae at birth. while transition of information vertebrae). They are protected in immediately next to the which connects the spine. this is the second maturity they will have fused The bones layer of the tissue protection 10. the base of the cranium (skull). controls blood flow to the brain. and cord. allowing movement such 2. spine? primarily because they The skull is connected to the spine by the Spinal column cross-section withstand the atlanto-occipital joint. Blood vessels largest C1 (atlas) and the occipital bone situated at This is an immensely important Four arteries. Dorsal and vertebrae. sit 5. are part of bodies. which Skull of the neck provided for the spinal cord. as nodding or rotation of the head. cerebrospinal fluid. . An This is the space between the ventral roots ellipsoidal joint is where an ovoid outer protective tissue layer. SP © SPL © 47 (fats) and blood vessels. White matter vertebrae. delicate layer sits spinal cord. 4 11 2 5 3 10 9 s ge I ma DK © 7 Articulated vertebrae enable 1 maximum flexibility 6 Lumbar vertebrae Lumbar vertebrae are the How is the skull 8 largest of the attached to the vertebrae and the strongest. as any damage to it the ‘blood-brain barrier’. Subarachnoid space 11. Epidural space 8. which form a pressures. The brain’s they are more heavily protected by tissue and capillaries form a lining called compact. Dura mater Humans have 31 pairs of spinal This is the tough outer layer of nerves all aligned with tissue that protects the spinal individual vertebrae.

hinge. allowing together with ligaments. and between the stacked The bones are joined vertebrae of the spinal column. but cushion smaller relative to one another and are of motion. so all that the bones require is a little cushioning to prevent rubbing. while the other is rounded. gel-like tissue known as cartilage. different joints to be Most joints require a larger range of moved in a variety of movement. providing flexibility when Movements breathing. ome bones. 48 . giving these joints a wide do not need to move. one another. linked by joints around a tiny spoke on the second which fit inside sockets in S vertebra (known as the axis). including ball-and-socket. The knees and elbows have hinge joints. At Basal joint Ellipsoid joint The thumb is joined to The bumps at the base of synovial joints. and are range of motion. they are the ring-shaped first vertebra (known as the atlas) rotates and arms both end in ball-like protuberances. which allows for a small range of compression and stretching. the shape of the Synovial joints come in different linkage acts as a shock absorber. allowing the together and move like a hinge. HUMAN ANATOMY Joints For bones to function Bone joints Pivot joint To turn the head from left to right. and gliding. which trapezium. forming a pivot joint. bones in cartilage provides shock absorption. gliding joints allow slide past each other. like those in the skull. so shape to fit through the birth canal. Ball-and-socket joints are used At joints like the knee and elbow. For of the hands and the tarsal bones of areas that need to be flexible. For example the as being ‘double jointed. and the tone of the types. brain in a solid protective skull. bend and pivot. the bones can move apart and but fuses after birth to encase the muscles around the joint. but do not the feet only allow limited need to move freely. allowing capsule. to result from the structure of the the bones to slide past one another. partial flexibility is sufficient. inside by a synovial membrane. down and from side allowing the bones to slide smoothly past allows the thumb to to side. allowing the two to slot wide range of motion. the hip and shoulder. each with a different range of Hinge joint motion. fibrous or hyaline cartilage. but for them to move freely in a socket. There are different types of synovial joint. The ends of the free motion. and provide a bone is grooved. it to bend and flex without crushing the and muscles are attached by tendons. permanently fused together with mineral sutures. curved surface at the top end of each limb to slide inside a cartilage covered cup. the cartilage must be lubricated to make it slippery and wear-proof. which interlock in one plane. It is shaped allowing the head to tip fills the joint with synovial fluid. Hypermobility Mobile Semi-mobile Fixed Some people tend to have particularly The synovial joints are the most Cartilaginous joints do not allow Some bones do not need to move flexible joints and a much larger range mobile in the body. like a saddle and up. allowing spinal cord. the ends of the two bones the rest of the hand by the skull fit inside the ring are encased in a capsule. The bones are joined by a rigid. This is sometimes known bones are linked by a capsule that movements. one at the shoulder and hip. the bones to slide small distances without rubbing. such as the feet and movement.’ It is thought contains a fluid lubricant. The allowing the foetal head to change collagen in the joints. Gliding joint The joints between the carpal bones allowing the joint to open and close. enabling the bones to the palm of the hand. most bones need flexible linkages. In some parts of the skeleton. Instead of a lubricated permanently fused. These types of joints are present where the ribs meet the sternum. Covering the ends of the different ways. Ball-and- socket joint The long bones of the legs together. together over small distances. covered on the a bone called the of the first vertebra. These fi xed joints provide maximum stability. the bones are joined by cranium starts out as separate pieces. end of the bones. However.

Medical Artist. Alamy. ligaments that connect the femur to the bones of the lower leg. the capsule also stretches. and the two ends are encased in a capsule that is ends of the fibula lined by a synovial membrane. and its lubricant called synovial fluid. creating a vacuum as the pressure changes. Cartilage Ligament Synovial fluid Meniscus Each of the bones is capped with a protective layer of cartilage. Knee cap The patella prevents the tendons at the front of the leg from wearing away at the joint. The bones are covered in fit in to two concave slots at smooth cartilage to prevent abrasion and the membrane the top of the produces a nourishing lubricant to ensure the joint is able tibia (shin bone). which pops. Dreamstime. so if the joint is stretched. 49 . The two bones Tibia are loosely connected by strips of connective tissue called The rounded tendons. and pulling the gas out of solution and into a bubble. Artery Synovial membrane The femoral artery The membrane surrounding the supplies blood to the interior of the joint produces a lower leg. The fluid is sealed within a capsule. Corbis. DK Images Capsule Synovial membrane Fibula The end of the fibula (calf bone) has two rounded bumps that are separated by a Inside a joint Synovial joints prevent mobile areas of the skeleton from deep groove.DID YOU KNOW? The bone marrow produces between two and three million new red blood cells every second Why our joints crack The synovial fluid used to lubricate the joints contains dissolved gasses. to move smoothly. Patellar ligament External The patellar ligament connects ligaments the kneecap to both the The joint is held quadriceps in the thigh and the together by four tibia in the lower leg. producing a cracking sound. preventing friction and wear. grinding against one another as they move. © Thinkstock. Muscle The quadriceps muscle group runs down the front of the femur and finishes in a tendon attached to the knee cap. branches travel around the knee joint and over the patella. Sol 90.

supplying oxygen and ultimately energy to muscles. Smooth muscle. Abdominal muscles ‘Abs’ are often built up by body involved in muscle contractions such as bladder builders and support the body core. also known as striated muscle. eating and movement to name but a few. is primarily 6. Muscles increase in effectiveness and strength through 8. “More than 300 individual muscles are present across your body to enable your limbs to work” 50 . seeing. such as biceps and deltoids. HUMAN ANATOMY How do muscles work? Muscles are essential for us to operate on a daily basis. no control over these muscles’ actions. More than 640 muscles are actually present 9. which is normally sheet muscle. Muscles control most functions within our bodies. together to give the muscle strength. which allows them to operate. Hamstrings across your entire body working to enable your Refers to one of the three posterior thigh muscles. 7. but how are they structured and how do they keep us moving A muscle is a group of tissue fibres that contract and release to control movements within the body. control and oesophagus movements. or to the limbs to work. Skeletal muscle. release of waste products. These muscles are connected to the skeleton with tendons. which the body then automatically repairs and improves. this being external muscles that are attached to the skeleton. Quadriceps Actual muscle structure is quite complex. Gluteus maximus exercise and growth and the main way this occurs The biggest muscle in the body. control bodily functions and shape tendons that make up the borders the body as a whole. of a muscle movement. of the space behind the knee. is through small damage caused by each repetition this is primarily used to move the thighs back and forth. which is crucial as it pumps blood around the body. These are They are also referred to as core often referred to as involuntary as we have little or muscles and are important in sports such as rowing and yoga. is what we would commonly perceive as muscle. cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle. We have three different types of muscles in our bodies – smooth muscle. Cardiac muscle concerns the heart. and each The large fleshy muscle group covering the front muscle is made up of numerous fibres which work and sides of the thigh. breathing.

muscle operation. Trapezius arm will move upwards. Muscle fibres are muscle and allow feedback to be sent to the bound together by the perimysium into small brain. which are swelling and the pain made up of the proteins can last for several actin and myosin. and when an individual has not warmed up appropriately before exercise or is unfit. and one that supports brief. the Muscle strength refers to the amount of force that a triceps will relax and stretch out and consequently the 2.DID YOU KNOW? Skeletal muscles account for around 40 per cent of your total body mass What affects our muscle strength? How does the 1. Arm curls allowing muscles to move elements of our body” 1. of the body around (off image). while operating at maximum back of the neck and the upper capacity. A pulled Myofibrils are constructed muscle may result in of filaments. and these fibres respond better to muscle building. as can usage. the muscle is important for muscle strength. Each one contracts. within the muscle. 51 . Latissmus dorsi cause injuries in the muscle fibres and it is the Also referred to as the ‘lats’. Pectoralis major as it bends a joint. and how does it happen? Epimysium Blood vessel Perimysium The external layer that covers the This provides oxygen and allows This layer groups They hurt like crazy so here’s why muscle overall and keeps the bundles the muscle to access energy for together muscle fibres it’s important to warm up of muscle fibres together. Bicep contracts 5. diet and exercise regimes. 1. causing movement Genetics can affect muscle strength. these healing of these that actually create muscle strength muscles are again built up during as the injuries are repaired and overall strengthen weight training and are used to the muscle. high levels of therefore work in pairs. elements of our body as we wish. the opposite will occur – with the triceps part of the thorax. pull down objects from above. Tricep relaxes in the opposite direction to the other. The most common muscle to be pulled is the hamstring. Many muscles 4. These arm muscles work force. so-called antagonistic muscles. Bicep relaxes 3. To This layer surrounds prevent pulling each singular muscle muscles. The latter is used during anaerobic activity together to lift the arm up and down. Size and structure of down. stretched out by the triceps. the epimysium to form the actual muscle. Neither of these muscles can push this group of muscles stretch across the chest. warming up fibre and keeps the is advised before Tendon Myofibril myofibril filaments doing any kind of These attach muscle to bones. As the bicep contracts. a tear can occur as the muscle is not prepared for usage. Sudden movements commonly cause pulled muscles. constant usage exerting low levels of their movements and stretch them out. they depend on the other to oppose supports long. “Tendons attach muscles such as biceps to bones. filaments. grouped together. combination of nature and nurture to move the arm up and down. and triceps would be the extensor as it Commonly known as the ‘pecs’. Tricep contracts Muscles are made up of numerous cylindrical Blood vessels and nerves also run through fibres. days before the fibres can repair Endomysium themselves. in one contraction. straightens the joint out. turn enables the muscles to move parts myofibrils are bundles of actomyosin physical exertion. When the arm needs to move Large. which in Located within the single muscle fibres. with contracting and the bicep relaxing and being forcibly strength being measured in several ways. Tendons attach muscles such as biceps bundles. 3. A pulled muscle is a tear in muscle fibres. The bicep is so named a flexor 3. They are crucial for contraction. Deltoids These muscles stretch across How strong we are is a arm flex? Biceps and triceps are a pair of muscles that work together the shoulders and aid lifting. superficial muscle at the muscle can produce. it is hard to definitively state which muscle is actually strongest. Go… run… which stretches from get to the the buttock to the chopper! Filaments knee. Arm extends What are muscles made up of? 2. allowing muscles to move What is a pulled muscle. We have two types of muscle fibre – one that themselves straight. Contractions of muscles 2. or chest. Consequently. Biceps/triceps pressure. which are then grouped together by and triceps to bones. which work together to contract and the connective tissue to give energy to the control parts of the body.

In other species. of layers are not often seen in other How your species. The layer of fat found in the around two square metres and accounting for up to body against UV light. The epidermis is the top. Dermis The layer that nourishes and also protects against infection as it stops pathogens entering helps maintain the epidermis. the dermis and the stops us hurting ourselves. Although generally referred to as one layer. It is made up of three dehydration among other things. are rare in that we can see these layers distinctly. It Situated within the dermis. it is the dermis houses hair actually made up of five. bone and internal organs. but it is our protective barrier against the environment. It is also a reserve hypodermis and they all have differing functions. Epidermis 3. keratin-filled cells which prevent water loss and provide protection against the environment. its purpose is to connect the upper layers of skin to the body’s underlying bone and muscle. HUMAN ANATOMY Under the skin Find out more about the largest organ in your body… O ur skin is the largest organ in our bodies with an 1. Although the hypodermis is not actually considered part of the skin. nerve tissue is waterproof and protects the endings allow us to sense temperature. These kinds becoming too hot. the epidermis consists of only live skin cells. Not only does the skin offer protection for muscle. are nourished by the dermis. sweat glands. the epidermis 2. excretion of sweat and sensation are just a few skin works The skin is made of many more elements more functions of skin. insulation. this is where sweat is 50 per cent of a healthy secreted to cool the adult’s body fat in body down when it is subcutaneous tissue. bone and muscle from damage. protective layer. Alongside helping to regulate temperature of the body. contains hair follicles. nerve endings and sweat glands. Subcutaneous average individual skin’s surface area measuring This is the top. than most people imagine 52 . The top layer of the dermis is ridged and interconnects securely with the epidermis. Nerve ending 5. information on our environment and prevent heat loss and protect distinct layers. where new skin cells are produced. but the lower levels. Pore the skins temperature Used for temperature regulation. as it contains regulation. disease and pain and pressure. Temperature regulation. waterproofing layer. This layer is actually crucial for all of 4. The top layers are actually dead roots. the skin is generally permeable and actually may be a major respiratory organ. Blood vessels and nerves pass through this layer to the dermis. the body. In these cases. This gives us hypodermis that is present to 16 per cent of total body weight. lymphatic and blood vessels. These are the epidermis. The dermis has the © DK Images connective tissue and nerve endings. humans being one of few that you can see the distinct layers within the skin. such as amphibians. Humans energy source.

the average human is made up of approximately 37. simply counting to 37. For example. arteries and isolate every single cell. Estimating the number of your cell only weighs around 25-35 billionths of a Skin cells body’s building blocks is not as gram.2 lymphatic vessels. Comparing a patient’s cell count of a particular organ to that of the average human may also help doctors to diagnose diseases.5% total cells Your skin is your largest straightforward as it seems organ. size comparatively few of them. Greece and Spain used a systematic approach: they Nervous system considered different cell types individually. B y the most recent estimates. accurate cell counts can improve the precision of computer models of the body.5 trillion that there are ‘only’ 100 billion stars in the entire endothelial cells line your galaxy.8% total cells large number into some perspective. and added up trillion glial cells.2 Blood and trillion cells.2 trillion figure doesn’t include the average 30-50 trillion microbes that live in and on your body Counting cells How many cells See how your cell types stack up do you have? Small and mighty Red blood cells: 5. 8. So how exactly did scientists reach this mind- boggling number? A team of researchers from Italy. This could help scientists to virtually map diseases and try out potential treatments.2 trillion.3% total cells They gathered as much information as possible You have roughly 100 billion neurons. “This could help scientists virtually map diseases and try potential treatments” By mass By numbers 53 . Density Muscle: 44% total mass Red blood cells Fat: 28. consider Approximately 2.5% total mass Despite their vast numbers. you only have around 50 billion fat cells and 17 billion muscle cells. To put that unthinkably lymph vessels 6.5% total mass 70. from scientific research papers to find the total insulated and number of cells in the various organs and supported by 3 systems of an average person. trillion would take you over a million years. 5. each red blood And the rest 8.DID YOU KNOW? The 37. but this information is valuable for a range of applications. Even if it were feasible to painstakingly body’s vast network of veins.7% total cells Although they make up the majority of your mass. your gender. these results to get the titanic total of 37. Counting the number of cells in a human being may seem like a pointless exercise.7% total cells Most of your body weight is There are around 26 trillion of these The number of muscle cells (shown in purple) tiny cells coursing through your cells that you and fat cells (shown in arteries and veins. While there are oxygen around your body. composed of around 2 trillion cells. and age they are relatively large. transporting have depends on yellow). so they make up very little of your mass.

decreasing organised steps that maximise in volume and squeezing blood blood-pumping efficiency Left atrium Oxygenated blood arrives from through to the ventricles. The upper chambers. where it picks up oxygen muscular chambers. and pumps first. HUMAN ANATOMY The human heartbeat How one of your hardest-working muscles keeps your blood pumping Y our heart began to beat when you were The pumping action of the heart is a four-week-old foetus in the womb. regularly trigger cardiac contractions known as The heart is composed of four chambers systole. The right side receives receive blood arriving at the heart. A thick. known as diastole. contract deoxygenated blood from the body. This forces blood to the lower. more it towards the lungs. These currents it will beat over 2 billion times. 54 . chambers of the heart. coordinated by muscular contractions that are Over the course of the average lifetime. which separated into two sides. generated by electrical currents. muscular wall the superior and inferior allowing blood to enter separates the two ventricular vena cava. The blood moves down into the ventricular chamber due to a difference in pressure. begins again. The oxygenated blood which then contract to push blood out to the returns to the left side of the heart. separated into two sides The cardiac cycle Atrial systole A single heartbeat is a series of The atria contract. the ventricles freely. the cycle oxygen and nutrients around the body. Following a brief stage where the heart sent through the circulatory system. delivering tissue relaxes. where it is body. or atria. Right atrium Deoxygenated blood from Diastole the rest of the body The cardiac muscle Ventricular septum enters the chamber via cells are relaxed. The heart consists of four chambers. from the air you breathe. Blood enters the the lungs via the pulmonary vein ventricles and flows into this chamber. known as ventricles.

When you are at rest. Circulated blood increasing pressure as returns to the atrium the volume of the to begin a new cycle. causing it to contract. the throughout the heart. This acts as a natural pacemaker by generating an electrical current that moves lifetime. Thick muscle tissue The more muscular tissue of Semi-lunar valves open the ventricles allows blood The pressure in the chambers forces to be pumped at a higher blood through the valves and into the pressure than the atria. chambers decreases. and so providing the body with more available nutrients to either fight for Adrenaline and noradrenaline secretion survival or run for the hills. Illustration by Ed Crooks the atria and the muscles relax. this happens between 60 to 100 times heart will per minute on average. This results in the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones that change the conductance of the sinoatrial node. a bundle of the average specialised cells in the right atrium. Atrial diastole The electrical current moves past © Dreamstime. your brain will automatically trigger a billion times” ‘fight or flight’ response. is governed by the hypothalamus Closure of cuspid valves The valves snap shut to prevent the blood flowing back into the atria. Under stressful situations however. DID YOU KNOW? Skeletal muscles account for around 40 per cent of your total body mass “Over the Fight or flight course of A heartbeat begins at the sinoatrial node. Ventricular systole Blood enters the atria The ventricles contract. such as an beat over 2 encounter with a predator. aorta and pulmonary artery. increasing heart rate. 55 .

Heart attacks can occurs for. the narrowed individual’s health after the attack is artery will block and a heart attack dependant on how long the blockage enevitably occurs. predisposed to heart However. given the right treatment many attacks. 1. HUMAN ANATOMY Heart attacks What causes heart attacks and how do they kill? A heart attack. watching what they The most common reason for heart eat. some Plaque. but these are rare. made up of inflammatory cells. the muscle tissue that is make their way to the site of rupture and lacking oxygen can become damaged. initial attack. blockage can occur. sections of heart muscle can die off. If this is not this layer then ruptures. They are crucial to keeping the Either through excess clotting or further deposit build-up. Plaque build-up Due to a lack of oxygen. This can reduce effectiveness of the Dead heart muscle narrows the artery and means that only muscle as a whole following recovery. This is where arteries are when a blockage stops blood constricted due to plaque build-ups and oxygenating the heart muscle. or start to form blood clots. This means blood flow cannot get through at all and the lack of oxygen results in heart tissue dying. If these clots are indeed die. a reduced blood flow can get through. occurs (CAD). a heart working effectively. Plaque rupture Plaque Plaque becomes hardened as buildup in it builds up. Coronary artery artery If it ruptures. proteins. not smoking and exercising attacks worldwide in humans is the on a regular basis. Dead tissue 2. Heart muscle 5. which can cause a blockage to occur. what artery it affected and what also be caused by coronary artery treatment was received. it is actually possible that Although some people heart failure or arrhythmias can occur. Coronary arteries These are the arteries that supply the heart 4. Following the spasms. individuals sufferers go on to make good recoveries can reduce risk by and can eventually return to their keeping their weight normal activities. will be genetically both of which may prove fatal to the victim. The scale of impact on the left to become too large. Blood platelets corrected quickly. also known as a generation of coronary artery disease myocardial infarction. Blockage occurs with blood. fatty deposits and calcium. and it can rupture. 56 . platelets gather to clot around the rupture. down. Coronary artery Healthy (supplies blood heart and oxygen to muscle heart muscle) Blood clot blocks artery Blocked blood flow 3.

A special bone vessels which it can do saw is used to cut through without.DID YOU KNOW? The heart has four separate chambers. causing a heart attack bypass the blockage. is clamped. two halves of the sternum back together. where the heart muscle dies. The opening Commonly used. heart-lung bypass machine to deliver the fresh vessels to bypass not enough blood gets to the heart Finally. a Stopping the heart Cardiopulmonary bypass (where a machine not only takes over the heart’s surgeon can bypass the blockages using the body’s own vessels pumping action but also the gas exchange function A lthough the heart pumps oxygen – angina. Next. The problem heart is stopped. four valves to control blood flow and two main coronary arteries 3. The heart is then cooled and stopped using a potassium- rich solution. allowing no bleeding. oxygen is Heart bypass added to it in a bypass machine What happens in surgery? and the blood pumped back in. no blood is able to from other parts of the patient’s body to to provide oxygenated body. vessels are then sewn into place. end of the bypass graft is sewn After making sure there is A shallow incision beyond the fatty plaque. This is achieved Oxygen-rich blood is delivered to these The first way to treat this type of higher volumes of the oxygen-rich using a potassium-rich tissues via small vessels on its surface coronary artery disease is with blood to the heart muscles beyond the solution. Stopping blood flowing to the the heart Aorta heart muscle. the heart’s muscular make it through. Plaque blockage 6. then sewn into place. stopping the heart and using a contracting. If a vessel becomes The surgeon uses healthy vessels of the lungs) is established oxygenated blood around the completely blocked. This allows oxygenated blood to continually flow while the 1. Restarting the heart Coronary Once the new vessels artery have been secured. surrounding tissue. the long is sewn to one of the large arteries 7. Fatty plaques narrow and eventually block the Bypass coronary arteries. pumped down – the coronary arteries. At times of exercise. bypasses work When too little blood is getting to the muscles of the heart. The aorta. which doesn’t new vessels damage the heart below. the aorta is unclamped which washes the potassium-rich solution 2. 57 . the heart is walls need their own blood supply. preventing the pain. Bypassing the heart Blood is removed by pumping it out of the body. where narrowings in the Most bypasses are performed by stops the heart cholesterol causing fatty plaques which arteries are stretched using a balloon. conduits when it comes The new vessels are tested and down to bypass surgery. Getting to from the heart. the coronary arteries. the main vessel out of the heart. graft preventing oxygen-rich 4. The surgeon can now carefully attach slow blood flow. Closing saphenous vein runs from carrying oxygen-rich blood. through a cut down the middle of the breastbone grafts The body has certain (sternum). placing a stent to keep the vessel open. route for blood to flow. Secondly. This delivers stopped. a heart bypass operation is an oxygenated blood to the body. thin metal allows the vein to be blood to freely flow to the wires are used to hold the dissected away from its affected heart muscles. muscles. Attaching the the sternum. allowing a new blood to the rest of the body. leading to pain due to lack of option for some patients. The new the blockages. Other vessels that are often used How heart include various different small arteries from behind the rib cage or the arms. This can get narrowed or blocked up with be used. The patient is warmed and the heart The chest is opened Bypass the heart restarts. angioplasty can blockage. The the chest the ankle to the groin. These arteries medicines. and these act as 5.

which transports urine down into the bladder through the ureters. aid regulation of blood products (urine) to kidney and forms the top part arterioles. returning clean blood to the heart and lungs for re-oxygenation and recirculation and removing waste to the bladder for excretion. urine down to the bladder. which are made up of a number of © DK Ima es small blood capillaries. dependent on the individual’s sex and size. The kidneys filter the blood by passing it through a small filtering unit called a nephron. individuals born with only one is to be filtered. How do your kidneys filter waste from the blood to keep you alive? Renal cortex K This is one of two broad internal idneys are two bean-shaped organs sections of the kidney. g and a urine-collecting tube called the renal tubule. This waste product is primarily urea – a by-product of protein being broken down for energy – and water. called glomerulus. The glomerulus sift the normal cells and proteins from the blood and then move the waste products into the renal tubule. the kidneys also release Ureter Renal pelvis Renal medulla Renal three hormones (known as erythropoietin. clean blood is Each day the kidneys will filter between a passed out of the staggering 150 and 180 litres of blood. kidney’s internal fibres. each. The tube that This funnel-like structure is The kidney’s inner section. which provides the bladder following of the ureter. and it’s more commonly known as ‘urine’. The renal tubules are situated here in the protrusions that sit under the ribcage. the control water levels in the body. kidney can survive with little or no adverse health problems. the other being situated halfway down the back just the renal medulla. on each side of the between the pyramids and secure the body. HUMAN ANATOMY Inside Kidney your kidney As blood enters the kidneys. The kidneys manage to control all of this by working with other organs and glands across the body such as the hypothalamus. which takes pyramids and each human kidney will protection for the pressure and aid bone development and blood filtration. Renal vein which helps the kidneys determine and After waste has been removed. Indeed. Alongside this. pass around two litres of waste down the ureters to the bladder for excretion. The left kidney is commonly a little larger Renal artery than the right and due to the effectiveness of This artery supplies the kidney with blood that these organs. These work together to filter the blood. This decline in function would rarely even be noticeable and shows just how effective the kidneys are at filtering out waste products as well as maintaining mineral levels and blood pressure throughout the body. a tiny unit made up of blood capillaries and a waste-transporting tube. Each kidney has around a million of these. mineral balance respectively. and weigh between 115 and 170 grams cortex and medulla together. where blood is capsule renin and calcitriol) which encourage red transports the waste how urine travels out of the filtered after passing through numerous The kidney’s fibrous outer blood cell production. 58 . normally have seven of these. the body can operate normally with a 30-40 per cent decline in kidney function. It’s split into sections called edge. but only kidney via the renal vein. it is passed through a function nephron.

They remove waste dark-yellow urine indicating dehydration to aid filtration of fluids as necessary. until the blood reaches is it made of? 94% water the glomerulus. This process Glomerulus is known as ultrafiltration and is the first High pressure in the glomerulus. this filters the fluid that has been expelled from the glomerulus. urination. controls urine concentration. inorganic salts and numerous metabolites. There are around a million in each and the loop of Henle. It also and reabsorb minerals from the filtrate and greenish urine being indicative of 6% other organic passed on from Bowman’s capsule. which creates much higher pressure than normally seen in capillaries. with water concentration levels within the kidney convoluted tubule. and will selectively by the nephrons and arterioles which eventually lead to the As well as filtering waste. Renal artery This artery supplies the kidney with blood. The blood travels through this. (also know as the glomerular capsule) for forces fluids and soluble further filtration. it is passed down through a series of kidney. hydration Renal tubule levels and physical fitness. as instead of salt by recirculating what is needed and excreting the rest. glomerulus following the filtrate produced by ultrafiltration. the glomerulus. These then draining into an arteriole pass through the Bowman’s capsule instead of a venule. Resulting filtrate is passed along the nephron and will eventually make up urine. which in turn forces soluble materials and fluids out of the capillaries. excessive asparagus consumption. this collects all As blood enters the kidneys via the renal Links Bowman’s capsule through the kidneys. The colour of Loop of Henle Made up of three parts. the filtrate produced by from the kidneys. linking to the collecting duct Bowman’s system. nephrons regulate water and mineral reabsorb minerals from facilitates its removal glomerulus. This arteriole supplies the Where reabsorption of blood to the glomerulus minerals from the for filtration. These are often Renal vein rich in nitrogen and need to be removed This removes blood that has from the blood stream through been filtered from the kidney. Urine is made up of a range of organic compounds such as various proteins and hormones. situated in the renal medulla’s pyramid structures. into arterioles as you What is urine and what travel into the kidney. Unwanted Efferent arteriole capsule minerals are This arteriole is how This is the surrounding excreted from blood leaves the capsule that will filter the nephron. draining into a venule (which would lead Bowman’s capsule. This is unusual. caused by it step in filtration of the blood. the proximal urine is also determined by all of these The loop of Henle controls the mineral and tubule. The pH-level of urine is typically around neutral (pH7) but varies depending on diet. the loop of Henle and the distal different factors playing a part. back to a vein) it drains back into an arteriole. materials out of the capillary and into Afferent arteriole Proximal tubule Bowman’s capsule. Nephrons are the units which filter all blood that passes nephron. compounds 59 . tubule Partly responsible for the regulation of minerals in the blood. waste product filtered artery. which is why we can donate them easily to others Nephrons – the filtration Collecting duct system The glomerulus units of the kidney Proximal tubule Although not technically part of the This group of capillaries is the first step of filtration and a crucial aspect of a nephron. capsule Also known as the glomerular capsule.DID YOU KNOW? We are able to function with one kidney. Glomerulus This mass of Distal capillaries is the convoluted glomerulus. filtrate from Bowman’s Bowman’s capsule will occur.

HUMAN ANATOMY

Kidney transplants
The kidneys are the body’s natural filters. You can survive
on just one, but when that fails you may need a transplant

T
ransplanting organs is a complex process, Kidney transplants come from two main sources: required, even at such an emotional and
but it can give a new lease of life to the living and the recently deceased. If a healthy, pressurised time.
recipients. The kidney is the most compatible family member is willing to donate a When a suitable organ becomes available, it is
frequently transplanted organ, across the globe. kidney to the patient, they can survive with just one matched via a national register to a suitable
However, there is a discrepancy between the remaining kidney. In other cases, someone else’s recipient. A ‘retrieval’ team from a central
number of patients waiting for a transplant and the tragedy is someone else’s fortune. For those who are transplant unit (of which there are 20 based around
number of available organs; only around one third declared brain-dead, the beating heart will keep the UK) will go to whichever hospital the donor is in.
of those waiting per year receive their transplant. the kidneys perfused until they are ready to be They remove the organs, while the recipient is being
The number of patients registered for a kidney removed. In some patients, the ventilator will be prepared in the base hospital. During the tricky
transplant increases each year, and has risen by a switched off and it’s a race against time to harvest operation, the new kidney is ‘plumbed’ into the
staggering 50 percent since 2000. organs. Either way, consent from the family is pelvis, leaving the old, non-functioning ones in-situ.

How to perform a kidney transplant
Transplanting a kidney is 1. The donor 2. Out with the old? 3. Into the pelvis
a case of careful and The donor kidney is harvested, including enough length of As long as there’s no question An incision is made in the
clever plumbing. The first artery, vein and ureter (which carries urine to the bladder) of cancer, the original kidneys lower part of the abdomen to
step is to harvest the to allow tension-free implantation into the recipient. are left in place. gain access into the pelvis.
donor kidney, and then
it’s a dash to transplant
the new kidney into the
recipient. When the
brain-dead donor is 7. What’s that
transferred to the lump?
operating theatre for The new kidney can
organ harvest, they are be felt underneath
treated with the same the scar in the
care and respect as if they recipient. These
patients are often
were still alive. When
recruited to medical
consent has been given
student exams .
for multiple organ
harvest, a cut is made
from the top of the chest
to the bottom of the
pelvis. The heart and
lungs are retrieved first, 8. Catheter
followed by the A catheter is left
abdominal organs. in-situ for a short
while, so that the
urine output of the
new kidney can be
measured exactly.

5. Plumbing it in
The renal artery and vein
are connected to the
corresponding iliac artery
and vein in the recipient’s
body. Holes (arteriotomies)
© Science Photo Library

are created in the main
arteries, and the kidney’s 4. Make space! 6. The final link
vessels are anastomosed The surgeon will create space in the pelvis, and identify the large The ureter, which drains urine from the kidney, is
(a surgical join between vessels which run from the heart to the leg (the iliac arteries and connected to the bladder. This allows the kidney to
two tubes using sutures). veins). The new kidney’s vessels will be connected to these. function in the same way as one of the original kidneys.

60

DID YOU KNOW? Of the millions of people in the UK suffering from kidney disease, 50,000 will suffer end-stage renal failure

Time is always of

Domino Patient 1 Patient 2 the essence

transplants
Patient 1 needs a new kidney but their
family member isn’t compatible.
Patient 2 also needs a kidney and has
an incompatible family member as

NON-COMPATIBLE

NON-COMPATIBLE
E
BL
well. However, patient 2’s relation is

TI
compatible with patient 1 and vice

PA
versa. The surgeon arranges a swap

M
– a ‘paired’ transplant. A longer line of

CO
patients and family members
swapping compatible kidneys can be
arranged – a ‘daisy-chain’ transplant.
A ‘good Samaritan’ donor, who isn’t
related to any of the recipients, can
start the process. This first recipient’s
family member will subsequently
donate to someone else – a ‘domino’

© Science Photo Library
transplant effect which can go on for
several cycles. From patient 1 From patient 2
family member family member

Who is Antibody
If the antigens are too dissimilar, the host’s existing

suitable?
immune system thinks the new kidney is a foreign invader
and attacks it with antibodies, leading to rejection. Pack
Of the several million people in
carefully!
the UK with kidney disease, The transport of harvested organs
only around 50,000 will develop is time critical – the sooner the
end-stage renal failure (ESRF). surgeon can put them into the
For these people, dialysis or recipient the better. As soon as
kidney transplantation are the blood stops flowing to the
only options. Kidney damage harvested tissue, the lack of oxygen
from diabetes is the most damages these cells, which is
common cause of called ischaemia. The retrieval
transplantation. Other causes team have quite a few tricks up
include damage from high blood their sleeves to maximise the
pressure, chronic kidney viability of the precious cargo that
scarring (chronic they carry.
pyelonephritis) and polycystic In the operating theatre, just
kidney disease (the normal before they remove the harvested
kidney tissue is replaced with kidney, it is flushed clean of blood
multiple cysts); many other less Antigens with a special cold, nutrient-rich
common causes exist also. Antigens from the recipient kidney’s ABO solution. Once removed, it is quickly
Patients must be selected blood group and HLA system should be as put in a sterile container with ice.
incredibly carefully due to the close a match to the donor’s as possible. The most modern technique is to
scarcity of organs. This means use a cold perfusion machine
that those who have widespread instead of ice, which pumps a
cancer, or severely calcified cooled solution through the kidney
arteries, or persistent substance and improves its lasting power.
abuse and unstable mental
problems mean that transplants When things go wrong… While hearts and lungs can only
last around four hours, kidneys can
are likely to fail and that Kidneys need to be carefully matched to suitable donors, or rejection of the new organ last 24-48 hours. Transfer of the
unfortunately means that these will set in fast. Rejection occurs when the host body’s natural antibodies think the affected organ is done via the fastest
patients are actually unsuitable new tissue is a foreign invader and attacks; careful pre-operative matching helps limit method possible; this often involves
to receive an all important the degree of this attack. The most important match is via the ABO blood group type – using helicopters or police escorts.
kidney transplant. the blood group must match or rejection is fast and aggressive. Next, the body’s HLA All of these methods prolong the
(human leukocyte antigen) system should be a close a match as possible, although it preservation time of the kidney,
“Patients are doesn’t need to be perfect. Incorrect matches here can lead to rejection over longer
periods of time. After the operation, patients are started on anti-rejection medicines
although once ‘plugged’ back in, it
can take a few days for the kidney to
monitored which suppress the host’s immune system (immunosuppressants such as Tacrolimus, start working properly (especially if

for the rest Azathioprine or Prednisolone). Patients are monitored for the rest of their lives for
signs of rejection. These immunosuppressants aren’t without their risks – since they
the organ has been harvested from
a non-heart-beating donor).
of their lives” suppress the body’s natural defences, the risks of infections and cancers are higher.

61

HUMAN ANATOMY

Useless body parts Evolution’s
leftovers
Why have humans and other animals stopped using certain
organs and functions which were once crucial for survival? 1Appendix
The best known of the

C
vestigial organs, the
harles Darwin is one of history’s most famous behavioural responses are functional in other animals,
appendix is used in animals
naturalists. Living in the 19th Century, he but they do not seem to be of any benefit to us; such as
to help digest cellulose found
became celebrated for his theories on the appendix and your tailbone. These evolutionary
in grass, but in humans it
evolution. In his seminal work On The Origin Of Species remnants that no longer serve any purpose are known
serves no clear function now.
he described how similar animals were likely to be as vestigial organs, though this can apply as much to
related by common ancestors, rather than be behaviour and other body structures as it does to
completely unrelated. As subsequent generations are actual organs.
born, traits and features that did not bring a survival
benefit to that species were eliminated. That, in a
Evolution has also adapted some of our existing
features to help us in new ways, in a process known as
2Tailbone
The hard
bone at the
complete nutshell, is the theory of evolution. exaptation. For example, birds’ wings not only help bottom of
As a consequence, some organs and traits left in the them to fly but they also keep them warm as well. These your spine,
body lose their function and are no longer used. This changes may actually take thousands of years to the coccyx,
applies to modern human beings as much as other develop, and even in some cases the original purpose is a remnant
creatures; some of our physical attributes and can eventually be completely eliminated altogether. of our
evolutionary ancestors’ tail. It
Appendicitis in focus What happens when your appendix gets inflamed? has no function in humans,
but you could break it if you
fall over.

3Goosebumps
Animals use body hair for
insulation from the cold, by
trapping a warm layer of air
around the body. Each hair
can stand on end when its
Surgery own tiny muscle contracts,
During surgery to remove
but as human beings have
the appendix, the surgeon
ties off the base to prevent lost most of their body hair, a
bowel contents leaking, and jumper is more effective.
removes the whole Progression
appendix organ. The inflammation can
lead to perforation of the
appendix and
inflammation of the
4Plica semilunaris
The fleshy red fold found
surrounding tissues. The in the corner of your eye used
pain then worsens and to be a transparent
then localises to the
inner eyelid,
lower right-hand side of
the abdomen. which is
still
present in
Blockage both
A blockage, caused by either a
tiny piece of waste or swollen reptiles
lymphatic tissue in the bowel and birds.
wall, causes appendix swelling.

5 Wisdom teeth
These teeth emerge
during our late teens in each
corner of the gums. Our
ancestors used them to help
Inflammation chew dense plant matter, but
© SPL; Thinkstock

Beyond the blockage, inflammation
sets in, which causes intense
they have no function today,
abdominal pain. but can cause a lot of pain.
© SPL

62

so it’s only present until puberty which serve as the basis of the invading pathogens. The white Splenic artery pulp breaks them down into smaller. some people will need to take antibiotics to boost their immunity for the rest of their lives. Strong destroy specific foreign bodies. Bone marrow This forms the central. and in these situations it needs to be removed by a surgeon. It has its own body-wide network which follows blood vessel flow closely and allows for the transport of digested fats. this is where the splenic artery divides into smaller branches from filtration and The remainder is called ‘white pulp’. When they’re old. ends. In the most serious cases. such as the femur. Red blood cells have an The spleen sits underneath the average life span of 120 days. harmless particles. immune cells and more… Spleen Adenoids This is one of the master These are part of the tonsillar co-ordinators that actually system that are only present in staves |off infections and filters children up until the age of five. White pulp Splenic capsule A small organ that sits just Bone marrow is essential as it Making up roughly a The capsule provides some above the heart and behind the produces our key circulating quarter of the spleen. human immune system. It is surrounded by a thin. 63 .DID YOU KNOW? Around 15 per cent of us have an extra spleen – a small sphere close to but separate from the principal organ How the spleen works Perhaps not as well known as famous organs like the heart. and either recycled or excreted from other parts of the body. tissue for processing. The spleen receives a blood supply via this artery. Splenic vein The waste products about three-quarters of its structure. Tonsils Lymph nodes These are masses of lymphoid These are small (about 1cm/ tissue at the back of the throat 0. the spleen serves vital functions that help keep us healthy T Inside the spleen he spleen’s main functions are to remove old blood Location cells and fight off infection. invaded the body and are circulating in the blood. break them down. these capillaries allow foreign pathogens. The immune system Although the red blood that flows through our bodies gets all the glory. neck. the transparent lymphatic fluid is equally important. old red blood cells. although linked in chains and are mainly spleen. major sports impacts and knife wounds can all rupture the organ.4in) spherical nodes that are and can be seen when the mouth packed with macrophages and Red pulp Sinusoid is wide open. fragile capsule and so is prone to which arises from a branch injury. T-lymphocytes to identify and white blood cells and platelets. The smaller particles are then sent back into the bloodstream. coeliac trunk. Hilum which are blood vessel-rich areas of the spleen that make up The entrance to the spleen. © Alamy number of lymphocytes that They add an extra layer of recognise and destroy invading defence in our early years. It contains a in adults they have disappeared. The white blood cells mature where white blood blows or knife wounds can Its development is directly into various different types (eg cells identify and easily rupture it and lead to related to hormones in the body lymphocytes and neutrophils). protection. filtered and broken down. from its tributaries. filter them out and then often-overlooked organ which provides it with some protection against knocks. blood loss can endanger the person’s life. it’s the spleen’s job to identify them. the white pulp is and relatively weak. major features in this left-hand side of the body. which have for disposal. 10th and 11th ribs (below the diaphragm) on the marrow of long bones. This takes place in the ‘red pulp’. (armpits) and groin. flexible Thymus part of our long bones (eg femur). but it’s thin sternum. pathogens present in the blood as it flows through the spleen. Most are created from the We take you on a tour of the 9th. It actually teaches cells. It sits beneath the lower ribs on the left-hand side of of the aorta called the your body. are returned to the main circulation via this vein They filter out and destroy foreign pathogens. which are areas filled pathogen digestion and the splenic vein is formed with different types of immune cell (such as lymphocytes). which affords it some protection. destroy any type of life-threatening bleeding. These are often three-quarters of the liver. Since this reduces the body’s ability to fight infections. They form the first lymphocytes to defend against Forming approximately Similar to those found in the line of defence against inhaled foreign agents. adults don’t need one. the red pulp is for the easy passage of they can become infected around the head. causing tonsillitis. including red blood cells. axillae where red blood cells are large cells into the splenic themselves. but car crashes.

HUMAN ANATOMY How the liver works T he liver is actually the largest internal organ in responsible for breaking down complex fat molecules and The human liver is the human body and. region which are based upon the distribution of veins draining these segments. hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein form the portal triad. These tasks are carried out within liver The liver also plays a key role in detoxifying the blood. Digestion The biggest organ Once nutrients from food have The liver is the largest of been absorbed in the small the internal organs. for energy production. has over 500 different building them up into cholesterol and triglycerides. which the ultimate functions. forms which are easier for the rest of the body to use or even asking The liver is the body’s main powerhouse. and storing glucose as a key energy source. all at the same time crucial proteins. in the intestines. is produced in the liver and stored in the different functions removal of harmful substances and the production of adjacent gallbladder. It is also produces antibodies to fight infection and recycles The hepatobiliary Eight segments Functionally. but vital in the human body. which helps digest fat. there are eight segments of the liver. they are transported right upper quadrant of the abdomen. is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. sitting in the intestine. including clotting factors which in almost every aspect of the body’s metabolic processes. toxins and drugs are processed here into without you arrangements to maximise their overall efficiency. It carries bile from the liver and gallbladder into the duodenum where it helps digest fat. The gallbladder The gallbladder and liver are intimately related. Two halves The liver is anatomically split into two halves: left and right. In fact. which sit in complex Waste products. cells. There are four lobes. which are the vital inflows and outflows for this liver. are vital in arresting bleeding. The liver also breaks down old blood cells. producing excrete. which helps digest fat performs many The liver’s main functions are energy production. The liver makes multitasker – it complex organ after the brain and is intrinsically involved many complex proteins. Feel your liver Take a deep breath in and feel just under the right lower edge of your ribs – in some people the lower edge of the liver can be felt. 64 . called hepatocytes. The portal triad The common bile duct. to the liver via the hepatic just under the rib cage and attached to portal vein (not shown here) the underside of the diaphragm. and the right lobe is the largest. The common bile duct This duct is small. Bile. it is actually the second most the body needs but in excess are bad. Bile.

Bile duct problems. now are contaminating blood. per cent of this comes directly from the The blood flows in tiny passages in between the hormones such as adrenaline. a dark green slimy liquid. reservoir which sits on the under-surface of the liver. which the portal triad.000 gallbladders were removed from patients within the NHS making it one of the most common operations performed. although most don’t cause problems. flows into central veins which then flow into larger hepatic 5. carrying oxygen such as adrenaline” It is unique because it has two blood supplies. which the liver occur. Hepatic artery branch veins. processes and turns into energy. via the hepatic artery (which body – the inferior vena cava.DID YOU KNOW? The liver can regenerate itself. Cancers. Sinusoids are the molecules from smaller ones brought to specialised areas where blood comes it from the gut via the blood stream. carries metabolic waste which the liver extracts. iron and copper. Sinusoids hepatocytes form the 2. The into contact with the hepatocytes. which helps digest fat. Numerous essential intestines (via the hepatic portal vein) which liver cells where the many metabolic functions carries nutrients from digestion. infections (hepatitis) and cirrhosis (a form of fibrosis which is often caused by excess alcohol consumption) are just some of those which can affect Liver lobules the liver. is made in hepatocytes and secreted into bile ducts. These sit at the edges of the liver lobule flows into sinusoids for conversion and are the main entry and exit routes for the liver. portal vein and bile duct are known as directly from the intestines. 1. is produced in the secreted hepatocytes and helps to digest fat. Most patients do very well without 8. Portal vein keyhole surgery. bile ducts and 3. into energy within hepatocytes. containing all of its new molecules. 4. If up to 75 per cent of the liver is removed. over 90 per cent of these are removed via 7. it can grow back to restore itself “The liver also breaks down old blood cells and recycles hormones A high demand organ The liver deals with a massive amount of blood. The portal triad This vein carries nutrient-rich blood their gallbladder and don’t notice any changes at all. to be used when needed. The lobule This arrangement of blood vessels. 75 which the liver needs to produce this energy. These drain into Blood from here supplies the heart via the oxygen to hepatocytes and inferior vena cava. Bile. © Science Photo Library the site of transfer of molecules between blood and liver cells. E and K. Stones can form in the gallbladder (gallstones) and are very common. This reservoir is called the gallbladder. Central vein destroy any bacteria which Blood from sinusoids. The gallbladder It then flows into the gallbladder for storage before being Bile. channels are lined by perform all of the liver’s hepatocytes and provide key metabolic tasks. The functional unit which performs the liver’s tasks The liver is considered a ‘chemical structures comprising of blood vessels factory. Kupffer cells These specialised cells sit within the sinusoids and 9. functional unit of the liver is the lobule where the liver’s biological processes – these are hexagonal-shaped take place. Such a complex organ is also unfortunately prone to diseases. The blood then leaves the liver via the vitamins and minerals are stored in the liver: vitamins A. The rest comes hepatic veins to flow into the biggest vein in the D. just under 60. It is stored in a into the duodenum. branches from the aorta). The hepatic artery. from the heart. Stony Gallstones are common but usually don’t cause 6. 65 .’ as it forms large complex and sinusoids. In 2009. The hepatocyte These blood filled These highly active cells functional unit of the liver.

and bile salts. turning food into an bloodstream.8 inches. up of three different distinctive parts: the The jejunum follows the duodenum and its Peristalsis is the movement used by the small duodenum. we eat. and its main purpose is to catch nutrients that may that is 19. Villi – small finger-like structures muscles which make up the organ’s outer wall.5-3 only averaging about 30 centimetres. important in breaking food down. it sits at a little over six metres.7 feet. where waste matter is stored for a short intestine to the stomach and is the key place for broken-down food molecules through an area with period then disposed of via the colon. On average. as well as absorbing vitamin B12 centimetres. While the duodenum is very – and mucosal folds line the passage and increase important elements of our digestive system. it The ileum is the final section of the small bowel nutrients. HUMAN ANATOMY The surface area of the small intestine Structure of the is huge – in fact. is actually the shortest element of the small bowel. 66 . small intestine Crucial for getting the nutrients we need from the food These line the small intestine to increase surface area and help push the food on its way by creating a valve-like structure. long with a diameter of 2. how does this digestive organ work? T he small intestine is actually one of the most amino acid state. primary function is to encourage absorption of intestine to push the food through to the large The duodenum actually connects the small carbohydrates and proteins by passing the bowel.2 inches. liver and pancreas. This process is further enzyme breakdown. Mucosa Exploring the Mucosal folds The internal lining of the small intestine where the plicae circulares (mucosal folds) and villi are situated. following already a large surface area so they can enter the automatically generated by a series of different passing through the stomach. using bile and the surface area dramatically to aid this process. 1-1. which enables us to process food and absorb enzymes from the gallbladder. stopping food Submucosa This supports the mucosa and connects it to the layers of muscle (muscularis) that make up the exterior of the travelling backwards. small intestine. The small intestine is made 11. jejunum and the ileum. rolled flat it would small intestine even cover a Examine the anatomy of this vital tennis court! organ in the human digestive tract Lumen This is the space inside the small intestine in which the food travels to be digested and absorbed. which is just have been missed.

but is so called because of its narrower diameter Serosa This protective outer layer stops the small intestine from being What exactly are nutrients? damaged by other organs. Thinkstock Capillary bed These absorb simple sugars and amino acids as they pass through the epithelial tissue of the villi.DID YOU KNOW? The small intestine is actually longer than the large intestine. starches. We also need to consume and absorb vitamins and minerals that we can’t synthesise within the body. There are three main types of nutrient that we process in the body: lipids (fats). to allow easy diffusion of nutrients mainly via the bloodstream. with the longitudinal muscle layer to push the food down via a process called peristalsis. alongside the to help transport food with mucosal folds. fats and smaller. which we can absorb through the small intestine walls and that then travel in the bloodstream to our muscles and other areas of the body that require energy or to be repaired. 67 . They help Epithelium Lacteal muscle layer increase the surface area (epithelial cells) The lacteal is a This contracts and extends massively. © Corbis. These three groups of molecules are broken down into sugars. carbohydrates and proteins. eg vitamin B12 (prevalent in meat and fish). A closer look at villi Villi What role do these little finger-like Villi are tiny finger-like structures that sit all over protrusions play in the bowel? Longitudinal the mucosa. These individual cells that Mucosa lymphatic capillary Circular sit in the mucosa layer The lining of the small that absorbs nutrients muscle layer the circular muscle layer. simpler molecule elements. into the bloodstream. into the bloodstream. Fat Carbohydrate Protein Nutrients Nutrients move through Blood vessels the tube-like organ to be These sit close to the small intestine diffused into the body. are where individual intestine on which that can’t pass directly This works in partnership microvilli extend from. villi are located. Microvilli These are a mini version of villi and sit on villi’s individual epithelial cells.

Although that is one other cartilage structures. True ribs Rib pairs one through seven attach to the sternum directly via a piece of cartilage. It could be an The cartilage portions of the ribs meet in the there’s not much you can do to mend a fractured rib evolutionary leftover. Short-term causes include eating or drinking too quickly. joining in the back to There’s also a condition called flail chest. Rib just a framework protecting your lungs. Ribs are not merely armour for the organs inside our torsos. with the middle ribs the most likely ones involuntary spasm of the diaphragm that can All this means that the ribcage has to be flexible. The human False ribs Rib pairs eight ribcage through ten connect to the sternum via a structure made of cartilage linked to the seventh true rib. Hiccupping – known medically as singultus. but there are more than two dozen bones that make up the ribcage… Clavicle Also known as the collarbone. The heart or lungs. 68 . HUMAN ANATOMY Inside the thoracic cavity It may not look like it at first glance. resting and giving it and air into their gills to breathe. in that hiccupping in premature babies – who tend the 12 vertebrae making up the middle of the which several ribs break and then detach from the to hiccup much more than full-term babies – is spinal column. because a sharp piece could pierce the sudden change in body temperature or shock. a The conical structure isn’t just a rigid system of dangerous. cage. It ‘false ribs’. But otherwise due to their underdeveloped lungs. the ribcage does so much more. hang unattached to the sternum. most of them do. since hiccupping in humans is similar to the way that amphibians gulp water front at the long. pairs eight through ten attach indirectly through heart and other major organs. to get broken. injury. sternum (breastbone). breathing wouldn’t actually be possible Rib fractures are a common and very painful synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF) – is an without it. Or rather. some researchers have suggested ribcage comprises 24 ribs. or simply put. so they’re referred to as key function. A fractured rib can be very happen for a number of reasons. bone – it’s actually both bone and cartilage. as we reveal here… T he ribcage – also known as the thoracic cage Rib pairs one through seven are called ‘true ribs’ or thoracic basket – is easily thought of as because they attach directly to the sternum. The final two pairs – the ‘floating ribs’ – What are hiccups? provides vital support as part of the skeleton and. this pair of long bones is a support between the sternum and the shoulder blades. time to heal. However. which can even be fatal. flat three-bone plate called the other than keep it stabilised.

with three ridges running across its surface and cavities for the cartilage attaching to rib pairs three through seven. ribcages can be very add strength. it’s a passive process that doesn’t require much ribcage movement. often used as a sort of ‘landmark’ by physicians. This forces the lungs to compress and release air (working in tandem with seven other muscles). allowing Sternal angle contract to expand the lungs to fill with air. ‘ribcage’. Once you get into other functions for the most part: to compressing and upward to force air vertebrates. of the sternum connects with the clavicles and the cartilage for the first pair of ribs. Body The main body of the sternum (breastbone) is almost flat. the differences are provide support and protection lowering the ribcage. ribs. breathe out… Consciously take in a breath. sternum starts as cartilage. The muscles that move the ribcage itself are the intercostal muscles. 69 .DID YOU KNOW? The condition known as flail chest is fatal in almost 50 per cent of cases Manubrium This broadest and thickest part Breathe in. Ribs in other animals Most vertebrates (ie animals with another with hook-like structures backbones) have a ribcage of sorts called uncinate processes. which – however. but hardens to bone and fuses to the rest of the breastbone in adulthood. not the Xiphoid process sternum. runs the Marsupials have fewer ribs than length of its body and can comprise humans. ribs. the The diaphragm contracts by intercostal muscles moving downward. Floating ribs (not shown) Pairs 11-12 are only attached to the vertebrae. or free. and think about the fact that there are ten different muscle groups working together to make it happen. even greater. Despite tiny they aren’t much more than the variations in appearance. while turtles’ eight rib pairs are For example. relaxes. Birds’ ribs overlap one to the rest of the body. This is the angle formed by and lift the ribcage. Exhalation Relaxation The intercostal muscles The diaphragm knobs of bone sticking out from the ribcages all serve the same basic relax as we exhale. the joint between the manubrium and the body. Frogs don’t have any different depending on the creature. A snake’s pairs of ribs as opposed to our 12. and some of those are so hundreds of pairs of ribs. moving © Thinkstock vertebrae. The internal intercostals lower the ribcage when you exhale. meanwhile. If you breathe out gently. As you inhale. the external intercostals raise the ribs and sternum so your lungs can expand. while your diaphragm lowers and flattens. so are often called This extension from the the floating. out of the lungs. Inhalation Contraction As you inhale. They are each attached to the ribs and run between them. dogs and cats have 13 fused to the shell.

HUMAN ANATOMY How the pancreas works Learn how the workhorse of the digestive system helps to break down food and control our blood sugar levels T Anatomy of the pancreas he pancreas is a pivotal organ within the digestive system. Insulin secretion is under the control of a negative-feedback loop. function of the pancreas. the digestive Body of the intestine. The enzymes secreted include proteases (to digest protein). Disorders of these cells (and thus alterations of the hormone levels) can lead to many serious conditions. It sits inside the It might not be the biggest organ but the pancreas is a key abdomen. and beta cells which generate insulin. meanwhile. These cells include alpha cells. The central body sits duct. which is all sent somatostatin. The Common bile duct islets of Langerhans are also responsible for The pancreatic enzymes are mixed with bile from the producing other hormones. it has a head. including diabetes. high blood sugar will lead to insulin secretion. adjacent structures. is responsible for secreting digestive enzymes. behind the stomach and facilitator of how we absorb nutrients and stay energised the large bowel. bile duct. which removed if it’s affected by are released from the stomach and cancer. These two hormones have opposite effects on blood sugar levels throughout the body: glucagon increases glucose levels. which then lowers blood sugar with subsequent suppression of insulin. It Pancreatic duct is connected to the first section of the small Within the pancreas. by the pancreatic enzymes are secreted into pancreas the pancreatic duct. which governs nutrient through the common bile absorption among many other things. duct into the duodenum. The cells here are all in contact with capillaries. it is best to think about the two types of cell it contains: endocrine and exocrine. while insulin decreases them. body and tail. like gallbladder. When it comes to the the common artery to the spleen. the duodenum. neck. Duodenum which flow into the central pancreatic duct. The exocrine pancreas. lipases (for fat) and amylase (for Head of the pancreas sugar/starch). 70 . aid in the digestion of food. The pancreas empties its digestive enzymes This leads into the duodenum – part of the into the first part of small bowel – to come into contact with and the small intestine. Secretion of these enzymes is The head needs to be controlled by a series of hormones. adjacent to the spleen. In humans. so hormones which are produced can be fed directly into the bloodstream. which in total contain approximately 1 million cells and are responsible for producing hormones. which secrete glucagon. via a complex operation that involves the duodenum in response to the stretch from resection of many other the presence of food. The endocrine pancreas is made up of clusters of cells called islets of Langerhans. and to the bloodstream via a rich which joins onto on top of the main network of vessels. Cells are arranged in clusters called acini.

What brings on diabetes? Diabetes is a condition where a pancreas. the glucose wants to Calcium move down its diffusion effects gradient into the cells. including vessels running to the High glucose stomach and spleen. In other animals. the arrangement varies from two or three masses of tissue scattered around the abdomen. Inflammation of the organ person has higher blood sugar than (ie acute pancreatitis) causes severe normal. leads to changes in the levels cause voltage-gated may be two or three – and sometimes even more. 80 per cent of acute pancreatitis cases are caused by gallstones or excessive alcohol ingestion Tail of the pancreas This is the end portion of the organ and is positioned close to the spleen. to small collections of tissue within the bowel mucosal wall itself. One of the other key differences GLUT2 Depolarisation Calcium channels is the number of ducts that connect the pancreas to the bowel. the pancreas is most often a single structure that sits at the back of the abdomen. When the levels of glucose within the bloodstream are high. varies from creature to creature. forcing of the pancreas to produce insulin (ie most people to attend the emergency type 1. There commonly be mistaken for various are also other disorders of the other ailments. of insulin secretion. but occasionally there transporting channel. However. 71 . cancer of the cells to insulin present in the pancreas causes the individual circulation (ie type 2.DID YOU KNOW? In the UK. In contrast. Süleyman Habib In most humans there’s only one duct. The calcium causes the vesicles that store insulin to move towards the cell wall. In humans. to tissue interspersed within the connective tissue between the bowels. The arrangement. It is either caused by a failure pain in the upper abdomen. gradually worsening pain which can dependent diabetes mellitus). In other which facilitates the polarity of the cell wall calcium channels to open in animals. the uptake of glucose and an increase in the the cell wall. Does the pancreas vary in humans and animals? Every vertebrate animal has a pancreas of some form. or resistance of the body’s threatening. number of potassium ions. meaning they are all susceptible to diabetes too. however. This is a glucose. or insulin-dependent diabetes department as it can actually be life mellitus). ions to flow into the cell. digestive enzymes and hormones to control blood sugar levels. and calcium function is largely similar. where the pancreas secretes into the cells. or non-insulin. Blood supply The pancreas derives its blood supply from a variety of sources. The metabolism of glucose Changes in potassium © Corbis. Beta cells It is the beta cells within the islets of Insulin released The vesicle releases its Langerhans which stored insulin into the control glucose blood capillaries levels and amount through exocytosis. the number is much more variable.

controlled by the detrusor your body. For instance. When concentrated. Ureters Ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. the urinary which attach each tube to the organ and prevent any liquid system also helps to maintain the mineral and salt balance in passing back. The bladder walls. problems or infections. Incontinence explained For the bladder to work correctly. Up to 150 occasionally experience. or nearly full. This comes incontinence. Urine travels down the ureters and through the ureter valves. which in turn induces an until the body can release it. you’ve got to go… THE COMPLETE URINARY SYSTEM © Thinkstock but really our bodies are reacting to our bladders’ direction Kidneys The kidneys turn unwanted substances in the blood into urine. This sensation will get stronger if you do not go Urine is a waste substance produced by the kidneys as they – creating the ‘bursting for a wee’ feeling that you can filter our blood of toxins and other unneeded elements.5 gallons) of waste actually pass in the bladder wall contract in order to generate pressure. when salts and minerals are too highly muscles. This kind of incontinence is It is most commonly the failure of one of can be a result of either nervous system most common in the elderly. the bladder Bladder This muscular © SPL bag generally holds around a is crucial to removing waste from your body pint of urine. down the ureters to the bladder. you feel thirst to regain the balance. that is injected around the urethra in order will release urine without control. As well as telling you when you need to pass fluid. internal and external sphincters relax and the detrusor muscles but only around two litres (0. relax as urine enters and allow the organ to fill. T he bladder is one of the key organs in the urinary system the bladder becomes full. This is when an individual pelvic floor muscles are damaged. Most especially if the pelvic floor is under to support it. urge to urinate. HUMAN ANATOMY When you’ve got to go. spasms by the detrusor muscles which sneezing). has been specifically developed to replace urinary incontinence is called urge caused when the external sphincter or post-event incontinence pads. Urethra How your The urethra runs from the bottom of the bladder to the outside world. laughing or areas within it must all function properly. When ready to urinate. the nerves in the and it stores urine following production by the kidneys bladder communicate with the brain. bladder works As a key part of the urinary system. This in the form of a collagen-based substance feels a sudden compulsion to urinate and means urine can accidentally escape. One modern remedy is an implant that One of the most common types of Another type is stress incontinence. these features that leads to incontinence. both the litres (40 gallons) of blood are filtered per day by your kidneys. forcing urine to pass down the urethra and exit the body. several often It is actually caused by involuntary pressure (eg while coughing. 72 .

2x © DK Images Urethra External urethral Urine travels down this sphincter passageway to leave the body. the waste by-product Ureter valves wall measure how full the body forms while breaking down These sit at the end of the bladder is and will protein across the body. It chloride.DID YOU KNOW? Everyone’s bladder differs slightly in size.7 pints) of urine. to relax and extend as urine enters. though and the bladder.1g Chloride ions 6. stays closed to stop urine passing out of the body.6g close the valve. urine is made up of 95 per cent urethral sphincter water and 5 per cent dissolved or The internal sphincter is suspended solids including urea.7pt) Inside the bladder How this organ acts as the middleman between What is your kidneys and excretion Bladder wall urine made FULL (detrusor muscles) up of? BLADDER Ureters The detrusor muscles make up a layer of the A human bladder usually holds around These tubes link the kidneys bladder wall. and they control whether to open or Uric acid 0. to the bladder for expulsion. Urine is nerves situated in the made up of urea. body is ready to expel 25. Other waste bladder without letting it flow back.7g Potassium ions 3. Pelvic floor muscles External urethral These hold the bladder in place. products produced or consumed by the body that pass through the kidneys will also exit the body via this route. The average maximum capacity is between 600-800ml (1.3-1.6g Bladder wall (controlled by detrusor Internal urethral muscles) These muscles contract sphincter to force the urine out This relaxes when the Urea of the bladder. transporting muscles cause the wall male bladders can typically hold slightly the urine for disposal. while more than those of females. sodium and potassium ions. Bicarbonate ions 1. sphincter URINE and sit around the urethra (distal sphincter) CONTENTS This sphincter is controlled stopping unintended urination.2g Creatinine 2. plus controlled by the body.5g the waste liquid. (distal sphincter) This also relaxes for the urine to exit the body.2g EMPTYING Sodium ions BLADDER 4. Internal Typically. 73 . These 350 millilitres (0. by the individual. The kidneys will the ureters and let signal to the brain urine pass into the filter this out and pass it with extra water when to urinate.

the kidneys. The process is made up of several creation and release of the hormone to the right aorta of the heart. sodium and potassium levels primary function is to remove among other electrolytes. they system consists of two kidneys. HUMAN ANATOMY The urinary system Kidneys explained Every day the body produces waste This is where liquids are filtered and nutrients are absorbed before urine exits into the ureters. a typical human will the kidneys. a human will produce 2. such as the hypothalamus.5-3 amino acid metabolism. mixes with water and forms urine as it passes through the renal tubule and then into the ureter on its way to the bladder.5-3 litres of urine a day” How do the kidneys work? The kidneys will have around 150-180 litres of blood to filter per day. blood pressure. via the renal muscles (one internal. This blood and a urethra and these work alongside the kidneys. Generally. which are made up of a number of small blood capillaries and a tube called the renal tubule. ureters from by the kidneys to remove waste products. the external factors such as how much water kidneys also control water levels in the is consumed. by-products which remain in the pH of the blood and are also involved in Inferior vena cava This carries deoxygenated blood after the body has metabolised red blood cell production through the blood back from the kidneys food. but only pass around two litres of waste down the ureters to the bladder for excretion. On average. Each kidney has around a million of these. The internal and external This is where urine gathers after being renal artery and vein. different key features. 74 . This blood is filtered of urine. Consequently. hold the urine until the body can The abdominal aorta is an important excrete the waste out through the Bladder artery to the system as this feeds the urethra. “Generally. minus most of the waste products. Through litres of urine in just one day. lungs and skin. all of travel down the ureters to the bladder. products that enter the bloodstream Ureter These tubes link the – but how do we get rid of them? kidneys and the bladder. the waste products then is then cleansed by the intestines. two sphincter body operation. such as urea which is formed through produce approximately a staggering 2. this erythropoietin. The blood capillaries sift the normal cells and proteins from the blood for recirculation and then direct the waste products into the renal tubule. the bladder. which supply the sphincters then control the release passed down the kidneys with blood. This waste. although communication with other areas of the this can vary dramatically dependant on body. one external) After blood has been filtered by artery and vein. which excrete waste products from The bladder’s walls expand out to the body. which will primarily consist of urea. to the heart for re-oxygenation and recirculation around the body. therefore the kidneys return much of this blood. T he human urinary system’s body. two are absolutely crucial to optimum Abdominal aorta ureters. This artery supplies blood to the kidneys. The way the kidneys do this is to pass the blood through a small filtering unit called a nephron.

urethral sphincter Renal artery and vein This also relaxes for the urine This supplies blood to the kidneys to exit the body. and then removes deoxygenated blood after use by the kidneys. 75 . in order for them to operate. can be caused by urethral too high a concentration of salts in the body. Ureters Bladder These tubes connect to the kidneys and urine fills flows down to the bladder through them.DID YOU KNOW? On average. Pelvis The bladder sits in the pelvis. External This craving. get thirsty? Maintaining the balance between the minerals and salts in our body and water is very important. among urine escapes. through to exit the body. the nerves in the bladder communicate with the brain and cause the individual to feel the urge to urinate. passageway to exit the body. Bladder walls (controlled by detrusor © DK Images muscles) These muscles Urethra 4. or thirst. sphincter This secondary or by the water volume in the body dropping sphincter also too low for optimal operation. Internal urethral sphincter Why do we This remains closed to ensure urine does not escape unexpectedly. Ureter valves detrusor muscles) These valves are situated The detrusor muscles in the wall of at the end of the ureters The human and let urine in. Bladder walls (controlled by 4. allowing urine to pass down the urethra. the bladder relax to allow expansion of the bladder as necessary. and the urethra passes through it for urine to exit the body. 1. other conditions. When this is out of balance. Internal urethral sphincter system empties This relaxes when the body is ready to expel 2. Urethra contract to force The urethra is the tube the urine out of Urine travels down this that urine travels the bladder. The walls relax as urine enters and this allows the bladder to stretch. 5. Avoiding remains closed dehydration is important as long term to ensure no dehydration can cause renal failure. 2. the body tells us to consume more liquids to redress this imbalance in order for the body to continue operating effectively. 3. which attach the ureter to the bladder. External the waste. When the bladder becomes full. 3. you make the same amount of urine in the day as in the night How do we store waste until we’re ready to expel it? The bladder stores waste products by allowing the urine to enter through the ureter valves. The internal and external sphincters will then relax. urinary Bladder 1.

to mix and churn the contents.04-0. allowing churning and enzymatic breakdown. churns and holds corrosive acid to break down our food. which lead to the stomach lining from damage glands that produce mucus. signalling that results in increased acid millimetres (0. A pints) of food without discomfort. It takes and the internal surface of the organ folds into access by the enzyme pepsin. which Gastric pits deconstructs protein. the stomach is contracted causes proteins in the food to unravel.08 inches) in diameter process liquid form. protein-digesting The expansion of the stomach activates Liquids pass through the sphincter easily. required to mix food. however. Submucosa Muscularis Muscle layers Parietal cell (blue) The stomach has three layers These cells produce hydrochloric of muscle running in different acid. The presence of partially small intestine and the process is generally eating. The entire surface of the Mucous cell These cells secrete alkaline stomach is covered in tiny mucus to protect the holes. which kills off micro. or rugae. digested proteins stimulates enteroendocrine complete within four to five hours. HUMAN ANATOMY Inside the human stomach Discover how this amazing digestive organ stretches. unravels proteins and the co-ordinated contraction activates digestive enzymes. all without getting damaged T he stomach’s major role is as a reservoir the rugae flatten. combination of acid. Mucosa G-cell (pink) Also known as enteroendocrine cells. orientations. which breaks about two hours for half a meal to pass into the characteristic ridges. Chief cell (yellow) Take a look at its complex microanatomy now… Chief cells make pepsinogen. Gastric acid backwards into the main chamber for further In its resting state. these produce hormones like gastrin. small intestine through the pyloric sphincter. but enzymes and vigorous churning action breaks stretch receptors. When we start down protein. preparing food for production and powerful muscle contractions before they will fit. at the low pH in the stomach it becomes the digestive enzyme pepsin. 76 . These produce organisms. for food. and the outer muscles relax. which regulate acid production and stomach contraction.8 The stomach empties its contents into the gradually emptied into the small intestine. allowing the stomach to cells (G-cells) to make the hormone gastrin. The which encourages even more acid production. it allows large meals to be expand. by stomach acid. acid and enzymes. consumed in one sitting before being stomach can accommodate about a litre (1. Lining under the microscope The stomach is much more than just a storage bag. which trigger nerve solids must be smaller than one to two the stomach contents down into an easier-to. Anything larger is ‘refluxed’ absorption in the bowels. the stomach begins to distend.

DID YOU KNOW? Stomach rumbling. Pyloric sphincter but little acid or enzymes. gel-like barrier. For added protection. which forms glottis. The pyloric sphincter is a strong ring of muscle that regulates the passage of food from the stomach to the bowels. covering the entrance to a slippery. a deep breath is occurring. To prevent this from stages. preventing thorax to open up the oesophagus. is actually the noise of air movement in the intestines Fundus Gastric anatomy The top portion of the stomach curves This major organ in the digestive system has up and allows gases several distinct regions with different created during functions. Antrum The antrum contains cells that can stimulate or shut off acid production. forces any contents upwards. a safe distance inside and outside the stomach away from the cells that manufacture it. lowering pressure in the at the surface of the stomach lining. Body Also called the corpus. First. Why doesn’t it Produced by parietal cells in the stomach Vomit reflex digest itself? lining. although the two around and rests just below aren’t directly connected. The diaphragm then bicarbonate. a zymogen (the enzyme in its inactive form) – which squeezes the stomach.5 step-by-step Vomiting is the forceful expulsion Your stomach is full of corrosive acid and of the stomach contents up the enzymes capable of breaking down protein – if oesophagus and out of the mouth.5 to 3. Small intestine The stomach empties into the first section of the small intestine: the duodenum. as we highlight here digestion to be collected. it only becomes active when it combined shifts in pressure both © Thinkstock comes into contact with acid. left unprotected the stomach lining would It’s the result of three co-ordinated quickly be destroyed. the cells lining the stomach wall drawn and the body closes the produce carbohydrate-rich mucus. This region makes lots of mucus. damage by acid. also known as borborygmus. the stomach in the abdomen. this is the largest part of the stomach and is responsible for storing food as gastric juices are introduced. Cardia The oesophagus empties into the stomach at the cardia. the muscles of protein-digesting enzyme pepsin is created from the abdominal wall contract. 77 . The pepsinogen. regulating the pH level of the stomach. The mucus contains the lungs. which is alkaline and buffers the pH contracts. Pancreas The bottom of the stomach Large intestine is located in front of the The large intestine curls pancreas. the At the same time. gastric acid has a pH level of 1.

and the metacarpals. tendons. the environment using one of man’s most The metacarpals. These also then via tendons to allow the break down into a further digit to bend. which flexing the digits. phalanges each fingertip of each digit containing Each finger has three Eight bones are situated in the numerous nerve endings making the hand a phalanges. The muscles situated in the palm of the interact together with tendons in order to hand account for a further five Metacarpals allow fingers to bend. Deep flexors attach to this bone to allow for to the need for an opposable thumb to be present and the degree of extra articulation that the human hand can achieve. and these divide up Intermediate developed fine motor skills allowing for phalanges much increased control in this limb. muscles and nerves. which consists of prehensile digits. palm. affect the hand development whilst still in extrinsic muscles that extend trapezoid. rotate. into three distinct groups: the This is where the Consequently we see improved ability to carpals. three different groups: the A normal human hand is made up of five proximal phalanges. and each in the case of the thumb. this extra articulation. the hand is an area that sees many injuries with one of the hand’s digits. the palm and wrist. an opposable thumb. but they are actually the human arm. straighten. due to the number of ways we use it. and attach to The carpals (scaphoid. These five bones make up the out of the 27. point and. are often still in perfect working order. capitate and the womb. the thumb only has two. hamate. triquetral. Due to the hand maximum movement. trapezium. metacarpals and superficial flexors attach grasp and grip items and development of phalanges. and this phalange wrist and these are joins the intermediate to its crucial area for gathering information from collectively called the carpals. where an further up into the arm. which are crucial five senses: touch. It consists of 27 Proximal intermediate phalanges and bones. Although many other animals have similar structures. such as polydactyly. 78 . and quite complex and have been crucial in our evolution a wrist and palm. lunate. pisiform) sit between the ulna and radius individual is born with extra digits. and control movement of the digits there are also several disorders that can Carpals and hand. respective metacarpal. which allows individuals to manipulate their surroundings and also to gather large amounts of data from the environment that the individual is situated within. HUMAN ANATOMY T he human hand is an important feature of the human body. and each one aligns finger has three phalanges. However. skills such as writing. only Distal phalanges primates and a limited number of other vertebrates can be said to have a ‘hand’ due Bones in A distal phalange (fingertip) is situated at the end of each finger. humans have The human hand contains 27 bones. one in Intrinsic muscles and tendons ten injuries in A&E being hand related. A hand is generally defined as the terminal aspect of The human hand We take our hands for granted. with then the distal phalanges. the digits.

This supposes that the left-handed individual was and nerves actually one of a set of twins. down the forearm into the hand and allows for right handed? sensory information The most common theory for why some individuals to be passed from are left handed is that of the ‘disappearing twin’. One of the deep human ancestors as flexors (extrinsic muscle) is well as other primates. There intrinsics are both deep and These attach the flexor muscles to the superficial flexors and extensors. Divided into six be moved. sideways movement. and flexors and extensors work in a pair to complement each to thumbs Increased articulation of muscle groups. to the digits is complex. These muscles will contract in order to cause digit movement. it’s been found that take away deoxygenated Hypothenar refers to the little 8 dominance of one hand is directly linked with 00 blood) to hand muscles. whereas the extensor muscles’ main purpose is the reverse this action. are responsible for aiding all extrinsic muscle action heralded as one of whereas the intrinsics are situated within the hand and any other movements in the digits and have the key factors in and wrist. palm and forearm to thumb and control its which attaches to the superficial. the deep flexor and the digits. the interossei and the lumbrical. right handed. Alongside the four other flexible digits. ilf W other paired organs. such as writing. The intrinsic muscles the thumb has been attached to muscles which extend into the forearm. use either exclusively (referring to the thumb and little finger It allowed for tendons to attach to digits they control (flexors) or a respectively). so named as the extrinsics are straighten and bend digits. and facilitate Deep flexors Extensors bending. However. attaches to the distal phalanges. the forearm straighten the depends on the digit to and extensors in the wrist. The deep flexor sections. which make three distinct groups. Arteries. © Individuals who somehow damage their Insertion of flexor tendon Mid palmar space dominant hand for extended periods of time can Forearm This is where the tendon attaches the flexor muscle to the finger bones to Tendons and intrinsic muscles primarily inhabit this space actually change to use the other hand. dimples appear on the back of your hand Muscles and other structures Opposable The movements and articulations of the hand and more complex mix of tendons and intrinsic muscles by the digits are not only controlled by tendons but also two muscle groups situated within the hand and wrist. the body of the muscles situated along the underside or front of the forearm. These are the extrinsic and intrinsic to operate (extensors). finger and this muscle group is one r2 do hemisphere dominance in the brain. muscle (intrinsic) twin died. but that in the early These supply fresh oxygenated blood (and Hypothenar stages of development the other. proving the impact and importance of environment and extent muscles allow articulation. within the hand. The flexors and extensors. The flexors run alongside the underside of the arm and are responsible for allowing the bending of © Science photo library the individual digits. as in many re of the intrinsic muscles. Thenar space and has allowed Thenar refers to the thumb. their connection straighten the digits. and this space is situated for tool use in order between the first digit and to develop among thumb. up the extrinsic muscles. to which humans can adapt. veins hand to brain. Tendons also Thenars Superficial flexors The digits have two extrinsic Extensors on the back of used at any one time interact with the intrinsics The intrinsic group of The other flexor that acts on flexors that allow them to bend. Extrinsic muscles are so called because they are primarily situated outside the hand. This interossei muscle sits between metacarpal bones and will unite with tendons to allow extension Ulnar nerve This nerve stretches Left handed or using extrinsic muscles. A thumb can only be muscle classified as opposable when it can be brought (intrinsic) opposite to the other digits. the thenar and hypothenar human evolution. muscles is used to flex the the digits is the superior flexor. intermediate phalanges. also facilitated major cultural advances. increased control and grip. and which are phalanges. to Tendons and straighten the digits. This has later located in here. 79 . This body of muscles actually breaks down into two quite distinct groups: the flexors and the extensors. the opposable thumb makes the human hand one of the Interossei most dexterous in the world.DID YOU KNOW? Skin is attached to tendons and so when you bend you fingers back.

The skin. They can withstand a lot of tension and link various aspects of the injury. What happens when Tendons (extensor digitorum you sprain your ankle? longus. among others) Fibrous bands of tissue which connect A sprained ankle is the most common type of soft tissue muscles to bones. while ligaments hold the tendons in place and help the foot Muscles – including the extensor move up and down to initiate walking. nerves and blood vessels make up the rest of the foot. The structure of the foot and how the elements work together 80 . and the foot bends This bone sits alongside the tibia. Arches in the foot are formed by ligaments. as we can grip the ground with it if we feel we supplying energy and oxygen and removing deoxygenated blood. facilitating movement. linking the knee and the ankle. How do they cope? T he human foot and ankle is crucial for locomotion and is Toes one of the most complex structures of the human body. the muscles to the bones and facilitate movement of the foot. However. ankle bones of the foot. and a minor sprain will generally consist of a stretched or only partially torn ligament. These supply blood to the foot. Actually. Tendons connect equivalent of fingers in the foot structure. The severity of the sprain can depend on how you foot. 33 joints – although only 20 are articulated onto the ground. are losing balance. They are the – as well as numerous tendons and ligaments. helping to hold the shape and also supplying it with all the Ligaments necessary minerals. throughout all aspects that it can withstand constant pressure throughout the day. and toes are a crucial aspect of this. The extensor digitorum operate efficiently when walking and running. This then overstretches the ligaments and causes the Images damage. Blood vessels One of the other crucial functions of the foot is to aid balance. and unique structure of the foot and the way it distributes pressure helps flex digits two-four on the foot. 20 muscles. It is due to the brevis muscle sits on the top of the foot. spreading weight across it. muscles and foot bones and help to digitorum brevis muscle Muscles within the foot help the foot lift and distribute weight. HUMAN ANATOMY How do your feet work? Feet are immensely complex structures. as well as making it easier for the foot to articulate as necessary. tendons and help to form the arches of the foot. or even force a piece of bone to leg bones. The big toe in particular facilitating muscle operation by helps in this area. Generally a sprain will happen when you lose balance Fibula or slip. more severe sprains can cause the ligament Tibia Images The larger and stronger of the lower to tear completely. also inwards towards the other leg. yet we put huge amounts of pressure on them every day. oxygen and energy to help keep it moving Ligaments support the easily and constantly. Terminal aspects of the foot This intricate structure is made up of no less than 26 that aid balance by grasping bones. this links the knee and the © DK break off. over a quarter of all sporting © DK injuries are sprains of the ankle. sprained the ankle.

long bones that are bones (three) This bone. cuneiform bones. and it makes up for walking.000 miles! How do we walk? ‘Human gait’ is the term to describe how we 4. base of the toes. under the body. will contract to allow starts to come into raising the thigh. 6. person. the heel to lift off the ground. Leg swing The lower leg will then swing at the walk. and weight the calf muscle and Achilles running. normally with a slight leaning movement of the body. onto this foot as it hits the leg. out of a total 26 bones in each foot Cuboid Talus Calcaneus One of five irregular bones The talus is the This bone (cuboid. Heel 1. which is The bones which These bones link the the metatarsals are located Three bones that fuse so named due sit at the far end metatarsals and the between the tarsal bones together during bone to its resemblance of the foot and distal phalanges and and the phalanges. navicular and three second largest constitutes the cuneiform bones) which make bone of the foot. and the talus. These development and sit to a boat. Foot lift 5. Heel lift The process is After weight has placement The first step of walking is for then repeated with transferred and the The heel will normally be the foot to be lifted off the the other foot. the ankle joint. the ball of placed first. During individual feels the part of the foot that’s ground. It is These help with shock the lower part of the largest bone absorption in locomotion. The structure of the foot enables us to stay balanced Bones of the foot Distal Proximal Metatarsals Cuneiforms Navicular phalanges phalanges The five. a person will walk the equivalent of four times around the globe – more than 100. 81 .bearing foot. in the foot. metacarpals in the hand. weight. articulates make up the tips stretch from the are the equivalent of the between the metatarsals with the three A baby is born with 22 of the toes. one foot will the first foot will then will start to transfer back tendon. heel and is crucial © DK Images up the arches of the foot. contact with the ground. This gait will vary between each knee. 2. but the basics are the same to be placed in front of the stationary. the ground. situated on the back of start to lift as the other lift off the ground. The knee will raise and normal walking or balanced.DID YOU KNOW? In a lifetime. Repeat process 3. Weight transfer The weight will transfer fully to the foot still in contact with the ground.

HUMAN ANATOMY HACKING THE HUMAN BODY YOUR BODY IS YOUR MOST VERSATILE TOOL. BUT WHAT IF YOU COULD IMPROVE IT? 82 .

allowing them to sense abilities that nature has crafted for us over upgraded to communicate with his nervous magnetic fields. But not any more. Pacemakers already keep our hearts of a matched implant fitted into his wife. DuoSkin is a step forward from the micro-devices that fit in clothes. and the right stores data uploaded illness.0” Implants Professional and amateur biohackers are exploring different ways of augmenting our skin Electronic tattoos Not so much an implant as a stick-on mod. and is a “We are teetering on Kevin Warwick. Fingertip Under-skin magnets lights Tiny neodymium magnets can Some implants are inserted under the be coated in silicon and skin to augment the appearance of the implanted into the fingertips. watches and other wearables. Meanwhile. move a bionic arm and. which allowed him to open doors. sense’. beating. WIKI whirring fans and other tech. and hobbyists are choosing to augment their healthy bodies to starting to experiment for themselves. In 2002.DID YOU KNOW? Hobbyists who experiment with augmenting their bodies are known as ‘biohackers’ or ‘grinders’ W e are limited by our biology: prone to into his arm. he had a silicon chip implanted hand: the left opens his front door and starts his humanity 2. and change colour. but technology that could be used to augment our made the leap to the other side. these is usually done without. motorbike. system. extend and enhance their natural abilities. He has a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip embedded in each the edge of the era of cyborg”. output and communication. temperature-sensitive chemicals. body. Let’s dive in to the sometimes While much of the technology developed so far mainstream is proving too much for some shady world of biohacking. The © Thinkstock. Others The electronic tattoos change colour using resistors and work as touch sensors. In 1998. These tattoos use gold leaf to conduct electricity against the skin. the system was fitted inside their fingers. Others have had magnets and restricted to the senses and even touching them. Some of the electronic tattoos work simlarly to buttons or touch pads. putting silicon shapes Biological techniques are getting cheaper and median nerve. Professor Warwick’s augmentations were the exciting glimpse into some of the emerging and some enterprising individuals have already product of a biomedical research project. even contains LED lights. 83 . doomed to wear out over time. a professor of cybernetics at Coventry University. and lights beneath their skin. with the help generation of high-tech equipment to upgrade the growing. performing three main functions: input. so fitting lights that glow from under the skin invisible fields in the air. and even control your phone. Created by the MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research. and is often performed by produced by electrical wires. don’t want you to try this at home.0. 100 electrodes were linked up to his with aesthetic implants. Amal Graafstra is based in the US. more powerful. people are now enterprising individuals. hormonal implants control our fertility. and some contain coils that can be used for receive Wi-Fi signals wireless communication. has had a medical application. waiting for these kinds of modifications to hit the bodies in the future. even able to receive nerve impulses from another This article comes with a health warning: we and smart glasses augment our vision. change colour. The procedure involves cutting They respond to magnetic fields and stitching. and some are experimenting millions of years of evolution. Through this new implant. Alamy. this high-tech tattoo from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) can store information. turn on lights and activate computers without from his mobile phone. We are human being. electronics are getting smaller. he could control a researchers are busy developing the next and our understanding of the human body is wheelchair. tattoo artists or body piercers. latest version. he was body still further. claims to be the “world’s first double implantee. But it’s an teetering on the edge of the era of humanity 2. created by a group in This gives the wearer a ‘sixth Pittsburgh. allowing them to pick up The implants allow the wearer to This isn’t for the faint of heart – Grindhouse Wetware makes implantable on the shape and strength of pick up small magnetic objects anaesthetics require a license.

it can be used to switch the genes current to the scalp. and we can talk back The human brain is the most complex structure the brain. They it is improving. Transcranial direct current stimulation uses in the known universe. the device scissors. The technology is relatively simple. delivers a constant DNA. the CRISPR system no longer cuts the effect on brain function. and cochlear implants do the to the underlying brain cells. and electrodes excitability of the nerve cells placed here can augment our ability Buzzing the brain responsible for movement. the circuit. 84 . but in the future it could be used to repair or alter our genes. memory and the mind. However. sending electrical signals into from the outside. Current moves towards and a guide molecule that takes the scissors to a the cathode completing Device specific section of DNA. Decoding signals requires a lot of training. By ‘breaking’ the enzyme electrodes alters the battery. and the to the optic nerve. while others use caps to “Prosthetic limbs can other brain functions. and messing with your brain could have other direction. And. and it’s not perfect. their choosing. It is adapted from a system found naturally in bacteria. Gene Wires A weak current of editing around one to two In 2013. Retinal implants can pick up light. some use implants attached to the surface of the brain. and companies are already detect electrical activity passing across the now be controlled by offering the kit to people at home. early tests indicate that this can Prosthetic limbs can now be controlled by have positive effects on mood. making them more likely to fire. and is composed of two parts: a Cas9 Cathode enzyme that acts like a pair of molecular scissors. The electricity changes the activity of the nerve cells in the brain. without changing the DNA sequence. researchers urge caution. They used a new delivered to the brain technique to cut the human genome at sites of for 10 to 30 minutes. the technique is still experimental. The system that they used is called CRISPR. on and off at will. whole areas of the brain can be tweaked works. but ultimately it code it into electrical pulses and deliver them weak currents that pass through skin and bone communicates using electrical signals. by attaching electrodes to the admit that they still aren’t exactly sure how it It is also possible to communicate in the scalp. Though still in latest tech can tap into these coded messages. it increases back of the brain. to interpret our surroundings. same with sound in the ears via the cochlear development. nerve. but year after year the mind” possible to make one yourself. It’s even scalp. Anode The anode delivers current from the device across the scalp and into the brain. HUMAN ANATOMY Motor control Visual perception If the current is applied over the Visual information is processed at the motor cortex. researchers working in gene editing milliamperes is made a breakthrough. At the moment. dangerous consequences. Instead. Transcranial DC stimulation sends electrical signals through the skull to enhance performance Working memory Stimulation of the front of the brain seems to improve short-term Excitability memory and learning. The CRISPR complex works like a pair of Hacking the brain DNA-snipping scissors With the latest technology we can decipher what the brain is thinking. opening the floodgates for customising and modifying our genetics. Changing the Powered by a What scientists have done more recently is to placement of the simple nine-volt hijack this system.

More small monthly fee.30pm. Use of the lab is to technology and resources to the subject to a safety induction. Ekso Bionics Exosuits can amplify your natural movement. providing amateur scientists with access to biotech equipment © Thinkstock. human health. However in the next five 7. which is open to the public. I think that many important continue to perform the service of problems. Miguel Nicolelis from Duke University teamed up with 29-year-old Juliano Pinto to showcase exciting new biology labs technology. After months of Tom Hodder studied medicinal level. and the details of paralysed patients are able to control virtual characters with their brain activity the London Hackspace on Hackney Road. the biohacking to anyone? groups are not yet at an equivalent level Anyone can join up.DID YOU KNOW? Neil Harbisson is a colour-blind artist with an implanted antenna that turns colour into sound Exoskeletons and virtual reality Community At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. biofuels) can synthetic and molecular biology to the be potentially mitigated by greater general public. In general the so it is becoming practical for experiments are some type of biohacking groups to do more microbiology. interest in biohacking? I think that biohacking groups will Generally. sharing of these skills and knowledge in have actually regained some movement and feeling in their own limbs. I think that the biohacking controlling the walking of a virtual avatar with chemistry and is a biohacker working on community is orientated towards the their minds. Where do you see biohacking going in the future? Who can get involved? Is the lab open I think in the short term. The next step in Nicolelis’ research has been Interview bio: processes at the molecular biological focused on retraining the brain to move the legs – and this time he’s using VR. equipment and resources. but research papers are not Electrodes can pick up neural impulses. an accessible way. but with the help of Nicolelis’ mind- controlled exoskeleton and a cap to pick up his London Biological Laboratories Ltd to learn more brainwaves. so The London Biohackspace is a biolab at the easiest reading. Academic research is What is the London Biohackspace? published. commercial research are generally not The lab is run by its members. technical director at down. eight people with spinal-cord injuries open hardware at London Biohackspace. There is a universities and commercial research weekly meet-up on Wednesdays at institutions. communicating the potential of sustainable resources (e. Pinto is paralysed from the chest We spoke to Tom Hodder. I expect more open biolabs and biomakerspaces to be set up and the Why do you think there is such an level of sophistication to increase. Community labs are popping up all over the world. years. Alamy. such as food.g. In return they can use recently. who pay a shared unless it’s patented. as well as building and repairing biotech hardware. and hopefully do that in understanding of the underlying an interesting way. biology. much of the technology the facilities for their own experiments required to perform these experiments is and can take advantage of the shared becoming cheaper and more accessible. he was able to stand and kick the about public labs and the biohacking movement official ball. while some models can even be controlled by your mind 85 . molecular or synthetic interesting experiments.

and talking to technology using their We could add extra senses. implanted with monitor. detecting bionic limbs just by thinking. possibilities into reach. And. many devices we already have. sensors implanted on to the your body sensing electronics up to the brain. wearers will control back of the eye. technology is bringing unprecedented biotechnology tinkerers. and a growing are experimental. strengthen. we might be able advent of wearable technology. with the nervous systems. invisible magnetic fields. microchips. However. Technology of the future will images and sending the offer the opportunity to information to the brain. the field is opening up. and display an augmented reality overlay on your vision. and community of amateur and professional and unlicensed. So. open doors beneath the skin allow people to lift and communicate with other small magnetic objects. RFID implants Radio frequency identification Fingertip magnets chips implanted under the skin Tiny neodymium magnets implanted store information. Much of the development interest in augmenting the healthy human body. organs for transplant. . there is increased and the possibilities are endless. fitted customisable you? Medical implants could mind. sometimes even homemade to tap straight into the internet with our minds. and sense technology. At the moment. including prosthetic limbs for amputees. with magnetic senses. However.86 BUILDING FUTURE YOU A closer look at some of the emerging tech that will allow you to customise your body Self-improvement is part of human nature. or improve the ones and light sensors for the blind. HUMAN ANATOMY Mind-controlled prosthetics Custom-build Eye cameras Using a film of electrode Retinal implants link light. one day. tinker with the human body like never before Smart lenses Contact lenses fitted with micro-electronics monitor vital medical information. heal or replace our organs. what does the future hold for a up until this point has had a medical purpose in The first cyborgs already walk among us. exoskeletons for paralysis.

apps. using hydraulics in place of muscles. Exoskeleton support Robotic exoskeletons support the wearer’s limbs. and the option to fluorescent green. Illustration by Nicholas Forder. or reconstructed using synthetic materials and electronics. Electronic tattoos Gold-leaf temporary tattoos can be used as “Many devices touch sensors. switch between designs to suit the situation. found on an Ancient Egyptian mummy from 950-710 BCE Google is developing a contact lens that This RFID chip shows the coiled copper The Argus implant’s camera and The i-limb hand can be moved by gestures. sometimes even homemade” DID YOU KNOW? The oldest prosthetic is a wood and leather toe. Google. colour-changing are experimental. and hinges in place of joints. Ekso Bionics senses blood sugar by analysing tears antenna it uses to communicate transmitter signal to the optic nerve muscle signals or proximity sensors to upper body movement . Touch Bionics. Bionic organs Replacement organs will be grown from real human cells in the lab. indicators. and for Wi-Fi communications. Ekso moves legs in response 87 © Shutterstock. Smart bandages Wound dressings will be equipped with sensors to monitor Interchangeable limbs healing and flag up Advanced prosthetics could the first signs of give amputees superhuman infection by turning abilities.

THE BODY AT WORK 134 Blood 122 vessels How our genes define us 098 The blood- brain 90 The science of sleep 118 What is saliva? barrier Understand why we sleep Find out why there is moisture in our mouths 98 The blood-brain barrier What important role does it play? 119 Neurotransmitters and your 094 feelings 99 Pituitary gland up close How do your emotions work? Wake up to The ‘master gland’ explored the science 120 White blood cells of sleeping 100 Human digestion explained How infection is fought The digestion process revealed 122 The science of genetics 102 Human respiration How genes define who we are The lungs explained 127 What is anxiety? 104 Dehydration / Sweating What causes us to feel uneasy? Why we sweat and using fluids 128 Circulatory system 105 Scar types How blood gets transported How different scar types form 130 How your blood works 106 The immune system The miraculous fluid analysed Combating viruses 134 Blood vessels / 110 The cell cycle Hyperventilation Inside a vital process What are blood vessels made of 112 Human pregnancy and why do we hyperventilate? The different stages explained 135 Tracheotomy surgery 114 Embryo development A look at the life-saving operation How a foetus evolves 136 Hormones 116 Altitude sickness / Synapses Understand the human What causes altitude sickness? endocrine system 117 Biology of hunger 138 Exploring the sensory system What tells us to eat? How we experience the world 88 .

Alamy. Dreamstime. 100 Human digestion explained 127 What does anxiety do to our brain? ©Thinkstock. Science Photo Library. DK images 89 .

learning. but despite years of research. and we wouldn’t need to catch up reptiles and has been conserved through evolution. sleepwalking. on sleep during the day if it were just to fill empty time despite preventing us from performing tasks such as at night. The body repairs itself just as well when we are sitting quietly. It is vital to our survival. rats will die within a resulting decline in cognitive ability – our brains just two or three weeks – the same period it takes to die don’t work properly without sleep. to simply a way to fill time until we can be doing something useful. We will find of starvation. 90 . and if we are deprived of it. It is as One of the major problems with sleep deprivation is important as food and. birds and night by sleeping. But all of these ideas are somewhat flawed. THE BODY AT WORK The science of Sleep Unravelling the mysteries behind insomnia. reproducing and raising young. ourselves struggling with memory. There have been many ideas and theories proposed about why humans sleep. The urge to sleep is all-consuming. we only save around 100 calories a Sleep is an essential habit to mammals. scientists still aren’t entirely sure why we do it. dreams and more W e spend around a third of our lives sleeping. eating. we will eventually slip into slumber even if the situation is life-threatening. without it. from a way to rest after the day’s activities or a method for saving energy.

or to process unwanted feelings or is characterised by various electrical patterns in the humans report little in the way of ill effects. Deep sleep is also the time of peak brains a safe place to practice dealing with situations traffic accidents. Restoration One of the major problems with sleep deprivation is a decline in cognitive function. long term problems such as an increased risk of important for transferring short-term memories into Some scientists argue that REM sleep allows our heart disease and even a higher incidence of road long-term storage. and body temperature drops. our ability to form declarative sleep. which from an evolutionary perspective does not seem worth the accompanying vulnerability. accompanied by a drop in mood. and selectively practise parts that need to be stored.DID YOU KNOW? Marine mammals sleep with just half of their brain at a time. but people dream during both NREM We will delve into the science of sleep and attempt we sleep the deepest. have severe effects on our mood and performance of memories. REM sleep emotions. the digestive system is less active. 91 . effects of REM sleep deprivation proving less severe emotions. and no one brain known as ‘sleep spindles’ and high. dreams tend to be more concept-based. this is the time when vivid dreams. and REM sleep. the calorie-saving equates to just one cup of milk. waves. growth hormone release in the body. Evolutionary Memory protection An early idea about the purpose of sleep consolidation is that it is a protective adaptation to fill One of the strongest theories regarding time. The brain is bombarded avoid being spotted by predators. heart and breathing rates slow. metabolic rate drops. is NREM. with the temporarily paralysed. allowing them to surface for air Theories of why we sleep Energy conservation We save around 100 calories per night by sleeping. Each of these ideas has its flaws. daily lives. there is little evidence to suggest that the body undergoes more repair during sleep compared to rest or relaxation. During REM sleep our muscles are non-rapid eye movement (NREM). for the first two weeks unlearn memories. However. A lack of sleep can actually Without NREM sleep. which than NREM deprivation. planning and reasoning. For example. When this is occuring. and rapid eye The purpose of REM sleep is unclear. can be seriously impaired. with more information during the day However. such as learning to associate pairs of whereas REM sleep dreams are a lot more vivid everyday tasks. The vast majority of our sleep. which is or emotions that we might not encounter during our Sleep can be divided into two broad stages: important for cell reproduction and repair. ranging from irritability. this theory cannot explain than it is possible to remember. prey animals with sleep is that it helps with consolidation night vision might sleep during the day to of memory. However. so sleep why sleep-deprived people fall asleep in is used to sort through this information the middle of the day. Deep sleep is and emotional. Others think that it might be a way to actually around 75 to 80 per cent of it. and there is mounting evidence that sleep is involved in restoring the brain. through to words. One curiosity is that during NREM to make sense of the mysteries of the sleeping brain. slow delta is the period during the night when we have our most knows the real answer. preventing us acting out these movement (REM) sleep.

woken up quite easily. your breathing your fingers. you sleep. and is growth hormone. Finally. and you become progressively occur. heart rate and (REM) sleep – the time when your most vivid dreams measured by electroencephalogram (EEG). The electrical activity on waves. your breathing. the period of REM sleep of consciousness. your sleep your eyelids are heavy and your head starts to drop. this in turn is showing that your brain During this drowsy period. 92 . This cycle happens several times throughout stage begins with drowsiness as you drift in and out more difficult to wake up. faster waves in between. maintained at a lower level throughout the night. resuming activity that looks much more grows longer. you are easily woken and this stage is characterised by further slowing in the has entered moderate sleep. How much 30% Other 20% REM sleep Growth time is spent stages hormone in each sleep 50% release stage? Stage 2 sleep After you fall asleep. your brain perks the night. On the EEG monitor. your heart rate rises. Your brain activity like wakefulness. By the time you are in the second phase of spikes of smaller. As you spikier. Limited movement Muscle tone drops during sleep. As you start to enter this third stage. tossing and turning. and your heart rate drops.or deep sleep. but you can still be progress through stage-three sleep. you cycle through five separate stages of sleep every 90 to 110 minutes The five stages of sleep can be distinguished by then by two stages of deep sleep. the pituitary gland Low temperature ramps up its Body temperature falls just production of before you fall asleep. After a few minutes. but your Slow breathing larger muscles are As you fall into deeper and paralysed. spindles stop. and you enter rapid eye movement changes in the electrical activity in your brain. and you descend into light sleep. and is followed by light sleep and up again. your brain activity slows further. and each time. with an increase in their size and short one. Different when dreaming During REM sleep. The trace on the EEG slows still further as an electroencephalogram (EEG) monitor starts to slow two-second bursts of activity known as ‘sleep your brain produces delta waves with occasional down. The first temperature drop. starts to slow down. There are five separate stages. you become much re-enter this drowsy half-awake. As the sleep cycle repeats during the night. divided by brain activity  JFKRQBP  JFKRQBP  JFKRQBP 1 Drowsiness 2 Light sleep 3 Moderate sleep During the first stage of sleep you are just drifting off. but you still change position. your eyes stop moving. Stages of sleep Not all sleep is the same. THE BODY AT WORK The sleep cycle In the night. This is then followed by your brain is still quite active. toes and eyes becomes slower and more rhythmic twitch as you dream. more difficult to wake up. This mean just deeper sleep. and the cortical waves become taller and spindles’. half-asleep stage.

but you red patterns of activity to remain alert and easy to the waking brain. your breathing becomes slow and rhythmic. shown here by the a protected area. your brain starts to perk up and its and four are really separate. and during this time you are extremely happen. that dominate the scan. sweeping through every corner of the brain and helping REM (dream) sleep Light sleep When we are dreaming. and these the blue areas represent cool blue and purple colours areas of inactivity. wake up. of the same phase of sleep. it remains on the outside. patterns of inactivity. but it uses an enormous 25 per cent of the total energy supply. The rest of the body Wide awake Deep sleep relies on the lymphatic The red areas in this scan During the later stages of drainage system to help remove show areas of activity in the NREM sleep. During the day. the brain is less active activity. You cycle through the stages of looks similar to the brain four stages of NREM sleep. experiencing between during NREM sleep. your muscles will relax and movement (REM) sleep. three and five dream periods each night. which sleep about every 90 minutes. Instead. the In the first stages of NREM to clear out toxic molecules. human brain shows a lot of sleep. it makes up only two per cent of the total mass of the body. Your muscles are temporarily paralysed. but the lab’s research has shown that. following paths along the outside of blood vessels. 93 . or whether they are part electrical activity starts to resemble the waking brain. giving it the name rapid eye The sleep-deprived brain As you descend through the are known as delta waves. vessels do not extend upward into the head.DID YOU KNOW? Sleeping in at the weekends causes ‘social jet lag’ and makes it more difficult to get up on Monday morning WAKE Dreaming versus deep sleep REM First Second Third Fourth Fifth cycle cycle cycle cycle cycle STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3 STAGE 4 Deep sleep Dreaming (REM) Clearing Brain activity the mind The brain is a power-hungry organ. the brain is less waste products. displaying similar than when awake. while active.  JFKRQBP  JFKRQBP © Science Photo Library. Stage four is the deepest This is the period of the night when most dreams stage of all. slow waves which your eyes dart around. Thinkstock 4 Deep sleep 5 REM sleep There is some debate as to whether sleep stages three After deep sleep. your central nervous system is bathed in a clear liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The question is. progressively less active. The EEG shows tall. gaps open up between brain cells and the fluid rushes in. into which waste can be dissolved for removal. and Sleep deprivation NREM sleep hard to wake. showing your brain in turn becomes can lead to snoring. but the brain is waking human brain. how does it get rid of waste? The Nedergaard Lab at the University of Rochester in New York thinks sleep might be a time to clean the brain. Alamy. during sleep.

gasp and breathe The low oxygen level in the blood If the airway is obstructed for most commonly affect children. and is much more common in children than in adults. affecting both dressed. Reduced airflow People may not know they have sleep alcohol and sleeping pills also Soft-tissue collapse reduces the amount apnoea. around a and not during REM sleep. individuals bedroom environment more conducive to restful sleep. attempt to fix the obstruction. There are over 100 different tending to happen less and less after the age of 11 or 12. for ten seconds or more. the themselves with age. tonsils and soft palate relax during depending on the particular problem. It can also be the oxygen to the brain. sleepwalking and REM-sleep Loud breathing behaviour disorder. This can sleeping pattern can either be caused by external during the night that breathing is interrupted for cause people to wake up. and tend to resolve loudly as they struggle for air triggers the brain to wake up in an ten seconds or more. such the quality or quantity of our sleep can have a as walking. The lack of oxygen initiates a rest and causing feelings of tiredness the next day. cooking. driving a car. so disruptions to complex behaviours. disorder. or hypersomnia. Smoking. interrupting their example by jet lag or shift work. preventing the airway the airways completely. restricting the supply of them into a different sleep stage. of air entering the lungs or obstructing daytime sleepiness. difficulty staying awake. Trouble sticking to a regular when the walls of the airways relax so much deep sleep to protect them from damage. Struggling with falling occur during the deep- asleep or staying asleep is known as insomnia. is less common. Abnormal sleep behaviours include problems like night terrors. result of an internal problem with the part of the brain responsible for setting the body clock. amount of oxygen reaching persist into adulthood. It is protective response. third of the population will experience it during their lifetime. trouble sticking to a regular sleep pattern and sleepwalking tends to abnormal sleep behaviours. In REM-sleep behaviour the brain drops. and sleep. and sleep phase of NREM sleep is one of the most familiar sleep disorders. getting serious negative impact on daily life. THE BODY AT WORK Sleep Sleepwalking Sleepwalking affects Sleepwalkers can perform complicated actions while in deep NREM sleep disorders between one and 15 per cent of the population. Although Sleep disorders fall into four main categories: sleepwalkers seem to be difficulty falling asleep. acting out their dreams. but can sometimes perform Sleep is necessary for our health. accompanied by uncontrollable short periods of Sleep apnoea Sleep apnoea is a dangerous sleep disorder. which is when sufferers experience excessive daytime sleepiness. or even physical health and mental wellbeing. “Treatment for different sleep disorders varies” Risk factors Sleep apnoea is much more common in patients who are overweight. The best-known example is narcolepsy. but other sleep behaviours during the night. pulling the sufferer out of sleep during the day. night sweats. headaches and pumps air into a close-fitting mask. The muscles supporting Treatment for different sleep disorders varies the tongue. and people begin to Muscle collapse act out their dreams. the normal muscle paralysis that accompanies dreaming fails. but warning signs include A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine increase the risk. male and over Warning signs the age of 40. Difficulty staying awake. Night terrors and sleepwalking People suffering with sleep apnoea Waking up Lack of oxygen often snore. causing the throat sometimes it can even be as simple as making the to narrow. disorders that prevent a Sleepwalkers might just sit good night’s sleep up in their bed. from collapsing 94 . but often it will just put disruption to normal day-to-day rhythms.

and 3. wake up United States. scalp and eyelids to monitor brain activity and eye movement. Narcoleptics report report feeling tired and drained excessive amounts of daytime during the day. walking. Electrodes are placed on the chin. which is an overnight test performed in a specialist sleep facility. accompanied by a lack one of the major causes of this sleep of energy and impaired ability to disruption. and © BSIP SA / Alamy then to follow their brains and Electrodes monitor brain activity. heart rate and breathing in sleep studies of the five different sleep stages. during these microsleeps. a few seconds at a time. and the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream can be tracked using a device worn on the finger. while pads are placed on the chest to track heart rate and breathing. but it is also associated concentrate. where generally involves improving ‘sleep the muscles go limp and become hygiene’ by sticking to regular sleep difficult to control. Sufferers can asleep during the daytime. The equipment monitors how long it takes a patient to fall asleep.DID YOU KNOW? After 24 sleepless hours your cognition is at the same level as a person with a blood alcohol content of 0. or even driving problems to hormone imbalances. One in three people in the UK will experience insomnia in their lifetime Sleep studies The most common type of sleep study is a polysomnogram (PSG). bodies as they move through each eye movement. and some and also with underlying medical can continue to perform tasks such conditions that range from lung as writing. In 70 per After underlying causes have been cent of cases. 95 . which is responsible for free from light and noise at night. They fall asleep with mental health problems like involuntarily for periods lasting just depression. management of insomnia accompanied by cataplexy. narcolepsy is also ruled out. it affects one in every unusually early in the morning. Stress is thought to be sleepiness.10% Narcolepsy People with narcolepsy fall asleep involuntarily during the day Insomnia Narcolepsy is a chronic condition Insomniacs have difficulty falling that causes people to suddenly fall asleep or staying asleep. Their blood pressure is also monitored throughout the night. anxiety and psychosis. It has been linked patterns. avoiding caffeine in the to low levels of the neurotransmitter evening and keeping the bedroom hypocretin. In the wake up during the night.000 people. promoting wakefulness in the brain.

preventing the production of circadian master clock known as melatonin and delaying your sleep. even Many electronic devices produce though it calms the brain. so it is disrupt your attempts to sleep. Severe sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations – each year are the result of driver fatigue. In rare cases . is increased in people with sleep apnoea. drop. nicotine will actually keep your Disruptions in light exposure can brain alert and can seriously play havoc with your sleep. important to ensure that your Even depressants like alcohol can bedroom is as dark as possible. have a negative effect. behaviour and stress management. This danger intelligence. The dangers of sleep deprivation Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you tired – it can have dangerous unseen effects 1 IMPAIRED JUDGEMENT 2 WEIGHT GAIN 3 RAISED BLOOD PRESSURE Sleep deprivation impacts your visual working Sleep deprivation affects the levels of hormones Poor sleep can raise blood pressure. 96 . it third of drivers have even admitted to falling asleep neurotransmitters in the brain. resemble paranoid schizophrenia. and using backlit screens cycles. and sticking clock is set by sunlight. Certain tells your brain that it is time to stimulants such as caffeine and wake up. clock and on to the pineal gland. affecting emotional hormone that tells you how much stored fat you have) such as coronary heart disease and stroke. and over a and having sleep deprivation can play havoc with seeing things that aren’t really there.000 road accidents Mental health problems are linked to sleep disorders. the weekends. Levels of leptin (the term is associated with an increased risk of diseases relevant and irrelevant stimuli. it enough light to reset your biological interferes with normal sleep clock. and levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin rise. making it hard to distinguish between involved in regulating appetite. anxiety and mania. even at hits special receptors in your eyes. blue light to a regular sleep schedule. Ensuring you see sunlight in the which is set on a time scale of morning can help to keep your roughly 24 hours. and in the long memory. 4 INCREASED ACCIDENTS 5 MOOD DISORDERS 6 HALLUCINATIONS In the USA it is estimated that 100. the suprachiasmatic nucleus. symptoms of depression. mobile phones and computer screens disrupts your circadian rhythm late at night can confuse your and REM sleep. helps to keep this which feed back to the master rhythm regular. This biological circadian clock in line. mimicking the can lead to temporary psychosis or symptoms that behind the wheel. Another important factor in a This suppresses the production of good night’s sleep is the process of the sleep hormone melatonin and winding down before bed. preventing proper deep The blue light from televisions. THE BODY AT WORK How to get a good night’s sleep Understanding your biological clock is the key to a healthy night’s sleep Your body is driven by an internal brain.

who challenged insomniacs to either count sheep. Which country sleeps the longest? “You should never wake Canada 7h03 6h49 UK a sleepwalker” Many people have heard that waking a sleepwalker might kill them. but 6h31 the act of sleepwalking in itself can be much more dangerous. but this is not the case.DID YOU KNOW? Sleep deprivation was found to have played a significant role in the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986 Sleep myths debunked SLEEP STATS The science behind five of the most common myths What are the most common relating to sleep sleeping positions? “Counting sheep helps you sleep” This myth was put to the test by the University of Oxford. Teens can also experience a shift in their circadian rhythm. but waking them carefully 7h01 shouldn’t do any harm. called sleep phase delay. people need around nine hours of sleep every night.7oz) of 65% cheese to 200 volunteers every night for a week and Happiness & excitement Sex asking them to record their dreams. but there is little truth behind these tales. Gently guiding a sleepwalker back to their bed is 7h06 Germany the safest option. 8% Soldier 7% Freefaller 5% Starfish “Yawning How does wakes you up” sleep time vary 16 hours INFANTS Yawning has long been associated with tiredness and was fabled to provide more with age? oxygen to a sleepy brain. 97 . Dreamstime Sadness. ADULTS “Teenagers What keeps the are lazy” UK up at night? Sleep habits start to change just before puberty. pushing back their natural bedtime by around two hours. The British Cheese Board conducted a study in an anger attempt to debunk this myth by feeding 20g (0. the participants fell asleep an average of 20 minutes earlier than when they tried either of the other two methods. or do nothing as they tried to fall asleep. 41% Foetus 15% Log 13% Yearner imagine a relaxing scene. There were no nightmares. New research suggests that we actually yawn to cool our brains down. apprehension. Waking a USA 6h22 sleepwalker can leave them confused and disorientated. and 67% 36% Discomfort Noise 13% 34% 19% Partner Temperature Light encouraging them to sleep in. and between the ages of ten and 25. When they imagined a relaxing scene. using a deep 9 hours TEENS intake of breath to keep the brain running at 7 hours its optimal temperature. What do Other people 14% “Cheese gives dream about? you nightmares” © Thinkstock. but strangely 75 per cent of men and 85 per 20% 1% cent of the women who ate Stilton reported vivid dreams.

vessels. but it can barrier helps to also transport maintain the delicate important organ. such as sugars. carrying nutrients and oxygen to tissues. One such Endothelial cell region. and taking away waste products. vessels are closely knitted together. Molecules that dissolve in fat can barrier. a third cell type. controlling the amount of blood that passes through the vessels. do preventing molecules need to get in and out of the brain. regulate the amount of of the next. fat-soluble into the tissues. including delivering treatments directly into © SPL. particularly important for sensing toxins. allow these to pass through. allowing chemicals like nicotine and the fluid around the brain. are able to pass across. and Researchers are working on ways to breach the pass them across. In most shape. which are cells that have the ability to contract like muscle. leaking between the cells and out Water. forming a seal that prevents any vessel cells carry important blood moving through the leakage through the cracks. keep everything out. keeps the brain or aggressive infections. and there from creeping through are areas where the barrier is weaker to the gaps. is These cells form the blood-vessel walls. and it is vital that it substances that might chemical balance that isn’t affected by wayward chemicals harm the brain. and even designing problem. take up important molecules. such as glucose. they can also transport These support cells are named for their star-like harmful chemicals and infections. Astrocyte but unfortunately. To prevent unwanted contaminants from entering. your body builds a biological wall called the blood-brain barrier. To keep your nerve functioning normally. helping to the surface of the blood. send out long feet that produce The cells lining the blood chemicals to help maintain the barrier. capillaries in the brain. chemicals are able to feet that release Leakage freely cross through the walls of the blood chemicals to help The barrier isn’t able to maintain the barrier. Web-like strands pin Transporter These cells are able to the membrane of one cell to the membrane Specialised transporters in contract. Most medicines are too big or too Trojan horse molecules to sneak treatments across. Phototake also slip through. like hormones. molecules. and make the hollow tubes you can probably guess what happens when that carry blood to and from the brain. Just outside the pericytes. 98 . THE BODY AT WORK The blood-brain Protecting the brain Take a closer look at the barrier This biological wall keeps barrier that shields your brain cells your brain safe and secure Blood vessels The blood carries vital Brain The blood-brain Y our brain is arguably your most nutrients. water and some neurological condition like depression or dementia. Some large molecules. Blood vessels are the highway of the human body. There is a making the blood vessels leaky. called the ‘area postrema’. but thankfully this does not molecules and some gases occur in the brain. Wrapped around these cells are pericytes. and have long parts of the body. disrupting the barrier by alcohol to easily pass into the brain. It wrapping around to is also known as the ‘vomiting centre’. your highly charged to cross over. though. that is activated! Crossing the barrier If nothing could cross the blood-brain barrier. In fact. gases pass through easily. the cells lining the blood vessels are closely knitted together by structures Pericyte called ‘tight junctions’. cells safe. and the cells are able to treating the brain directly is a real challenge. across the barrier. and if a patient has a brain cells would quickly die. the Tight junction astrocytes.

stores and releases some. such as skeletal problems. made elsewhere generate any hormones itself. © Alamy conditions of gigantism. meanwhile. It looks a relatively The master gland in context Where does this vitally important hormone insignificant part of the brain. intermediate lobe. antidiuretic hormone (ADH). which monitors hormones in the blood and stimulates the pituitary gland to produce/release the appropriate hormone(s) if levels fall too low. which decreases urine production by making the kidneys return more water to the blood. sections called lobes: the anterior. These work together with the hypothalamus. While this might not seem so of hormone which each bad. this feet and facial features growing produces seven kinds proportionally. The posterior lobe. of course. including the thin to a far-beyond-average height. growth hormone has a very noticeable effect in increasing height and bulk until adulthood. which include those that regulate the pituitary lobes to the hypothalamus. In a network of capillaries. sometimes the pituitary gland becomes hyperactive – often as a result of a benign Anterior lobe tumour – and produces excess growth Subdivided into three hormone. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) targets the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and controls metabolism.DID YOU KNOW? The blood-brain barrier was discovered when scientists found blue dye in the bloodstream didn’t stain the brain Pituitary gland up close What does this hormone factory do and why couldn’t we live without it? T he pea-sized pituitary gland is found at the base of the brain. growth and reproduction. doesn’t like ADH. but it also prompts the activity of directly controlled by this other glands like the ovaries and testes. gigantism is nearly always accompanied target specific organs. Pituitary stalk The anterior lobe produces seven important This is what connects hormones. the posterior and the intermediate – the latter of which is considered part of the anterior lobe in humans. by other health issues. it not Hypothalamus only releases hormones that control various The secretion of hormones from the pituitary gland is functions. 99 . treatment such endocrine glands that as drugs that inhibit growth hormone regulates metabolism production and surgical removal of the is in turn regulated by tumour can help avert the more serious the pituitary gland. but it plays a manufacturer sit within the human brain? role in many vital systems. Often referred to as the ‘master gland’. Gigantism in focus Capillaries The pituitary gland also produces growth Hormones are exchanged hormone. part of the brain. severe headaches and more Thyroid life-threatening conditions like heart One of the largest disorders. a person can grow parts. close to the hypothalamus. but stimulates testosterone production in men. If diagnosed early. while luteinising Posterior lobe hormone triggers ovulation in women and This doesn’t produce any hormones itself. which in adults controls the between the anterior lobe amount of muscle and fat in the body and and the hypothalamus via plays a key role in the immune system. which tells the uterus to contract during childbirth and also prompts milk production. In these cases. with hands. but stores two: in the hypothalamus. and oxytocin. which The pituitary gland comprises three links the nervous and endocrine systems. children. However.

Primary organs that make up the system are the mouth. Mastication (chewing) breaks down the food into smaller pieces Small intestine and saliva starts to break starch in these pieces of food Nutrients that have been into simpler sugars as they are swallowed and move released from food are into the oesophagus. aid the digestive process alongside mucosa cells. liver and glands in the small intestine. Once the food has passed absorbed into the blood through the oesophagus. where the final stage of chemical breakdown occurs through exposure to juices and enzymes released from the pancreas. small intestine. which line all hollow organs and produce a secretion which helps the food pass smoothly through them. THE BODY AT WORK Human digestion How does food get turned into energy? Large intestine T The colon. digestive juices that it produces. is then pushed into the large intestine where it will remain until your body expelled by a bowel movement. resulting waste material. Muscle contractions called peristalsis also help to push the food throughout the system. and the anus. Secondary organs. it passes into the stomach. These here with enzymes from the molecules then move into the small intestine slowly. and the waste can be safely expelled from the body. stomach. including fibre and old mucosa cells. liver and pancreas. which will break Further breaking down occurs down the food further into simpler molecules. Each organ has a different function so that the maximum amount of energy is gained from the food. such as the liver. “Nutrients are then digests absorbed through the intestinal walls food Many different organs Rectum This is where waste and transported are involved in the material (faeces) exits the digestive system. oesophagus. After all nutrients have been absorbed from food through the small intestine. around the body” digestion process 100 . It is an immensely complex from the digestive system system that stretches all the way between the mouth through the rectum. All the nutrients are then absorbed through the intestinal walls and transported around the body How through the blood stream. The whole digestive process starts when food is taken into the body through the mouth. pancreas and gall bladder. It stream so they can be can be stored in the stomach for up to four hours. is process food into energy that the human body where waste material will be stored until expelled can use to operate. transported to where they are needed in the body through The stomach will eventually mix the food with the the small intestine wall. large intestine and the anus. as the large he digestive system is a group of organs that intestine is also known.

where food is first stored after ingesting it. all of which have different can then process. is expelled by jejunum and ileum are the three distinct the body. Both the waste is stored small and large intestines can be further briefly until it divided into sections. The stomach is one of the most crucial breaking down starch.DID YOU KNOW? The human digestive system is between 20 to 30 feet long! How does our Mouth This is where food enters the body and first gets broken into more manageable pieces. sections of the small intestine and the cecum. Food is automatically passed down into the stomach by mucosa and peristalsis through the oesophageal sphincter. the large intestine is where waste is stored This is where until expelled through the anus. colon and rectum are the sections of the large intestine. called villi. The final section is the antrum. the fundus is the area above the corpus body. functions. the duodenum. 101 . and we see a and line the small intestine to increase variation of mucosa. Muscle Villi contractions and mucosa are essential for the © DK Images These cells are shaped like fingers intestine to work properly. Stomach These cells line all of the This is where food is broken stomach to aid movement of down to smaller molecules food throughout the organ. intestine works The intestine is a crucial part of the digestive system that is heavily involved in breaking down and absorbing nutrients released from ingested food The intestine splits into two distinct parts. The uppermost section is the cardia. the large intestine removes water and salt from the waste before it is expelled. The small intestine is where the food goes through final stages of digestion and nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream. As well as storing waste. which makes up the main area of the stomach where ingested food is mixed with stomach acid. which is in control of emptying the stomach contents into the small intestine. which can then be passed into the small intestine. containing the pyloric sphincter. The area at the top of the small intestine. Oesophagus The oesophagus passes the food into the stomach. organs within the digestive system This is where stomach The stomach’s function is to break down food acid is situated. into simple molecules before it moves into consequently it is the small intestine where nutrients are where food is broken down into molecules absorbed. At this stage. Stomach Duodenum acid and enzymes produced by the stomach aid this. present in surface area for nutrient absorption. and then mixed in the stomach with acids and juices by Mucosa automatic muscle contractions. The organ actually splits into four that the small intestine distinct parts. the small intestine and the large intestine. it Oesophageal sphincter This is the control stomach work? © DK Images has been broken down through mastication and saliva will be valve for letting food into the stomach. the lower intestine. Saliva is produced in the glands and starts to break down starch in the food. this is where most chemical How the breakdown occurs.

Lungs have between 300–500 happens in the mitochondria of cells. less energy and instead of producing and removing carbon dioxide. but this produces far getting oxygen to the body’s tissue. Nasal passage/ oral cavity lungs. Carbon dioxide where gas exchange occurs. as the to break this down after exertion has diaphragm and the heart are used to finished as the body has a so-called facilitate these actions. This Pulmonary is also the same when oxygen diffuses into tissue around the body. transportation and peripheral gas The body can also respire exchange. As air is drawn into the lungs at a rate of between 5. which is actually Carbon dioxide is one of the waste and around the body to where it’s needed. Mucus and cilia keep the lungs clean by catching dirt particles and sweeping them up the trachea. Oxygen is 1. gas lungs to then be exhaled. with the left lung being divided then used to break down glucose to These areas are where air into two lobes and the right into provide energy for the body. Oxygen and carbon dioxide transfer to and from the blood stream travels through the pharynx. and direct contact with blood. lactic acid is Ventilation and gas transportation produced. needs to be transported back into the pulmonary gas exchange. Diffusion artery of gases occurs because of differing pressures in the lungs and blood. Alveoli 10-20 breaths per minute while The alveoli are tiny little sacs which are situated resting. products of this. which is why we get also exits through these areas. oxygen can be transported into million alveoli. When blood has been oxygenated by vein How our the lungs. it is transferred around the body to where it is most needed in the bloodstream. Humans have two reaches tissues that need it. If the body is lungs work exercising. larynx. When air reaches the lungs. so does respiration in humans are the the heart rate to ensure that oxygen lungs. co2 as a byproduct. exchanging is passive. Each stage is crucial in anaerobically. The process of respiration is the transportation of oxygen from the air that surrounds us into the tissue cells of our body so that energy can be broken down T he primary organs used for increases and. consequently. and into one of the two main bronchial tubes. Respiration of oxygen breaks into a build up of this gas in our body that four main stages: ventilation. then the through the alveoli. oxygen is diffused into the bloodstream through the alveoli and carbon dioxide is diffused from the blood Pulmonary into the lungs to be exhaled. down the trachea. The body then takes time need energy to occur. whereas gas oxygen debt. This enters into the body so that three. THE BODY AT WORK Human respiration Respiration is crucial to an organism’s survival. the breathing rate Lungs are the major Capillary beds respiratory organ in humans 102 . through either your mouth or at the end of tubes inside the lungs and are in nose by diaphragm contraction.

Breathing is because of this lung expansion. where the lungs an individual takes food and heart are contractions in our body. an individual will die. The chest will be seen to rise ribs. Diaphragm This is a sheet of muscle situated Rib cage This is the bone © DK Images at the bottom of the rib cage which contracts and expands to structure which draw air into the lungs. Carbon through these tubes into the dioxide is removed and lungs. the diaphragm pulls air into interchanged at this point between the lungs the body through the lungs by a vacuum-like effect. Pharynx This is part of both the respiratory and digestive system. of energy. If oxygen supply is cut off for that illustrates this is: During heavy cardiovascular exercise. Tissue Oxygen arrives where energy is needed. where they pass oxygen is placed back through progressively smaller into the blood. where another © DK Images These tubes lead to either the gas exchange occurs at left or the right lung. The equation exertion has ceased. Lungs Deoxygenated blood arrives back at the 4. Carbon dioxide removed from the nasal passages expand to fill the enlarged chest cavity the blood stream and air that was and then passes into and air is pulled right through breathed in but not used is then the trachea. Air is pulled into When it contracts. situated. Bronchial tubes lungs. blood away from the lungs.DID YOU KNOW? Trained free-divers can hold their breath underwater for up to nine minutes 2. 6. anaerobic respiration temporarily. which contracts surrounded by various blood vessels. These provide protection where oxygen is needed to for the lungs and other break down glucose internal organs situated into a usable form in the chest cavity. constant basis. protects the organs. this method Oxygen is pumped around the body to be used is inefficient and creates an oxygen debt that in cells that need to break down glucose so that the body must repay after excess exercise or energy is provided for the tissue. Lungs lungs to the deflate back to a reduced size when breathing out. extra oxygen is required C6H12O6+6O2 = 6CO2+6H2O + energy 103 . and indeed is controlled by muscle branching. The space controlled by the diaphragm. and smaller tubes until they reach the alveoli. The rib cage can move slightly to Heart allow for lung The heart pumps oxygenated expansion. Ribs around the body to tissue. Alveoli are into their body. The lungs and the blood. and changes as the 3. oxygen and carbon dioxide are then diaphragm moves. A flap of connective tissue How do we breathe? The intake of oxygen into the body is complex Chest cavity called the epiglottis This is the space that closes over the trachea Breathing is not something that we have to alveoli at the ends. Why do we need oxygen? We need oxygen to live as it is crucial for the release of energy within the body Although we can release our energy through more than a few minutes. Air passes the alveoli. Trachea and expands on a regular. which are the final is protected by the to stop choking when think about. the maze of tubes that expelled from the lungs by make up the diaphragm expansion. and a gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs so © DK Images that aerobic respiration can occur within cells.

and and can even be fatal. Dehydration What happens if we don’t Dangers of dehydration How does a lack of water vary from mild to fatal? drink enough? 1% Mild Thirst is triggered by a concentration of particles J in the blood. through evaporation. cats and sheep only have duct This is where the Deliver messages to Eccrine sweat glands are controlled by the eccrine glands in specific areas – such as paws and Secreted sweat majority of the gland’s glands to produce sympathetic nervous system and. resilient as others. its released directly absorbed moisture evaporates. body. Hydration is all about finding the 8% perfect balance. a salty. mammals such as dogs. sweating and sugar levels going haywire. it can be fatal if untreated with IV 12% fluids containing electrolytes. More Dehydration levels than it loses. which then filters through the skin’s pores to the surface. if active over primary source of excreted sweat. dry mouth and risk. nutrients such as may also suffer. it’s glandular… S weat is produced by dedicated sweat glands. taken with a scanning electron microscope Why do we sweat? As your doctor may tell you. act as the only secreting under emotional stresses. the average Enzymatic activity is slowed. this is known Delirium consciousness become much more as water intoxication. is necessary. dehydration is a frequent work harder. Too much hydration is just as harmful as well 9% Fatal Loss of Here symptoms as drinking too little. Beads of sweat from the pores in human skin. If an individual has too much liquid in 10% ? extreme and cognitive abilities their body. Both the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands The former regulates body temperature. water-based substance to the skin’s surface. Certain Secretary Secretary part Nerve fibres than those involved with body dehydration. via the secretary duct. when the lips – warranting the need for them to pant in order travels up to the secretary cells can sweat when the body internal temperature of the body rises. indicating a ust by breathing. the eccrine gland and the apocrine gland. our systems and it performs susceptible as their bodies are not as limitless functions. Water is integral in maintaining Babies and the elderly are most 4% constipation. toxins 2% Moderate person loses ten cups of accumulate more easily and your water a day. The mineral balance in recent research is undecided as to your body becomes upset with salt how much is exactly needed. It has been Fever Racing pulse Lack of sweat Essentially. dehydration strikes recommended to have eight glasses 5% Severe when your body takes in less fluid of water or two litres a day. electrolytes and sodium are diluted and the body suffers. with the latter the majority of the animal’s body. storing and then transferring © DK Images There are two types of sweat gland in the human excess heat into the atmosphere. Your cells will 11% Risk of heat exhaustion or begin to bloat and expand to such a heat stroke is prevalent point that they can even burst. temperature rises. and urinating. a body. need to hydrate. 104 . 6% Dehydration is Other symptoms now so severe include sunken eyes. rather primary thermoregulatory device. and is a mechanism used primarily by the This liquid then cools the skin and the body body to reduce its internal temperature. they secrete to control their temperature. skin via this duct. 7% that IV fluid Too much H2O? replacement low blood pressure and dark urine. THE BODY AT WORK Pore Skin © Science Photo Library Sweat is Once the sweat is on the skin’s surface. and is the only appear in mammals and. be located. into the dermis transferring the heat into the atmosphere. With H2O making up breathing can even become more Other symptoms as much as 75 per cent of our difficult as the lungs are having to 3% Dizziness Dry skin Headaches at this level include fatigue.

DID YOU KNOW? There are lots of products on the market to help reduce the appearance of scars

Why does skin scar?
Scars are made up of the same proteins as normal skin,
so why do they look so different?

S
cars are a natural part of the healing form. The most common is a flat scar – these tend to surrounding skin, and are hard, shiny and hairless.
process, with most of us having some form of initially be dark and raised, but will fade and flatten The reason behind why keloids form is poorly
them on our body. The reason why scars look over time as the scar matures. A hypertrophic scar understood, but it is known that people with darker
different compared to normal skin stems from their can be identified by its red appearance and elevated skin tones are more likely to form keloids.
proteins’ composition. nature. This scar type typically forms when the Pitted scars are generally formed from acne or
Normal skin benefits from a weaved protein dermis is damaged, and this can become itchy and chicken pox, and tend to be numerous in areas
structure, whereas the proteins in scars are aligned painful over time. where these conditions were prevalent. Scar
in one direction. This results in a different Keloid scars are by far the most extreme scar type contractures, meanwhile, usually form after a burn,
appearance compared to normal, healthy skin. Scars when compared to the others. Unlike most scars, and are caused by the skin shrinking and tightening.
are smoother due to a lack of sweat glands and hair they extend beyond the confines of the original The severity of scars depends on their bodily
follicles, so they can often become itchy. There are injury and are formed due to excessive scar tissue location; for example, if a scar formed around a joint
also a number of different types of scar that can being produced. Keloid scars are raised above the it can lead to movement being restricted.

Clotting Epithelial cells Newly formed scar
Clotting occurs due to a combination of By rapidly multiplying, the Once the newly formed epithelium
proteins in the blood, which help a scab to epithelial cells fill in over the thickens, the area contracts and forms
form, protecting the wound from infection. newly formed granulation tissue. a scar on the skin’s surface.

illustration by Nicholas Forder
Inflammatory chemicals White blood cells Granulation tissue Scar tissue
The body recognises that it has sustained To help fight off potential The new granulation tissue Once fully formed, this tissue is known as scar
an injury, and white blood cells release infection, white blood cells replaces the clotted blood, and tissue. Due to excessive collagen production this
inflammatory chemicals to help protect seep into the area and flock helps restore the blood supply to tissue often lacks in flexibility, which can lead to pain
the area. to the wound. the damaged area. and dysfunction.

Can scars be treated? A neat, even scar is the best
you can hope for even with
today’s technology
Scars cannot be stopped from forming, but there This can be used to change the shape of the scar,
are various treatments available to help reduce however there is a risk of worsened scarring if the
their appearance. Silicone gels or sheets have surgery is unsuccessful.
been shown to effectively minimise scar There are also certain steps that can be taken
formation and are often used when people have to help reduce the risk of an unsightly scar
been burnt. These must be applied or worn forming from an injury. By cleaning dirt and
throughout the scar’s maturation phase to dead tissue away from the wound, you are
maximise their efficacy. Corticosteroid injections increasing the chance that the scar will form
can be used to reduce any inflammation neatly. It is also vital that you don’t pick or scratch
© Dreamstime

(swelling) around the scar and to flatten it as well. the scar, as this will slow down its formation,
A slightly riskier treatment for scars is surgery. resulting in a more obvious appearance.

105

THE BODY AT WORK

How your immune
system works

Physical
defences
Human anatomy subscribes to the notion
that good fences make good neighbours.
Your skin, made up of tightly packed cells
and an antibacterial oil coating, keeps
most pathogens from ever setting foot in
body. Your body’s openings are well-
fortified too. Pathogens that you inhale
face a wall of mucus-covered membranes
in your respiratory tract, optimised to
trap germs. Pathogens that you digest end
up soaking in a bath of potent stomach
acid. Tears flush pathogens out of your

Your body is locked in a constant eyes, dousing bacteria with a harsh
enzyme for good measure.

war against a viscous army
I
t’s true: while you’re simply sitting around over host cells and replicate inside them; and fungi, Just about everything in our environment is
watching TV, trillions and trillions of foreign a type of plant life. teeming with these microscopic intruders, including
invaders are launching a full scale assault on the Bacteria and viruses are by far the very worst you. The bacteria in your stomach alone outnumber
trillions of cells that constitute ‘you’. Collectively offenders. Dangerous bacteria release toxins in the all the cells in your body, ten-to-one. Yet, your
known as pathogens, these attackers include body that cause diseases such as E. coli, anthrax, microscopic soldiers usually win against pathogens,
bacteria, single-celled creatures that live to eat and and the black plague. The cell damage from viruses through a combination of sturdy barriers, brute
reproduce; protists, larger single-cell organisms; causes measles, the flu and the common cold, among force, and superior battlefield intelligence,
viruses, packets of genetic information that take numerous other diseases. collectively dubbed the immune system.

106

DID YOU KNOW? Dr Karl Landsteiner first identified the major human blood groups – A, B, AB and O – in 1901

The adaptive immune system
Fighting the good fight, and white blood 2. Bacterium antigen
These distinctive molecules allow your immune system to
cells are right on the front line… recognise that the bacterium is something other than a body cell.

When a pathogen is tough, wily, or disarm a specific pathogen or bind 4. Engulfed
numerous enough to survive to it, marking it as a target for other bacterium 3. Macrophage 1. Bacterium
During the initial These white blood Any bacteria that enter
various non-specific defences, white blood cells. When T-cells cells engulf and digest your body have
inflammation reaction,
it’s down to the incredibly adaptive find their target, they lock on and any pathogens they characteristic antigens
a macrophage engulfs
immune system to clean up the release toxic chemicals that will the bacterium. come across. on their surface.
mess. The key forces in the destroy it. T-cells are especially
adaptive immune system are adept at destroying your body’s
white blood cells which are called cells that are infected with a
lymphocytes. Unlike their dangerous virus.
macrophage cousins, these This entire process takes several
lymphocytes are engineered to days to get going and may take
attack only one specific type of even longer to conclude. All the
pathogen. There are two types of while, the raging battle can make
lymphocytes: B-cells and T-cells. you feel terrible. Fortunately, the
These cells join the action when immune system is engineered to
macrophages pass along learn from the past. While your
information about the invading body is producing new B-cells and
pathogen, through chemical T-cells to fight the pathogens, it
messages called interleukins. After also produces memory cells – 7. Non-
engulfing a pathogen, a copies of the B-cells and T-cells, matching B-cells
macrophage communicates which stay in the system after the Other B-cells, engineered to
attack other pathogens,
details about the pathogen’s pathogen is defeated. The next
don’t recognise the antigen.
antigens – telltale molecules that time that pathogen shows up in
actually characterise particular your body, these memory cells
pathogens. Based on this help launch a counter-attack much 5. Presented
information, the immune system more quickly. Your body can wipe
bacterium antigen
After engulfing the bacterium, the
identifies specific B-cells and out the invaders before any macrophage ‘presents’ the
T-cells equipped to recognise and infection takes hold. In other bacterium’s distinctive antigens,
battle the pathogen. Once they are words, you develop immunity. communicating the presence of
successfully identified, these cells Vaccines accomplish exactly the the specific pathogen to B-cells.
rapidly reproduce, assembling an same thing as this by simply
army of cells that are equipped to giving you just enough pathogen 6. Matching B-cell
take down the attacker. exposure for you to develop The specific B-cell that
9. Memory cell
The matching B-cell also
The B-cells flood your body with memory cells, but not enough to recognises the antigen, and
replicates to produce
antibodies, molecules that either make you sick. can help defeat the pathogen,
memory cells, which will
receives the message.
rapidly produce copies of

How B-cells
itself if the specific

Non-specific attack
bacteria ever returns.

defences
As good as your physical defence system is, pathogens
B-cells target and
destroy specific
do creep past it regularly. Your body initially responds
with counterattacks known as non-specific defences, bacteria and invaders
so named because they don’t target a specific type
of pathogen.
After a breech – bacteria rushing in through a cut, for 11. Phagocyte
White blood cells
example – cells release chemicals called inflammatory
called phagocytes
mediators. This triggers the chief non-specific defence, recognise the antibody
known as inflammation. Within minutes of a breach, marker, engulf the
your blood vessels dilate, allowing blood and other fluid bacteria, and
to flow into the tissue around the cut. digest them.
The rush of fluid in inflammation carries various types
of white blood cells, which get to work destroying 10. Antibodies
The plasma cells release
intruders. The biggest and toughest of the bunch are
antibodies, which
macrophages, white blood cells with an insatiable disable the bacteria by
appetite for foreign particles. When a macrophage detects latching on to their 8. Plasma cell
a bacterium’s telltale chemical trail, it grabs the intruder, antigens. The antibodies The matching B-cell
engulfs it, takes it apart with chemical enzymes, and also mark the bacteria replicates itself,
spits out the indigestible parts. A single macrophage can for destruction. creating many
swallow up about 100 bacteria before its own digestive plasma cells to fight
chemicals destroy it from within. all the bacteria of this
type in the body.

107

THE BODY AT WORK

Your tonsils can help 1. Tonsils
fight bacteria Lymphoid tissue loaded with
lymphocytes, which attack
bacteria that get into the body
through your nose or mouth.

© Ed Uthman, MD
2. Left subclavian vein
One of two large veins that serve
as the re-entry point for lymph
© Klem 2007

returning to the bloodstream.

3. Right lymphatic duct 6. Lymph
Passageway leading from lymph vessels node cluster
to the right subclavian vein. Located along lymph vessels

Disorders of 4. Right subclavian vein
throughout the body, lymph nodes
filter lymph as it makes its way back
into the bloodstream.

the immune The second of the two subclavian
veins, this one taking the opposite 7. Left
system path to its twin.

5. Spleen
lymphatic duct
Passageway leading from
lymph vessels to the left
Who watches An organ that houses white
blood cells that attack
subclavian vein.

the watchmen? pathogens in the
8. Thymus gland
The immune system is a powerful set of body’s bloodstream.
Organ that provides area for
defences, so when it malfunctions, it lymphocytes produced by bone
can do as much harm as a disease. marrow to mature into
Allergies are the result of an specialised T-cells.
overzealous immune system. In
response to something that is relatively 9. Thoracic duct
benign, like pollen for example, the The largest lymph vessel
immune system will trigger excessive in the body.
measures to expel the pathogen. In
extreme cases, allergies cause
anaphylactic shock, which is a
potentially deadly drop in blood
pressure, sometimes accompanied by 11. Peyer’s patch
Nodules of lymphoid tissue supporting
breathing difficulty and loss of
white blood cells that battle pathogens
consciousness. In autoimmune in the intestinal tract.
disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis,
the immune system fails to recognise 12. Bone marrow
the body’s own cells and attacks them.
10. Lymph vessels The site of all white blood
Lymph collects in tiny capillaries,
cell production.
which expand into larger vessels.
Skeletal muscles move lymph
through these vessels, back into

Lymph
the bloodstream.

The nodes
explained
lymphatic Lymph nodes
filter out
pathogens
system
The lymphatic system is a network
through your
lymph vessels
Your immune system depends
of organs and vessels that collects on these .04-1-inch swellings
lymph – fluid that has drained from to fight all manner of
the bloodstream into bodily tissues pathogens. As lymph makes
– and returns it to your bloodstream. It its way through a network of
© DK Images

also plays a key role in your immune fibres in the node, white blood
In an allergic reaction, the body may resort to system, filtering pathogens from lymph cells filter it, destroying any
sneezing to expel a fairly harmless pathogen and providing a home-base for pathogens they find.
disease-fighting lymphocytes.

108

approximately 33 million people worldwide were living with HIV or AIDS 1. Like other deadly The nucleoid contains viruses. shielding Large white blood cells that Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from fibres that surround the engulf and destroy any cultured lymphocyte. This image has been coloured to highlight the 8 detected pathogens most important features. Valve detected pathogens 11 6 A structure that prevents 8. Cell wall infect other cells. Cell membrane The cell’s interior barrier Inside these Bacteria microorganisms anatomy 1 Major points of the lymph node 3 1. Nucleoid transmitted through bodily fluids. If enough T-cells are integrity lost. the body then becomes highly susceptible to a range of different infections. To the left is a look at bacteria anatomy… What is HIV… … and how does it affect the immune system? The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus (a virus carrying ribonucleic acid. Home of all material 5. Capsule 11. genetic material Specifically. Reticular fibres This is the site of Divides the lymph node lymphocyte multiplication into individual cells and maturation 6. Capsule Protects the inner contents Flagella swish for movement enemy: 2. Flagella Know your 3. Sinus 2 vessel A channel that slows the 4 The vessel that carries flow of lymph. or RNA as it’s known). Ribosomes outside the nucleoid These help with protein manufacturing 7. Lymphocyte leaving the lymph node The T-cells. HIV destroys the host cell. Macrophage 8 8 The protective. it Provides structural steadily weakens the immune system. and the virus copies go on to 6. there are trillions of the single-celled creatures crawling on and in you. the most populous form of life on Earth. Right now. B-cells and 7 natural killer cells that 4. Vein Passageway for blood 9. Multiple round bumps on the cell surface lymph node represent sites of assembly and budding of virions.DID YOU KNOW? In 2008. HIV infects cells with CD4 molecules on their surface. Cytoplasm immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Outgoing lymph 7. which includes infection-fighting helper T-cells. 109 . As the virus destroys helper T-cells. Artery Supply of incoming blood fight infection 9 for the lymph node 10. In fact. giving filtered lymph out of the macrophages the 5 lymph node opportunity to destroy any 2. Incoming lymph lymph from flowing back vessel into the lymph node A vessel that carries lymph 10 into the lymph node 3. HIV invades cells and multiplies rapidly inside. Germinal centre 5. Pili The pili anchor to cell surfaces Bacteria Bacteria are the smallest and. 4. a condition known as acquired 8. by far. they constitute about four pounds of your total body weight.

THE BODY AT WORK The cell cycle Inside one of the body’s most vital processes T he continuous cycle of cell division and growth is essential to all life on Earth. It then makes copies of its chromosomes. A p53 mutation is the most Chromosomes The nuclear envelope In this phase. mitosis and cytokinesis. fibres extend from attached and the apart. Cell duplication Cancer and the cycle Explore the key stages of mitosis now If the cell cycle goes wrong. the membrane surrounding the nucleus breaks down. of the cell. cells can reproduce at a rapid rate and tumours can form. Without it. The cell cycle of prokaryotic cells (those without a nucleus) is slightly different. no organism on the planet would be able to reproduce or develop. doubling the amount of DNA in the cell and ensuring the conditions are right to begin the next phase. Chemo. each chromatid. On the rare occasions this process fails. becoming breaks down and spindle spindle fibres are pull the chromosomes case is Li Fraumeni syndrome. In mitosis. the spindle fibres frequent one leading to cancer. which are pulled to opposite sides of the cell by tiny spindle fibres.and radiotherapy work by destroying these Prophase Prometaphase Metaphase Anaphase mutated cells. It all depends on the levels of proteins in the cycle. where a thicker and shorter. in which the cell duplicates its genetic material before doubling in size and splitting in two. giving the signal for the next stage in the cycle to begin. with the genetic defect in p53 leads to a high Sister chromatids form either side of the cell to chromosomes are chromatids moving to frequency of cancer in those affected. each with their own nucleus and organelles. cancerous tumours are a possible consequence. Meiosis is another type of cell division and is concerned with sexual reproduction as opposed to the asexual organic growth of tissue in mitosis. all the Now. when the chromosomes attach to the middle of arranged in a line along opposite ends or ‘poles’ replicate themselves. which then exposes the chromosomes. 110 | How It Works WWW. Bacteria and other prokaryotes divide via a process called binary fi ssion. An extreme condense. A new nuclear envelope then forms around the chromosomes at each end of the cell. These act as a checkpoint between the phases of division. This provides time for the protein to repair the DNA as the cells are then killed off and the cycle begins anew.HOWITWORKSDAILY. During cytokinesis the cytoplasm splits in half to create two ‘daughter’ cells.COM . The cell cycle consists of three main stages: interphase. the cell expands and makes the new proteins and organelles it will need for division. the equator of the cell. A protein called p53 halts the process if DNA is damaged. During interphase. The cycle is managed by regulating enzymes known as CDKs.

Does it occur in eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells? Only in eukaryotic cells. cells so slowly? One of its many properties is the ability to reproduce. They will divide under these What are the different parts of the cycle? circumstances so you can study the cell cycle away The other major part occurs before mitosis and is the from the complexities of an animal or plant. This is one reason why between the birth of the cell and its division into two. reached their end. Meiosis uses gametes for fertilisation in process such as the cell cycle. This is called the What are the differences between plant and S-phase or DNA synthetic phase [which is part of animal cell cycles? interphase]. This [process] is How do they contribute to the cell cycle? simply the copying of DNA and then a much less CDK is a type of enzyme and my research group was obvious separation of the copied DNA into the two involved in discovering that they were the major cells that have divided. BBC. It’s got fantastic genetics and genomics. not very much. cell cycle but it is not mitosis.DID YOU KNOW? A common theory is that every living cell is descended from a single ancestral cell from 3-4bn years ago Every step of the cell division cycle is vital for life as we know it An expert’s view Paul Nurse. © Dreamstime. CDK brings about the S-phase and mitosis and controls them. process in which the DNA that makes up the chromosomes replicates itself.000. undergo the same processes but are subject to different overall controls. to divide. They do both separates and divides. Corbis Telophase Cytokinesis Paul Nurse is also the The two new sets of The cytoplasm divides former director of Cancer chromosomes form and two or more Research UK and president groups at each pole and daughter cells are of the Royal Society a new envelope forms produced. WWW. It then takes away certain proteins as part of divisions so the number of DNA and chromosomes a regulatory system for a variety of biological are halved. Mitosis and around each as the the cell cycle have now spindle disappears. In prokaryotic cells there is a You discovered CDK (Cyclin-dependent kinase). It cures for cancer? only has 5. which reproduces How can the cycle help understand potential in much the same way as more complex cells in us. Cells change at varying rates and sometimes some The cell cycle is a series of processes that occur nerve cells barely divide at all. in meiosis there are two M-phases or protein.000 genes compared to our 25. Nobel Prize winner and director of the Francis Crick Institute. Thinkstock. cycle. chats about cell cycle What is the cell cycle? Why do skin cells divide so quickly and nerve The cell is the basic unit of life for all living things. Why did you use yeast in your experiments? Yeast is a very simple eukaryote. Dr.HOWITWORKSDAILY. Crudely blocking the cell cycle is a problem as which allow you to investigate complicated a therapy as our body is full of other cells that have processes like the cell cycle. It is a biochemical mechanism that breaks down However. It is simply a way of growing cells from animals and plants in test tubes. The S-phase replicates and mitosis Fundamentally. works. It To be able to understand how cancer. it is much easier to get skin Mitosis describes what happens near the end of the cells to divide. The replicated chromosomes are separated from each other into opposite ends of the cell just What is tissue culture and why is it important? before the cell divides. It is then used at the diploid cells in animal and plants. end of the cycle to destroy excess protein and prepare for the next cycle.COM How It Works | 111 . What is the difference between mitosis and meiosis and does cell division occur in both? What is proteolysis and how does that Meiosis is usually considered to be the mitotic full mechanism help the cell cycle? cycle and also leads towards cell reproduction. Because the body has to deal What is mitosis? with cuts and abrasions. Cecil Fox. it is difficult to regenerate the nervous system when it becomes damaged. works you simplifies cell division so is extremely convenient to have to be able to understand how the cell cycle study. regulators in the cycle.

it is a collection of embryonic as Braxton-Hicks. Movement Weight Fetus moves around Week 16: 140g to encourage muscle Week 20: 340g Sweating development.5cm Week 20: 25cm sweat more. and the neck of her cells no bigger than a pinhead. THE BODY AT WORK Human pregnancy Nine months of change and growth P regnancy is a unique period in a Many demands are put on the mother’s Weight gain The average woman gains 12. Vernix By 20 weeks. At week 24 it can suck its thumb (lanugo) grows over the fetal body. teeth the mother will be prone to sickness and mood swings due to and hiccup. By 20 weeks. tiredness. OD ER VO RG LA FLUID LUM “At first. which breasts and stretch marks. it is a collection of embryonic E cells no bigger than a pinhead” FIRST TRIMESTER (0–12 weeks) SECOND TRIMESTER (13–27 weeks) This begins after the last menstrual period. of the mother with medical support.7 UND NIOTIC ING T HE FFLUID 1. when an egg is The fetus grows rapidly and its organs Hair and teeth released and fertilised. heart rate and breathing also allows the conditions in the uterus increase to cope with the growing H RT (womb) to become suitable for the growth demands of BI AT ST (FO ORA BY of the fetus. there is an intricate heartburn.8k four the embryo forms the brain. The lining of the uterus. diet and the When it occurs. the TFE gT ED ING 4.4 HE ER PL cushion of fluid. By week uterus begins to soften and thin out. trigger the uterus to go into labour.2k cord and heart inside the newly fluid. sickness. An increase in Length blood circulation Weight Length Week 16: 18cm causes mother to 10g 5. including the age.0 3k ) and enables the development of the baby. Protected by this lungs to soften. mother feels sudden contractions known kg 3.2kg kg E filled amniotic sac. increased appetite and muscle pre-pregnancy weight and size of the person) change in the balance of the oestrogen cramps. waxy 4 x trimester images © Science Photo Library substance covers the skin. the fetus. and can live independently start forming in the jaw and hormonal changes. protecting it from the surrounding amniotic fluid. hair grows. spinal Meanwhile. be felt. to pump blood movements. At first. thickens As the date of labour approaches. 0. it becomes recognisably inflate when it takes its first breath of air. R B GE BA RE OF HE AS FAT rather than being discharged. this white. Her blood causes the cessation of menstruation and sugar levels. the lungs of the fetus fill with kg g SURRO AM 0.5kg woman’s life that brings about body and she is likely to experience during pregnancy. AY AC EL EN TRA S CL TA ST TION human and enters the fetal stage by the Finally. This consists of… (These figures vary according to several factors physical and emotional changes.9 0. chemical signals from the fetus US EA BLO M BR RETEN eighth week. fine hair resulting embryo to develop into a fetus. race. Sound and light The fetus will respond to light and is able to hear sounds such as the mother’s voice. Head Week 9 Heart Week 16 Movement Face begins to All the internal By week 16 the eyes look human and organs are formed can move and the the brain is and the heart is able whole fetus makes vigorous developing rapidly. During this period. This substance enables the RU S ETUS kg 1. surfactant. lower-back pain. making them able to UT OF T g EX 0. as well as the enlargement of her and progesterone hormones. 112 . It takes about nine weeks for the mature. around its body. By week 20 its movements can At 16 weeks.

the mother and fetus. Two carry carbon dioxide and waste from the fetus. Fat begins “The three the fetus by 24 weeks causes compression of due to less room in uterus.5cm bulge in the centre. flat oval shape with a 2. Umbilical cord Consists of three blood vessels. Week 24: 650g The head Week 28: 1. Maternal surface Blood from the mother is absorbed and transferred to the fetal surface. respond to sounds and changes in light. Fetal surface Blood vessels radiate out from the umbilical cord and penetrate the placenta. excretion of waste products.250g can move Weight at 28 weeks 1. She will find it difficult to eat a lot.DID YOU KNOW? 200 extra calories a day are needed in mid-pregnancy. 113 . When mature it is a 22cm diameter.500g Length and the eyes Sleep patterns Week 24: 34cm can open Length Fetus will sleep and wake in Week 28: 38cm and see. which is 10 per cent more than the usual The placenta The placenta is an essential interface between Wharton’s jelly The umbilical blood vessels are coated with this jelly-like substance and protected by a tough yet flexible outer membrane. blood vessels Week 24 Hands Week 32 radiate from The fetus can move its hands to touch the centre to its umbilical cord at 24 weeks. in Weight Head preparation for labour. the fetus can recognise and The increased size of By the 28th week. THIRD TRIMESTER (28–40 weeks) Breathlessness Movement Now almost at full term. nutrition. these villous structures penetrate the placenta and link to 15 to 20 lobes on the maternal surface. The surface is covered with the thin amnion membrane. Under pressure Pressure on the diaphragm and other organs causes indigestion and heartburn in the mother. Position Head positions itself downwards. the fetus will to be stored under the skin and the lungs are the very last organs to mature. The three intertwined blood vessels from the cord radiate from the centre to the edges of the placenta. 41cm 20-minute cycles. intertwined rib cage and discomfort for mother. the uterus has risen to a position between the navel and the breastbone. The five major functions of the placenta as tasked with respiration. bacterial protection and the production of © Science Photo Library vital hormones. Placenta body Is firmly attached to the inside of the mother’s uterus. Similar to tree roots. the other supplies oxygen and nutrients from the mother. wriggle if it feels uncomfortable. the edges of the plancenta” Position By 28 weeks.

usually occurs on the fifth day after fertilisation. At this time. An egg. The fertilised egg. A complex network of nerves and blood vessels are developing. the the blastocyst. is released by an fertilisation (IVF) is a form of assisted reproductive ovary and is fertilised by a sperm. In vitro intercourse. one either side of her place around day 14. The resultant embryo is Ovulated egg female’s Fallopian tubes. fertilisation is counted as having taken two ovaries. a sperm cell primitive streak. Fertilisation and IVF explained Natural fertilisation takes place via sexual where it implants into the uterine lining. among other things. development is rapid. If eggs are not the ovary. with only thousands surviving to make the journey to meet the egg. they die. the quite slow. Fertilised egg Only one sperm will be successful. the single-celled zygote splits into or outer coat. On its way. known manually introduced to the uterus. removed from the ovaries and mixed the first stages in the development of Sperm with sperm in a laboratory culture dish. millions of sperm are Fertilisation takes place in this dish. and fertilise the ovum. the zygote blastocyst burrows into the uterine wall for nourishment in divides to make a clump of 32 cells. two. which is an embryo that has reached the embryo is known as a foetus and increasingly looks like a stage where it has two different cell types. not on day one. The surface cells. where it The sperm cells are as a single-celled zygote. The whole process from ejaculation to fertilisation can take less than an hour. ejaculated into the vagina. four to eight that nourishes the baby. At the start of week 3 a groove will outer shell and the just before or after an egg form towards what will become the other sperm will let has been released from tail end of the embryo. If the early embryo splits into two clumps before this. On contact. jaws. By the end of the eighth week. The embryo’s eyes have formed and the ears are becoming visible. The spleen and pancreas are beginning to develop in Discover how a fertilised egg transforms into the central part of the gut. kidneys and major tissues will all grow In vitro (‘in glass’) from this. The thymus and parathyroid glands develop from an embryo and eventually a new human being the third pharyngeal arch. uterus. throat and neck appear embryo develop? between the head and body. which passes slowly along its Fallopian tube towards the womb. The journey along the fallopian tube is cell mass. then the two cells double to four. weeks five to eight. harden its intercourse during the Week 3 days of her monthly cycle. as major organs By the time the womb cavity is reached. then travels to the uterus. Blastocyst formation stage. while growth continues. The neural During sexual intercourse. groove will go on to form the spine. known as the inner and so on. If a Ovary woman has an average 28-day menstrual A woman usually has two tubes and cycle. Every month one of the ovaries releases an egg. the nervous system. Every cell in the morula The embryonic stage begins in the fifth week. will become the foetus itself. Fertilisation technology. develops in the same way as a natural conception. known as the morula a process known as implantation. 114 . where the sperm nucleus is combined occurs when the sperm and egg unite in one of the with an egg cell in a lab. it may develop into identical twins. It is now referred to as cells will also appear. the placenta as paddle-shaped buds. mini human. this is the go. the cell cluster and systems begin to emerge. The Fallopian tube egg will then lose its If a woman has sexual attraction. travel to the Fallopian tube the primitive streak. A new layer of tissue fertilised within 12 from her partner could – the mesoderm – will develop from hours of release. From could still become part of the growing embryo. Cells from the ectodermal IVF is the process by which eggs are tissue create the neural fold and plate. the inner cells. THE BODY AT WORK How does an Week 5 Pharyngeal arches that develop in the face. The spinal cord. The arms A and legs begin to emerge fter fertilisation. chemically attracted to the egg and attach themselves in an attempt to break Uterus (womb) through the outer coat. the first bone becomes hollow and filled with fluid. or ovum. will become.

The gonads. At the end of the eight-week period. the lungs are developing too. the brain has grown so rapidly that the head is extremely large in proportion to the rest of the body.DID YOU KNOW? In 2009. where the unborn baby develops. The head and tail fold downward into a curve as a result of the embryo developing more rapidly from the front. The embryo. while the inner cell mass becomes the foetus. Week 2 The inner cells of the embryo divide into two layers: the ectoderm and the endoderm. such as the lungs and kidneys.008in) in diameter. The amniotic The body of this foetus is really taking sac starts to form and fill with fluid shape. also starts to develop. Week 8 Between the fourth and eighth weeks. which will soon form a protective bubble around the embryo. the is a disc-shaped mass of cells. the embryo becomes a foetus. At this stage in development. ribs and muscles of the torso begins. The amniotic sac. Within one week of conception. All being well. will now start to develop into ovaries or testes. fertilised egg. Amniotic fluid plays a vital role in the development of internal organs. Within (0. Week 1 now completely embedded in the womb. The fluid also guards against infection to either the foetus or the uterus. the limb muscles are beginning to form. known as a blastocyst.2mm will make its way to the uterus. A basic spinal cord and gut now run from the head to the tail. days the cells will arrange themselves into two masses: the outer coat will become the placenta. Week 4 The kidneys are forming from mesodermal tissue and the mouth is emerging. The tissues and organs of the body will eventually develop from these. knees and toes are really taking shape. The length of the embryo is now 7-8mm (0. The embryo’s heart has established a regular rhythm and the stomach is in place. the developing embryo will settle into the folds of the womb lining. Ears. this will later develop into the diaphragm. measuring roughly 0. nose. or sex glands. safe within the amniotic sac 3x © SPL within days of conception. It’s filled with a colourless fluid – mainly made of water – that helps to cushion the foetus and provides fluids which enable the baby to breathe and swallow. The heart tube bends into a U shape and blood begins to circulate around the body. The elbows. Inside the chest cavity. fingers and toes are just beginning to appear. Week 6 42 tissue blocks have formed along the embryo’s back and the development of the backbone. almost two per cent of all babies born in the UK were conceived as a result of IVF Journey of an embryo The first eight weeks is an immense time of change for a just-conceived human Week 7 The embryo’s eyelids begin to form from a single membrane that remains fused for several days. What is amniotic fluid? The amniotic sac is a bag of fluid in the uterus. The chest cavity will be separated from the abdominal cavity by a band of muscles.3in) . 115 . fingers. it also maintains a constant temperature.

Each neuron consists of a cell body and (post-synaptic neurons. is converted into neurotransmitters. Dendrites are receiving neuron open. your heart rate will training prior to scaling mountain peaks. the body. the effects of high altitude sickness as they attempt legs and feet may start to swell as the body attempts to acclimatise to the change in atmosphere that to retain fluid by holding more water and sodium in happens at this height.524 and 3. At this level. Between around 1. ion channels in the branching structures known as axons and dendrites. headaches.505 metres (5. causing an electrical impulse. The most common symptom is actually shortness Difficulty sleeping is also common. the nerve The cell membranes of message must be converted into a chemical message capable of jumping the the sending neuron Ongoing message gap. so dehydration is a real threat. electrical properties of the neuron membranes. nausea and loss of appetite. high altitudes can cells. Nerve impulse Ions A nerve impulse is initiated The flow of these charged when a stimulus (change in particles is the basis of the internal or external the propagation of a environment) alters the nerve impulse. The vesicles travel end of the axon. while axons transmit the positive ions to flow into the by a fluid-filled gap called information away by passing electrical signals across the synapse. THE BODY AT WORK What causes High altitude sickness can have a severe physical effect on the human body. At these heights. Nerve messages can travel along neurons as electrical nerve Postsynaptic impulses caused by the movement of lots of electrically charged ion membrane particles. but how do they pass them on? Presynaptic membrane T he nervous system involves a complex collection of nerve cells called Synaptic cleft neurons. and symptoms of breath. where they fuse with the presynaptic membrane and release the neurotransmitters. 116 . which is due to a lack of atmospheric of high altitude sickness can get progressively worse pressure. from the sending neuron to the synapse. How does a synapse work? Neuron The ‘sending’ nerve cell contains a nucleus. each neuron has multiple branch-like Axon extensions called dendrites. which are Dendrite the chemicals that bind to the receptor nerve As well as a long extension cell. forming the main (presynaptic membrane) Once the neurotransmitters and the receiving neuron cross the gap between the two contact zone between two neurons. In order to cross the minuscule gaps between two neurons. Neurons carry messages around the body. receiving neuron. called the axon.000 and The low humidity levels at high altitude can also 11. allowing © DK Images membrane) are separated responsible for taking information in via receptors. so less oxygen can be inhaled. Your face. it controls its functions. but increase and the body will produce more red blood regardless of fitness level. dizziness. to the synaptic knob at the neurotransmitter molecules.500 feet) above sea level is considered ‘high cause moisture in the skin and lungs to evaporate altitude’. the kidneys. most travellers will start to feel quicker. the synaptic cleft. more dispersed. The nerve signals travel in Vesicle which take in nerve messages one direction along the axon This is the tiny membrane that stores from other neurons. including mood changes. Descending to lower altitudes is the only way to ease symptoms altitude sickness? Discover the effects that dizzying heights can have on the human body A dventurous explorers can spend months In order to compensate. making it easier to transport oxygen around take its toll on the human body. These tiny gaps between neurons are called synapses. air molecules are the higher you climb. which Neurotransmitter molecules holds the cell’s genes and When the nerve signal reaches the synapse.

your When the mind the hormones in your system know you’re hungry. as well as stimulating the around late morning when breakfast is stimulates appetite. when we fall in love! Your brain remembers this response. GLP-1 and PYY. fat cells hormones in our systems let us secrete a hormone called know of the need for sustenance. Thinkstock Insulin control Blood chemistry This hormone works to Hormones stimulate speed up the rate at your pancreas to It’s the reward circuit in your brain which cells in the body release more insulin that creates the urge for sweat treats! take up glucose. can increase appetite and cause a person to overeat The biology of hunger Grab a snack. ghrelin is digestive system take messages to the brain: Once all of the food is digested. production of molecules that help to break just a memory and lunchtime is still a tiny speck Once you have answered the call and filled down food. It’s hunger – a feeling that begins up on a good meal. and then find out what’s really going on in your rumbling tummy T he feeling is all too familiar: a growling in brain then commands the release of a second at which food is emptied from the stomach into the pit of your stomach that usually starts hormone called neuropeptide Y. cortisol. hungry. the feel-good hormone your body’s cells. Three other hormones also secreted by your receptors in the brain to make you feel full up. Insulin moves glucose This triggers the release of from the blood into dopamine. it’s a ‘want’. leptin that actually inhibit But when our minds get involved. so it that makes us happy. This is because the very first time you experienced a cronut. Hungry hormones Hunger strikes After eating Whether you’re a bit peckish or totally ravenous. Once your on digestion. 117 . There’s not much nutritional value in a bacon sandwich or a frosted cronut.. and is encouraging you to munch on that Role of the liver delicious cronut to repeat the The liver keeps the level pleasurable feeling.DID YOU KNOW? We get ‘hangry’ because without energy our glucose levels are low. so the hunger cycle continues. Nerves in your stomach sense hormone PYY is secreted into the bloodstream body has finished digesting and using up the stretching that lets your brain know you’re full by the small intestine after eating. your stomach gets to work more insulin and also reduces appetite. When our bodies tell us we are Feeling full is extracted. insulin levels drop. cholecystokinin (CCK). of blood glucose and insulin within a healthy range and stops excessive fluctuations. for example. It’s actually can be used during the same one that is released exercise. sugary goodness of the treat released chemicals known as opioids that bind with receptors in Energy storage the brain. your blood sugar and up. it’s all down to The gut produces ghrelin to let your brain Once you’ve eaten. for example. body digests the food and energy takes over. your appetite so you it’s a whole different story. into your bloodstream. making emotions harder to regulate The stress hormone. It binds to energy from your last meal. the blood sugar produced in the gut and travels to the brain. CCK helps and insulin levels drop and ghrelin is produced letting it know that sustenance is needed. the mesolimbic centre of your brain (the region that processes pleasure) lit up. don’t keep eating. © Dreamstime. which actually the small intestine. The with the hormone known as ghrelin. GLP-1 tells the pancreas to release on the horizon. The to improve digestion by slowing down the rate once more.. so it’s not a ‘need’ for a treat. as the fatty. In response to this. it’s an innate reaction – the Once you’re full.

A saliva test is much less intrusive than a blood test and gives doctors a rough estimate of the health of a patient’s heart. remaining 0. minerals and bacterial cells which produce thin. as the mouth. They but unproven until this study.5 per cent. This © Alamy. but it created two dishes of cells. an individual’s saliva can reveal a great deal of information. so how is it able to perform so many important Parotid gland The parotid glands are the functions in our mouths? The answer lies in the largest salivary glands. one that can actually help turns out that there is a benefit to was treated with saliva and one that wounds to heal humans licking their wounds. proteins. What’s more. these glands These glands produce roughly Also known as the Wharton frozen and thawed multiple times without secrete only a small amount of 70 per cent of your saliva. enable even the driest snack to slide easily down the throat. wound in the cells so that the healing something that has been suspected process could be monitored. saliva contains enzymes that start to break down while also providing lubrication to starches and fats. yet the untreated Scientists conducted an experiment wound was still open. Without sufficient saliva. down into its simpler components. can make it very difficult to speak. They duct. as it actually helps to protect the teeth from decay and it also controls bacterial levels in the mouth in order to help reduce the overall risk of infection. namely histatin. It is made up of 99. allows saliva to move As soon as food enters the mouth. and mucous cells. which. which contains a host of They are made up of serous enzymes. creating a healing of at least oral wounds. The scientists were found that there is a compound in astounded when after 16 hours the human saliva. Saliva performs a variety of Can saliva speed up healing? functions and Many animals do it instinctively.5 per cent water. accounting for about are composed of both serous both the submandibular and breaking down. New studies have shown that a saliva test can be used to find out whether a person is at risk of a heart attack. These ingredients help to The parotid duct digest food and maintain oral hygiene. Digestive enzymes easily from the The digestion process parotid gland to saliva’s enzymes start to break it begins in the mouth. can Composed primarily of Submandibular gland Submandibular duct provide a workable DNA sample that can be mucous cells. Even tiny amounts. which saliva-treated wound was almost can speed up the healing process. tongue and lip movements are not as smooth. as it contains C-reactive protein (CRP). compounds. Sublingual gland equivalent to less than half a teardrop. Parotid duct watery saliva. 118 . With advanced scientific techniques and research. completely closed. in extreme cases. sublingual glands. A study was left open. saliva contains your entire genetic blueprint. Saliva is also important in oral health. THE BODY AT WORK What is saliva? Find out this frothy liquid’s vital role in maintaining human health H umans can produce an incredible two litres (half a gallon) of saliva each day. This can be an indicator of heart disease when found at elevated levels in the blood. this drains saliva from saliva. five per cent. Thinkstock using epithelial cells from a demonstrated that saliva does aid the volunteer’s inner cheek.

Each has a Noradrenaline is similar in structure to the slightly different effect and by looking at what hormone adrenaline and is involved in the ‘fi ght happens when neurotransmitter levels change. triggering more electrical activity. sleep. activity of the nerves that it interacts with and is Acetylcholine excites the nerve cells that it thought to reduce feelings of fear or anxiety.called the synaptic cleft - receives the right and stick to receptors on chemical messages it nearby nerve cells. 119 . In the brain. In contrast. The combined activity across this complex system is what underpins our thoughts. though raising Dopamine is a chemical that also excites serotonin levels with antidepressant nerve cells. Incoming signal Neurotransmitter release is only triggered when there is enough electrical activity in the nerve cell. and abnormally low levels are body temperature. it keeps us alert we are discovering that different combinations and focussed. movement and posture. Dopamine Serotonin Oxytocin Noradrenaline Adrenaline Different levels of neurotransmitters have been Receptor The synapse Nerve cells can only respond to a associated with different mental states Neurotransmitters pass messages specific neurotransmitter if they from one nerve cell to the next have the right corresponding Feelings receptors to detect it. feelings and emotions. Synapse Nerve cells communicate by releasing neurotransmitters at © BSIP SA / Alamy. learning hormone’ and transmits signals involved in and memory. People Depression Love Fight or flight found in the brains of people with dementia with depression have been found to have lower caused by Alzheimer’s disease. serotonin levels than normal. or fl ight’ response. Thinkstock specialised junctions called synapses. mood and pain. Neurotransmitters These chemical messengers travel across the small gap New signal If a neighbouring nerve . touches. It Serotonin is sometimes known as the ‘happy plays a role in wakefulness. Dopamine is also can also influence the behaviour of nerve cells. It plays a vital role in the control of medications does not always help. called neurotransmitters. will trigger a new electrical signal.DID YOU KNOW? It is estimated that there are 86 billion neurones in the human brain. Part of a network Each nerve cell makes thousands of connections to its neighbours and has its own mix of different neurotransmitters and receptors. used in the brain’s reward circuitry and is one of It is these interactions that are thought to the chemicals responsible for the good feelings underlie the huge range of human emotions. attention. linked together by trillions of synapses Neurotransmitters and your feelings Are our moods and emotions really just brain chemistry? M essages are passed from one nerve cell that are normally associated with more Schizophrenia Anxiety Happiness to the next by chemical messengers addictive behaviour types. and low levels of There are many more neurotransmitters in dopamine underlie the muscle rigidity that the brain and other chemicals like hormones exists in Parkinson’s disease. GABA reduces the play a role in a range of complex emotions.

with the other four types (eosinophils. meanwhile. preparing the that primarily deal body for future infection. by also attacking virus-infected and tumour cells” 120 . When the body is Different kinds of WBC have different roles. and the agranulocytes. so that antibodies can be created. and each cell works in a different of cell. Later in their life. These five cells surviving for years to allow the body to cells sit in two groupings: the granulocytes defend itself if repeat attacks occur. THE BODY AT WORK How do white Monocyte blood cells work? Monocytes help prepare us for another infection by presenting pathogens to the body. monocytes and lymphocytes) making up the rest. T cells and natural killer cells. Lymphocytes – the second-most common kind of leukocyte – possess three types of defence cells: B cells. and then evolve into macrophages pathogens. which invaded by a pathogen of any kind. As the most common WBC. and regulatory T cells ensure the immune system returns to normal after an attack. there are five types of white blood and tumour cells through three differing types cell (WBC). neutrophils make up between 55 and 70 per cent of the white blood cells in a normal healthy individual. They make up a fairly small “Natural killer cells percentage of the total white blood aid T cell response cells in our body – about 2. Neutrophils. The groups are determined based on whether a cell has ‘granules’ in the cytoplasm. how do these cells protect our bodies? which can conduct phagocytosis. while T cells attack diseases such as viruses and tumours when directed. These granules are digestive enzymes that help break down pathogens. actively moving to the site of infection following a call from mast cells after a pathogen is initially discovered. They also other causes of illness like parasites. as well as attacking with parasitic infections. the white complement one another to defend the body blood cells attack in a variety of ways. Neutrophils are the primary responders to infection. or leukocytes. aid T cell response by also attacking virus-infected and tumour Eosinophil cells. They consume bacteria and fungus that has broken through the body’s barriers in a process called phagocytosis. W hite blood cells. have a role in allergic reactions. they are some of the longest lived of the white blood cells with the memory way to fight a variety of threats.3 per cent. B cells release antibodies and activate T cells. which lack a marker known as MHC. eosinophils and basophils are all granulocytes. These release antibodies as well as attack virus In total. the enzymes in which also give them a distinct colouration which the agranulocytes do not have. are the body’s primary form of defence Types of leukocyte against disease. monocytes move from the One of the body’s main defences against infection and foreign bloodstream into tissue. some produce antibodies. while others surround Lymphocyte and ultimately devour the pathogens whole. Eosinophils are the The remaining types of leukocyte release white blood cells chemicals such as histamine. Natural killer cells. basophils. As a group.

types of white blood cell. invading bacteria. infection does not spread. such as Crohn’s disease. down by the macrophages.DID YOU KNOW? WBCs have colour but appear white when blood is put through a centrifuge. Their granules of autoimmune ailments seen across the pathogen. We can often treat these conditions with Neutrophils are the most we are at risk of becoming ill. and then WBCs are called site via the bloodstream to Bacteria are absorbed into bacteria. Thinkstock has multi-lobed nuclei lupus and some cases of arthritis. However. There are a large number person exposes themselves to another marrow. 121 . another problem is if the immune system elements of the immune system to stop the They have a short life span actually goes into overdrive and starts body attacking itself. hence their group name White blood cells at work The body has various outer defences against infection. if the produced by the bone them for pathogens. the © SPL. the pathogen. there are so need to be constantly attacking the individual’s own cells. Their functions are not fully known and they only account for 0. Their granules appear blue when viewed under a microscope. immunosuppressants.4 per cent of the body’s white blood cells. which deactivate common of the leukocytes. but what happens when this is breached? Skin breach Mast cells WBCs arrive Macrophages Healing A foreign object breaks Mast cells release cytokines Macrophages move to the consume bacteria Following removal of the through the skin. they would not have the normal appear pink and the cell world. A microscopic illustration of a neutrophil – the most abundant WBC Basophil Basophils are involved in allergic response via releasing histamine and heparin into the bloodstream. they can even be fatal. the body will start introducing bacteria (shown into action to ensure the start defending against cytoplasm and broken to heal the break in the skin in green) into the body. psoriasis. depending on differentiated from other to have autoimmune roots. white blood cell response. to prevent further infection. mistaking drawbacks with this treatment as. However. Consequently. as well as a individual is less likely to be able to fight which make them easily large number of diseases that are suspected normally low-risk infections and. Neutrophil A faulty immune system If the immune system stops working properly. including the external barrier of the skin.

THE BODY AT WORK GENETICS From inheritance to genetic diseases. what secrets are hidden in our genes and how do they determine who we are? 122 .

RNA makes Base pairs protein and proteins make us. which can be one of four: to a five-carbon sugar adenine (A). so when Double helix pairs with thymine. Within the population there are several alleles of each Nucleus gene – that is. our personalities. cytosine (C) and thymine (T). underlying function. a cell needs to use one particular gene. the core which contains our other.DID YOU KNOW? If all 46 human chromosomes were stitched together and stretched they would measure nearly 2m (6. Every individual has two copies of every gene – one inherited from each parent. thymine (T). pairs containing around providing the code that determines our 20. These alleles perform the same information of the cell. form of ribonucleic acid (RNA). the biochemical reactions that occur inside our cells and even. allowing accurate replication.” Our genes are The bases of DNA are always found stored in groups of several thousand on 23 in pairs: adenine pairs of chromosomes in the nucleus. genetic information: deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). different forms of the same code. varying in length from a few Chromosome hundred to more than 2 million base pairs. G and T 20. As molecular biologist Francis Crick once put it. many argue. called deoxyribose. Phosphate Phosphate groups link the sugars of adjacent nucleotides together. Humans have an estimated four nucleobases: A. Nucleobase Sugar Each nucleotide contains a Each base is attached base. This copy contains all of the information required to DNA’s chemical structure We put deoxyribonucleic acid under Nucleotide the microscope DNA is a polymer made up of building blocks called nucleotides. Surrounded by a double- thickness membrane. guanine (G) or cytosine (C). “DNA makes RNA. with the bases forming the with cytosine. They are the basic unit of heredity. physical appearance.6ft) G enes define who we are. it DNA is arranged in a double helix and guanine pairs shape. forming a phosphate backbone. Humans have 46 chromosomes – that’s 23 They affect all aspects of our physiology. C. guanine (G). DNA is a four-letter code made up of bases: adenine (A).500 genes. T Hydrogen bond Two bases interact with A each other by hydrogen bonds (weak electrostatic interactions that hold the strands of DNA together). but it is the subtle differences that make each of us unique. makes a temporary copy of the sequence in the ladder-like rungs in the centre. 123 . Double stranded DNA has two complementary strands Inside each of our cells (except red blood – one forms a template to make the cells) is a nucleus. the with a number of minor alterations in the nucleus contains the genetic sequence. each containing How is our genetic code stored? a coded set of instructions to make Genetic information is coded into DNA using just a protein.500 genes.

Some regions of the areas where genetic information canine genome are has been conserved through very different to ours. In many human accidentally substituting one base for another diseases. and often Using the information hidden within our our genome codes for proteins. the colours representation Dog are a ‘heat map’ demonstrating of scale. scientists have been able to of the DNA is known as ‘non-coding’ and DNA sequence. found on each – and in what order. THE BODY AT WORK make a protein – the building blocks of the genome available to study is making the task of Genetic mutations are the source of variation human body. human chromosome. evolution (the more fragmented but the pink bands the pattern. an Zebrafish initiative to map the sequence of Divergence between fish and the entire human genetic code. demonstrate we share a great deal of genetic information (ie 98 per cent). only two per cent of for duplicating DNA is prone to errors. Many of these are harmless. Cells have repair actually been able to identify over 1. in fact. the Human Genome Project as the DNA is being copied. Despite the fact sections of around 150. in all organisms. despite this some errors still slip through. The 3. resulting in changes to the genetic code. 124 .000 base that we are not pairs in length and the sequence closely related to for each identified. which Throughout your life you will acquire many complex diseases such as heart disease are still helps the cell to turn genes on and off at the cell mutations.3-billion base pair evolution. so similarities in our Chicken sequence was broken into genes are very fragmented. The important genetic information from mutation. The molecular machinery responsible effectively a blueprint for making a human. but having the right times. but ranging from breast cancer to Alzheimer’s. The genome map (right) shows a with the numbers human chromosome compared providing a with other animals. like in the human population. (eg A for G). mammals would have began in 1990 and was completed occurred very early in in 2003. Rat The mouse and rat genomes Chimpanzee have similar patterns. By logging common genetic variation genes are non-coding regions called introns. and disease-associated genes. either occurring in non-coding regions of DNA. These can be as simple as identify genes that contribute to various serves other functions. Most genetic mutation occurs The Human Genome Project aimed to map Interestingly.800 DNA. not yet fully understood. One proposed function is that these machinery to correct errors as they occur. first predicted. but we are sufficiently similar that mice make a good scientific model for studying human disease. this map is discovered we have far fewer genes than to divide. affecting illnesses sequences act as a buffer to protect the even to kill the cell if it makes a big mistake. the chicken then joined and used to map the Human still has regions of information on to chromosomes This ring represents DNA that are quite to determine which genes were the genes on a similar to ours. The Human Mapping the human genome Genome How does our genetic makeup compare to that of other creatures? Project The Human Genome Project. The remainder makes mistakes. the more differences show an area that has there are in the genetic code). These were birds. One of our closest living demonstrating these rodents’ relatives – the solid bands close evolutionary relationship. or can be much larger errors. underlying genetic influences that affect Other non-coding DNA acts as switches. Mouse There is less in common between human and mouse (90 per cent). when cells prepare the entire human genome. been conserved. researchers have and between genes there is intergenic adding or deleting bases. identifying the genetic risk factors much easier.

These are known as these repeats and the length of each is Mendelian traits.” Actually inheritance is much the entire genome. so they are able Two out of four will be to make melanin. so rather than sequencing your father’s eyes. after the scientist Gregor Mendel determined by a technique called polymerase who studied genetic inheritance in peas in the chain reaction (PCR). it trees and lichens. genetic diseases? Even these can work to our parasite spends part of its life cycle inside red enabling them to hide against light-coloured advantage. gene.1 per cent of the genome differs entire features from our parents – eg “You have between individuals. narrow capillaries and often become damaged theory of evolution. They survived much clumps together. 125 . faulty gene and as a result will be unable to produce melanin. One such trait is albinism – the absence of will have exactly the same 13-region profile is pigment in the skin. The combinations of two to 13 nucleotides in a repeating pattern genes from both of our parents create a mixture of hundreds of bases long – the length varies their traits. The odds that two people 1800s. However. etc. so if in the protein that makes melanin. there are some examples of between individuals. like our parents? It’s a common misconception that we inherit Only about 0. carriers. to misfold. If mutations are introduced into the sperm majority had white wings” and egg cells they can be passed on to the next light-coloured moths struggled to hide oxygen in red blood cells. Gametes Each child inherits one gene from the mother and one from the father. the peppered one that occurred in the peppered moth could persists in the population because it has a moth. like their parents. A good example is sickle cell blood cells and. which is why more people have brown hair or changing the gene so nominally that the protein is virtually unaffected. but what about protective effect against malaria. hair and eyes due to a defect thought to be one in a billion or even less. This is most easily observed It is easy to see how a genetic change like the or destroyed. the protein involved in binding have few symptoms of sickle cell anaemia. A minority had a mutant anaemia – a genetic disorder that’s quite prevents the parasite from reproducing. scientists take 13 DNA more complicated – several genes work together regions that are known to vary between to create traits in physical appearance. for example. However.DID YOU KNOW? Certain genetic elements are more dominant than others. However. Healthy child One in four children will Affected child receive one healthy gene One in four children will from the father and one receive two copies of the from the mother. themselves against the darker environment. all 13 regions are found to be a match then scientists can be fairly confident that they can tie a person to a crime scene. When A single nucleotide mutation causes and one copy of the healthy haemoglobin gene factories began to cover the trees in soot. some “Before the Industrial Revolution the mutations do lead to disease. even eye different people in order to create a ‘DNA colour isn’t just down to one gene that codes for fingerprint’. Carrier parents Each parent carries the albinism gene (dark pink). with one normal and one faulty gene. Small pieces of DNA – single genes that do dictate an obvious physical referred to as probes – are used to identify characteristic all on their own. Before the Industrial Revolution the give an advantage to a species. this made common in the African population. Individuals with one copy of the sickle cell gene them an easy target for predators. the haemoglobin. ‘brown’ or ‘green’. In each of these regions there are ‘blue’. Instead of generation. enabling them to pass on their mutation deform. They then have trouble fitting through biological underpinning that supports Darwin’s to their offspring and altering the gene pool. this genetic mutation in animals. so forming its proper shape. when sickle cells rupture. Take. but they have one normal gene Carrier children (light pink). causing red blood cells to changes in the DNA sequence provides the longer. the haemoglobin and this process of randomly introduced black moths flourished. However. which gave them black wings. The malaria majority of these moths had white wings. Using genetics to Why do we look convict criminals Forensic scientists can use traces of DNA to identify individuals involved in criminal activity. not all mutations are bad.

becomes a blastocyst. Transplant The new cells are transplanted into the recipient. 126 . it takes a whole series of mistakes for a tumour to form. and gradually the cell into the desired cell type. but The healthy gene is isolated from the DNA regulate how it is accessed and used by the cell. Cells contain oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. From go on to cause cancer if they damage to the DNA. to help it get inside Fertilised egg the target cell. go wrong… Cancer is not just the result of one or two genetic mutations – in fact. neighbouring tissues. like a virus. Alamy. or Cancer usually starts with just As the tumour grows in Further mutations allow cells Genes normally involved in mutagens – such as radiation one or a few mutated cells. It is now known that environmental influences can alter the way that DNA is packaged in the cell. Thinkstock Tumour-associated Mutagens Localised Invasion Metastasis genes Environmental factors. Each time a cell added to the stem cells to divides there is a risk that it will make a mistake force them to differentiate when copying its DNA. If these become damaged. Known as damaged genes within the human body epigenetics. Epigenetic changes can be passed on from one cell to its offspring. Repairing faulty genes restricting access to some genes and altering We reveal how donated cells can be used to mend any protein expression patterns. whose healthy function is to tell the cell when it should and should not divide. which can become any type of cell. throughout the body. which contains When our genes undifferentiated embryonic stem cells. into malignant cancer. and provide an additional mechanism by which genetic information can be modified across generations. “Environmental influences can alter Genetics is a complex and rapidly evolving field and more information about the function the way that DNA is packaged” of DNA is being discovered all the time. size it starts to invade of the tumour to break free and regulating cell behaviour can and chemicals – can cause these begin to divide the surrounding area. of the donor individual. Packaging The gene is packaged into a delivery vector. area creating a tumour. How tumours develop © SPL. A fertilised human egg is a source of undifferentiated stem cells. the cell cannot switch off its Differentiation cell division programme and it will keep making Chemical signals are copies of itself indefinitely. these modifications do not actually Target gene alter the underlying DNA sequence. THE BODY AT WORK but are protected from malaria too. accumulating eg liver cells. leading to uncontrollably in their local taking over here they can be distributed become mutated. Transduction Embryonic The new gene is introduced stem cells into the stem cells produced The fertilised egg by the fertilised egg. mutations in key genes. allowing them to pass the gene on to their children. enter the bloodstream. mutations that allow the tumour to progress carrying with them the healthy gene. makes more and more errors.

such as an increase in heart Two paths rate and pupil dilation. the body will respond to view. Stria terminalis The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is responsible for maintaining fear once this emotion has been stimulated by the amygdala. while in the UK one in 20 body prepares itself to deal with potential people are affected. emails. At the same time. a section of the prefrontal cortex signals the amygdala to cease its activity. flooding our bodies with sufferers from leaving their homes or epinephrine (adrenaline). the cortex’s The body’s primal response to danger can be role is to find out what’s caused the fear triggered by non-threatening situations response. serves a purpose. Some researchers believe danger by increasing the heart rate. the brain stops thinking social media and news updates. Thalamus Visual and auditory stimuli are first processed by the thalamus which filters the incoming information and sends it to the areas where it Locus caeruleus can be interpreted. This area of the brain stem is triggered by the amygdala to initiate the physiological responses to anxiety or stress. From a biological point of In extreme cases. as this ensures that no anxiety find it hard to leave the house threats. Your related disorder. A startling signal such as a sudden loud noise will be sent from the thalamus via two paths: one travels directly to the amygdala - where it can quickly initiate the fear response . about pleasurable things. which help people aged 18 or over endure an anxiety increase your reflexes and reaction speed. norepinephrine doing their jobs. leading to longer-term feelings of anxiety. it functions to create a heightened sense anxiety by emptying the digestive tract by any Some people who suffer of awareness. The amygdala can quickly © Alamy. and research suggests that if this area of the brain is overactive. pumping that modern day technology has influenced the more blood to the muscles and by getting the rise of anxiety related conditions. Amygdala This is where the fear response is triggered. over 40 million (noradrenaline) and cortisol. making sure that all Anxiety is a natural human response that of its focus is on identifying potential threats. responsible for encoding any threatening events that we experience in life into long-term memories. 127 .DID YOU KNOW? It is thought that one in ten people suffer from a form of anxiety disorder What is anxiety? How our brains trigger a fight or flight response A nxiety affects a huge number of people When we become anxious our fight or flight and can be so severe that it stops many response is triggered. constantly on high alert with texts. preparing us for potential means necessary. Thinkstock put your body on high alert. It is vital to turning off anxiety. Cortex How your brain reacts Once the amygdala and hippocampus have received a stimulus. we are lungs to hyperventilate. energy is wasted on digestion. memory centre. it’s nature’s panic button. it may cause an anxiety disorder. Once the perceived danger is over.and the other Hippocampus passes through the cortex to be The hippocampus is the brain’s processed more thoroughly. In a way. In the US.

After it has been used. Blood is carried in vessels. but this image shows the characteristic involvement of blood vessel walls circulatory system Arteries and veins form the plumbing system © Ed Uthman. Veins carry blood back towards the heart venous system. is generated from the heart. deep vein provide energy. Valves can fail over time. elastic blue. of which there are final destination. Since the dioxide. so this is the perfect when pressure falls in-between heartbeats. motorways to dual carriageways. waste and even heat. nutrients to Arteries carry blood away from the heart and deal varicose veins from failing valves. so have thinner arteries. but work different sizes and shapes.. go wrong. the cells have to line up to pass through. oxygen-rich walls. one-cell-thick capillaries. 128 . Red blood cells within these heart but cannot pass back through them in cope with the wide changes in pressure which capillaries trade water. oxygen. especially in the legs. as is often thought). place to trade substances with surrounding Blood flows through these valves towards the which allow them to stretch and contract to tissues. Their walls backwards flow of blood. and lastly life-threatening aneurysms comes in just two varieties. Find out more about the circular journey it takes. removes waste products and even with high pressures. this oxygen-depleted (deoxygenated) blood is Arteries and veins are constructed differently These blood vessels come in a multitude of returned for recycling and is actually dark red (not to cope with the varying pressures. lead to certain medical problems: oxygen for various tissues to use. heart attacks from blocked vital clotting factors which stop us bleeding. nutrients.. This leads to saggy. and is bright red. It also carries walls. unlike the low-pressure venous system. carbon the other direction. Tiny capillaries connect arteries and veins from weak artery walls. known as varicose veins. However. valves are unnecessary. MD that carries blood around the body. like small back-roads connecting body must cope with different volumes of energy. Blood and deal with lower pressures. T he network of blood vessels in the human (oxygenated) blood is what the body uses for together. blood travelling at different pressures. pressure is high. are only one cell thick. They contain Arteries cope with all of the pressure Capillaries are the tiny vessels which connect numerous one-way valves which stop generated by the heart and deliver oxygen-rich small arteries and veins together. sometimes things Blood is the ultimate multitasker. The walls of arteries contain elastic muscles. THE BODY AT WORK Inside the Most of the amyloid consisted of acellular pink globules that effaced and expanded the node. from the large. and so have strong elastic thrombosis from blood clots blocking the deep helps you warm up or cool down. which can occur blood to where it needs to be 24 hours a day. Connective Capillary wall tissue Elastic layer Cell nucleus Muscle Inner lining Outer protective layer Valve Muscle layer How do veins Arteries – under Connecting it work? pressure! all together Veins carry low pressure blood. in tandem to ensure that the blood reaches its aorta down to very tiny. Because these vessels are only one cell wide. unsightly veins. It carries two main different types – arteries and veins.

which carries LIVER oxygenated blood back to the heart. and other body tissues. Arteries All arteries carry blood away HEAD AND pump. heart pumps deoxygenated KIDNEY flow into the muscle increases. It carry deoxygenated pumps directly into blood. so from the heart. Here. it is all of the different is expelled from the body and is swapped for fresh oxygen from the air. side through a capillary bed. Venule Capillaries Tiny capillaries connect arteries and veins together. meaning that there are two sides The right side of the heart pumps to the circulatory system. Blood vessels Different shapes and sizes Capillary sphincter muscles Capillary bed These tiny muscles can open and close.DID YOU KNOW? Vascular surgeons can bypass blocked arteries using either the patient’s own veins or synthetic grafts A game of two halves In human beings. They allow exchange of oxygen. This the largest blood vessel in the body and copes with the highest pressure blood. The main types of cell are red blood cells (which are formed from iron and haemoglobin. proteins and salts. This is the capillary network that The right which can decrease or increase blood flow connects the two systems. They carry oxygenated blood. these muscles relax and blood occurs with surrounding tissues. When muscles exchange of various substances The right side of the exercise. vital organs and other used again (the pulmonary circulation). which carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs. The left side of deoxygenated blood towards the lungs. types of cells” oxygen-rich blood takes on a bright red colour. What’s in blood? It’s actually only the iron in red blood cells which make blood red – if you take these cells away then what you will be left with is a watery yellowish LUNG LUNG solution that is called plasma. TRUNK Arteriole nutrients and waste in the AND LEGS body’s organs and tissues. the heart is a double body tissues (the systemic circulation). to the heart. except ARMS the heart pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich it can pick up new oxygen molecules to be for the pulmonary artery. Plasma carries all of the various different types of cells and also contains sugars. white blood cells (which fight infection from bacteria. fats. blood to the brain. HEART which carries oxygen around the body). blood to the lungs. carbon dioxide The aorta is an artery which carries oxygenated blood to the body. They for the body to use. except for arteries towards the brain the pulmonary vein. Aorta “Plasma carries Lungs In the lungs. where blood exchanges carbon dioxide for fresh oxygen. viruses and fungi) and finally platelets (which are Veins The left side actually tiny cell fragments which stop The left side of the heart bleeding by forming clots at the sites of All veins carry blood pumps oxygenated blood any damage). Vein Artery 129 . through the one-cell thick walls.

THE BODY AT WORK How your blood works The science behind the miraculous fluid that feeds. connective tissue and smooth bloodstream destroying invading muscle fibres that contract under signals bacteria by engulfing and digesting from the sympathetic nervous system. © DK Images 130 . all with distinct functions. these sticky cell fragments are essential to the clotting process. shuttling oxygen from the lungs to living cells throughout the body and returning carbon dioxide as waste. often dying in the process. them. Red blood cell Known as erythrocytes. heals and fights for your life White blood cells White blood cells. a combination of elastic blood cell. then they team with a protein called fibrinogen to weave tiny threads that trap blood cells. Platelet When activated. Platelets adhere to a wound opening to stem the flow of blood. Blood vessel wall Granulocyte Arteries and veins are composed of three The most numerous type of white tissue layers. red blood cells are the body’s delivery service. There are five different types of white blood cells. are the immune system’s best weapon. granulocytes patrol the tissue. searching out and destroying bacteria and producing antibodies against viruses. or leukocytes.

is composed of white blood cells hemocytoblasts. drop in oxygen carrying capacity. triggering the body’s cent. Those iron homogenous fluid. carries away waste. of blood Blood is a mix of solids and liquids. and platelets. of which there are five different kinds. the A mature red blood cell has no foot soldiers of the immune system. As an adult. it is spit out during the final white blood cells. but 97 per damage. then circulate through the blood stream before maturing into macrophages. a blend of highly specialised cells and particles suspended in a protein-rich fluid called plasma. plasma is the protein-salt solution in which blood cells and particles travel through the bloodstream. less than one per undifferentiated stem cells called blood cells are mostly water. Cell fragments called platelets use their irregular surface to cling to vessel walls and initiate the clotting process. red blood cells start out as concave. there is a single white blood cell. doughnut-like disc. 54% Plasma 1% White blood cellls and platelets 45% Red blood cells Bone marrow contributes four per cent of a person’s total weight Plasma Composed of 92 per cent water. And it then speeds plasma. predatory immune system cells that live in Components organ tissue and bone. which is to red blood cells. Red platelets to the site of injury or tissue and a tiny fragment. roughly 2 nutrients to living cells and solids consisting of red blood cells. the supply is oxygen and essential – carrying billions of microscopic body and carry away carbon dioxide. which seek out distribution is far from equal. Because red blood reversible bonds with both 131 . more like a watery current of plasma essential function of blood. In the before taking on the shape of a parasites. © Bobjgalindo “Red blood cells are so numerous because they perform the most essential function of blood” B lood is the river of life. they would stretch for 160. Red blood cells dominate the mix. 45 per cent is red blood cells marrow. It transports the white blood cells and cell fragments are produced in red bone marrow. If the body detects a cent of their solid matter is miraculous process of self-repair. continuously replenished. Red blood cells are so numerous hormone is released from the kidneys carries four atoms of iron. The spongy tissue in the bulbous ends of nucleus. a haemoglobin.DID YOU KNOW? If you laid your blood vessels end to end. Plasma helps regulate mineral exchange and pH. For every 600 red blood cells. monocytes are born in bone marrow. carrying oxygen to living tissue and returning carbon dioxide to the lungs.000km Monocyte The largest type of white blood cell. all of your red blood cells million red blood cells every second. but it’s actually because they perform the most that triggers the stem cells to become atoms have the ability to form loose. that are called platelets. Over long bones and at the centre of flat stages of the two-day development and destroy invading bacteria and half of our blood is actually just bones like hips and ribs. protein-rich fluid deliver oxygen to every cell in the cells only live 120 days. and carries the proteins necessary for clotting. a complex protein that Blood looks like a thick. It feeds – a straw-coloured.

waste that will leave the body as urine. to the function of the immune system. 2. roughly 2 million red blood cells decay and die. where they down into reusable components. red blood specialised immune function. This shape is what helps transport system for all of the respiratory gasses. heme and globin. the bone marrow. forming a physical oxygenated. and play a and skin cells. are stripped of their nucleus in the final stages of development. 4. The body is keenly sensitive to blood hypoxia – reduced oxygen carrying capacity – and triggers the kidney to release a hormone called erythropoietin. it absorbs even as narrow as a single cell. produce anti-bodies that build up supplier. Red blood cells enter the bloodstream and circulate for 120 days before they begin to degenerate and are swallowed up by roving macrophages in the liver. enter organ tissue blood in each and every bodily process. When blood passes molecules. Most white them to be able to stick not only to the blood vessel Haemoglobin. Born in the bones As for the globin and other cellular When the body detects a low oxygen membranes. With the help of crimson colour. everything is carrying capacity. to create more red blood cells. blood into the lungs. hormones released from Waste product converted back into basic amino the kidney trigger the production of new of blood cell acids. Reuse and recycle 1. Life cycle Waste excreted from body of red blood cells Every second. Iron ions it binds to a protein that carries it back to In the belly of Kupffer cells. The first three plasma. but when activated to form a clot they sugar and electrolytes. The the lungs to ‘exhale’ the excess CO2 and collect some marrow. another type But even these three functions of blood – oxygen gasses and picks up oxygen. The right side of the heart pumps CO2-heavy engulf and digest bacteria and parasites. they are actually tiny through the kidneys. it is scrubbed of excess urea and toward the heart. Lymphocytes. The hormone stimulates the production of more red blood cells in bone marrow. oxygen and carbon dioxide – think of them as weak White blood cells are actually greatly take on an irregular form with many protruding magnets – making red blood cells such an effective outnumbered by red blood cells. blood loss and triggers the formation of new collagen system. In their resting state. circulate for around 120 days. Heme is broken down further into bile and iron ions. One life to live Mature red blood cells. microbes that ingest bad circulates through the small intestine. ingesting them whole and breaking them bloodstream. hormones. they pick up carbon dioxide cells into reusable parts. In circulation Specialised white blood cells in the liver and Red blood cells pass from spleen called Kupffer cells prey on dying red blood the bone marrow into the cells. 132 . Ingestion 3. ready to be recycled haemoglobin molecules are split into in fresh red blood cells. The macrophages extract iron from the haemoglobin in the red blood cells and release it back into the bloodstream. The left side of the heart of white blood cell. platelets weave a mesh of fibrin that stems cells must be pumped through the body’s circulatory varieties of blood cells. oval plates. some of which will be used red blood cells inside red bone marrow. they look like smooth proteins transport vitamins. spleen and lymph nodes. then they course through the veins back Platelets aren’t cells at all. When blood system of various arteries and capillaries. some are and become macrophages. some of which are carried back and stored in bone marrow. THE BODY AT WORK 6. which turns bright red when blood cells are also produced in red bone marrow. where they are pumped back into fragments from much larger stem cells found in bone salts. walls but also to each other. in five different varieties. also known as erythrocytes. meaning they can’t divide to replicate. where 5. which are transported to release their oxygen. more precious O2. the liver to be stored as energy. As the red blood cells bacteria and then help break down dead red blood sugars from digested food. And monocytes. immune system defender and wound healer then automatically pumps all of the freshly our immunity to repeat intruders. where it releases its waste role in allergic reactions. enzymes. but they are critical arms called pseudopods. is what gives blood its characteristic but white blood cells – unlike red blood cells – come barrier around wound sites. each with its own proteins and clotting factors that are found inside To provide oxygen to every living cell. are called granulocytes. – only begin to scratch the surface of the critical role of oxygenated blood out into the body through a the largest of the white blood cells.

and multiple embolisms can even be fatal. there are much vitamin C. internal bruising and joint problems. suffer from enlarged hearts. but others suffer cells die prematurely. the body constantly regulating Symptoms can be aggravated oxygen flow. transfusions. torn Activated platelets aggregate Once the wound is capped with a Fibroblasts lay fresh layers of to fuel skin cell growth. In sickle cell term for “iron overload. African descent. Interestingly. causing terrible pain and even irregular heartbeat. blood vessels open up collagen inside the wound and seeps from broken blood vessels to stimulating vasoconstriction.” in which your body anaemia. Blood flow returns and white blood cells begin their hunt for bacteria. Platelets emit signals that encourage blood vessels to contract. Left to right: a red blood cell. Unfortunately.DID YOU KNOW? Until the 23rd week of foetal development. a tissue that weaves into a mesh. To stem the flow of Platelets react with a protein in blood cells into the damaged for the forming of new skin cells. stemming blood loss. reacting with a protein in plasma to form fibrin. The scab or scraped deeply enough. red blood cells are produced in the liver. Blood is a delicate balancing act. the wound constrict. When a blood clot forms in the large. making it difficult to effective treatment is frequent blood seal off blood vessels after even minor injuries. sometimes with deadly consequences. not red bone marrow Haemophilia “Platelets weave Thalassemia This rare genetic blood disorder severely inhibits the Another rare blood disorder affecting 100. leading to anaemia. red blood cells elongate into a sickle Severity varies wildly. which afflicts one out of every 625 children of absorbs and stores too much iron from food. releasing plasma and white capillaries begin to supply blood begins to contract. thalassemia inhibits the production of haemoglobin. Sickle cell anaemia Hemochromatosis One of the most common genetic blood Anaemia is the name for any blood disorder that results Blood disorders. also called the bloodstream called clotting factors. iron content and clotting by taking too ability.000 clotting mechanism of blood. The most missing one of those clotting factors. Blood and healing Think of blood as the body’s More than a one-trick pony. pulling the fill the wound. mesh of stringy tissue. emochromatosis is the medical in a dangerously low red blood cell count. Such a blockage can severely damage portions of the lungs. the sides of the wound together. the blood vessels around plasma to form fibrin. leading are essential to the clotting and healing process. causing excessive bleeding. drying clot. or sometimes serious liver damage or scarring(cirrhosis). your blood is a vital cog in the healing process emergency response team to an STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3 STAGE 4 injury. and brittle bones. platelet and white blood cell Deep vein thrombosis Thrombosis is the medical term for any blood clot that is large enough to block a blood vessel. People who suffer from haemophilia – almost exclusively males – are blood loss” Cooley’s anaemia. Platelets a mesh of fibrin newborns worldwide each year. If such a clot breaks free. and many people disorders shape after releasing their oxygen. lodge in blood vessels. Macrophages digest Fibrin strands and collagen pull until damaged tissue is replaced. growing skin cells closer together bleeding. © Science Photo Library causing a pulmonary embolism. with heart failure. again. several genetic conditions and chronic illnesses that can disturb the balance. organ damage. people who carry only one diabetes and even gene for sickle cell anaemia are immune to malaria. producing threads of fibrin with help from proteins in that stems to severe anaemia. although a few lucky patients have been cured through bone marrow transplants from perfectly matching donors. The platelets then collect around the wound. People who are born with the most serious form of the disease. pass through the heart and become lodged in arteries in the lung. livers and spleens. it’s called deep vein thrombosis. Fibroblasts create beds INJURY HAEMOSTASIS INFLAMMATORY STAGE PROLIFERATIVE STAGE of fresh collagen and capillaries When the skin surface is cut. deep veins of the upper thigh. blood around the surface of the wound. harmful bacteria and dead cells. a web-like tissue. it can circulate through the bloodstream. 133 . The sickle-shaped experience few symptoms.

this instead causes the carbon or a panic attack. your body every day to transport vital nutrients to where they are needed. These vessels drain the blood into the veins. When you feel breathless. Discover what happens every time your heart beats I nside your body there is a vast network of blood vessels that. breathe into a paper bag. © Dreamstime. the pH caused by asthma. where it is to the tissues around your body. with the help of valves that stop the blood flowing in the reverse direction. forcing you to you breathe more rapidly in an attempt to get re-breathe some of your exhaled carbon more oxygen into your system. 134 . 4Platelets These tiny cells trigger the process In contrast to the other blood vessels in the body. As well as nourishing the tissue cells. which. some of these cells part of your circulatory system. which pass the blood into the capillaries. tiny blood vessels that transport nutrients from the blood into the body’s tissues via their very thin walls. and in these cases. As a result. to breathe in more oxygen and lowering your hyperventilation is a common side carbon dioxide levels further. and treat hyperventilation exacerbates the problem. In general. increased causing the red blood cells to cling on to their levels of carbon dioxide are dangerous. There are five main types of blood vessel. The arteries then branch off into arterioles. bleeding or of your blood becomes more alkaline. However. DK Breathing into a oxygen instead of passing it on to the tissue Therefore. helping to stop any bleeding if blood from the heart to the lungs. nutrients and waste around your body. could easily wrap twice around the Earth. capillaries also remove their waste products. The liquid part of your blood is made up of water. carry it back to the heart where it can pick up more oxygen. THE BODY AT WORK What is blood? Inside The ingredients that make up the red stuff a blood 1Red blood cells 3Plasma vessel These disc-shaped cells contain the protein haemoglobin. you are injured. passing the now deoxygenated blood on to the venules. What is hyperventilation? Discover why it’s not always best to reach for the paper bag A lso known as over-breathing. if laid end to end. the pulmonary artery takes deoxygenated 5Vessel Blood vessels transport blood and the nutrients it carries that causes blood to clot.000 litres of blood around against bacteria and viruses. They are an important 2White blood cells An important part of your immune system. this will only work if the rather than increasing the levels of oxygen in hyperventilation was brought on by anxiety your blood. dioxide. arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart and have special elastic fibres in their walls to help squeeze it along when the heart muscle relaxes. proteins. effect of a panic attack or strong One way to stop the vicious cycle is to feelings of anxiety. Over-breathing can also be dioxide levels to decrease. However. infections. This simply try to stay calm and slow your breathing. heart attacks. oxygenated and carried back to the heart via the pulmonary veins. and helps transport hormones. salts and enzymes. carrying the produce antibodies that defend equivalent of more than 14. which enables them to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide around your body. the best course of treatment is to paper bag can be a dangerous way to cells as they would normally. causing you to try seek medical help if the problem persists.

Some tracheotomy tubes contain unidirectional valves. cancer or inflammation. The surgeon uses the Larynx prominent Adam’s apple as The trachea is normally held open by The vocal cords sit a marker to locate the best C-shaped rings of cartilage. without hampering speech. the third and fourth rings. 135 . incision between the responsible for making rings of cartilage. emergency situations a faster Flanges procedure – known as a cricothyrotomy (also The outer portion of called cricothyroidotomy) – may be performed. airway from collapsing. allowing the surgeon access to the airway without disrupting the cartilage supports.DID YOU KNOW? More than 100. nerves. The trachea is surrounded by a minefield of major blood vessels. such as a straw or a ballpoint pen case. finding the correct location to make the incision is challenging. A Oesophagus tracheotomy tube is then inserted into the The oesophagus lies behind the trachea. and without medical training there is great risk of damaging major blood vessels. may then be removed to allow the tube to sit more comfortably. which provides good air supply to to the brain and face run up the lungs. A tracheotomy is a complex procedure. which means it cartilage (Adam’s apple) and then straight can be securely taped through the cricothyroid membrane. Cartilage ring Trachea The vocal cords sit just behind the tracheal The trachea is held open The trachea connects the cartilage. However. them vibrate. © Corbis the oesophagus or the vocal cords. numerous hormones. directly into to the neck. either side of the trachea. First. by trauma.000 tracheotomies are performed each year Tracheotomy surgery Discover the science and tech behind this life-saving procedure I Anatomy of a tracheotomy f the upper airway is blocked. a ventilator can even be attached in A temporary or permanent tube is order to mechanically move air in and out of inserted into the Thyroid gland the individuals lungs. and the underlying muscle and blood vessels are carefully moved Thyroid cartilage out of the way to expose the trachea. so the airway and secured to the neck. an alternative route must be found for air to enter the lungs. The neck is extended backwards to allow the surgeon to easily identify the structures in the throat and to make an accurate incision (see diagram). below the tracheal cartilage. sits just beneath the Have you got a pen? tracheotomy site. which prevent the behind the thyroid incision site on the neck. trachea through an The thyroid gland. If the patient is actually unable to breathe Stoma unaided. If the tracheal surgeon must take care opening is going to be a permanent feature not to puncture through rather than temporary then a piece of cartilage from one to the other. but in order to talk. A hole is made between cartilage. glands and muscles Planned tracheotomies are performed under general anaesthesia or sedation. a vertical cut is made in the skin. a tracheotomy bypasses them to grant be able to pass through the vocal cords to make direct access to the lungs. It is possible to perform this procedure with a sharp instrument and any hollow tube. so in life-threatening. enabling the patient to breathe in through the tube and out through Carotid artery Large arteries supplying blood their mouth. air must still made of cartilage. above the point of the incision. the trachea. which is just above the tracheotomy by stiff C-shaped rings lungs to the mouth and incision site. nose. the tube has flanged A higher incision is made just below the thyroid edges.

© DK Adrenal glands Controls the burning of Cortex Medulla protein and fat. metabolism. amines and steroids. inner part of the gland is known as the medulla. There nervous system as they regulate growth. Stimulates instructions supplied by the hormone. Amine hormones are glands that secrete different types of hormones secreted by the thyroid and adrenal medulla directly into the bloodstream which then and are related to initiating the fight or Releases hormones to target specific organs. Steroids include the testosterone The pituitary. Kidney Male testes These two glands produce testosterone that is responsible for sperm production. cortisol and aldosterone. which produces noradrenaline and adrenaline. growth in childhood and are 50 different types of hormone in the moods. The testes. THE BODY AT WORK Hormones How the human endocrine system develops and controls the human body Hypothalamus Releases hormones to the pituitary gland to promote its production and secretion of T hormones to the rest of he glands in the endocrine system use majority of hormones are called peptides the body. The medulla secretes adrenaline to stimulate the fight or flight response. These system hormones increase the heart rate. chemicals called hormones to that consist of short chains of amino acids. and the body’s levels of oxygen and glucose while reducing non-essential body functions. which include testosterone. endocrine The ellipsoid shaped. and regulates blood pressure. controls sleep patterns and controls the production of “Amine hormones are secreted by the hormones related to the reproductive organs. the female ovaries and the pancreas. and prepares the system. fl ight response. They are ductless parathyroid glands. This is not only secreted by the then all combine to form the major elements cortex of the adrenal gland. which and by the placenta in pregnant women. muscle and bone mass and sex drive. types: peptides. environment for the body (homeostasis). 136 . The triangular-shaped glands each consist of a two- The centimetre thick outer cortex that produces steroid hormones. thyroid and adrenal glands hormone. reproductive processes maintains adult bone body and they all consist of three basic and a relatively constant stable internal and muscle mass. Thymus The adrenal gland is known as the ‘fight or flight’ gland as it Is part of the immune controls how we respond to stressful situations. blood T-cells. Prolonged stress over-loads this gland and causes illness. It produces thymosins that control body for the demands of either fighting or running away as fast as the behaviour of white s Image you can. the male and female The target organs contain hormone The changes that are caused by the reproductive organs and to the adrenal receptors that respond to the chemical endocrine system act more slowly than the glands. thyroid and adrenal medulla” Adrenal gland We have two adrenal glands that are positioned on top of both kidneys. but also from of the body’s endocrine system along with Pineal gland the male and female reproductive organs various other elements such as the male Secretes melatonin. communicate with and control the cells They are secreted by the pituitary and and organs in our bodies.

both of which Female ovaries stimulate the production of blood sugar (glucose) Are stimulated by in the body. Pancreatic cells Islets of Langerhans Red blood cells Acinar cells These secrete digestive enzymes to the The pancreas is positioned in the abdominal cavity above the small intestine. The thyroid can lobe swell during puberty and pregnancy or due to viral infections or lack of iodine in a person’s diet. also raises blood pressure by through these veins. Parathyroid Works in combination Thyroid and parathyroids with the thyroid to Thyroid cartilage The two lobes of the thyroid sit on each side of the control levels of calcium.DID YOU KNOW? When you are excited the hypothalamus and pituitary gland release opiate-like endorphins Hypothalamus Hypothalamus neurons These synthesise and Pituitary gland send hormones to the The pea-sized pituitary gland is a major the production of sperm cells. it is this that actually stimulates begin to breastfeed. The former reduces appetite and the Duct cells latter reduces the absorption of food in Secrete bicarbonate the intestine. or release it lobe cause excessive sweating. endocrine gland that works under the posterior lobe stores vasopressin and control of the hypothalamus. (rear) lobe. Important for maintaining the metabolism of the FRONT REAR The hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary gland body. (Adam’s apple) windpipe and are linked together by the isthmus that runs in front of the windpipe. thereby keeping the metabolic rate of the body at the current Thyroid levels to keep you healthy and active. It releases T3 and are in overall control of the thyroid and they respond to T4 hormones to control changes in the body by either suppressing or increasing the breakdown of food Right thyroid stimulating hormones. Therefore. heat. There are four types of endocrine cells in the pancreas. Overactive thyroids and store it. If the Beta cells die or are destroyed hormones from the it causes type 1 diabetes. the Parathyroids thyroid and parathyroids work in tandem. menstrual cycle. In stimulated by oxytocin when mothers males. weight loss and sensitivity to as energy. It stimulates the amount of body oxygen and energy consumption. it releases hormones when calcium (windpipe) levels are low. The two oxytocin that is supplied by the Portal veins organs inside an individuals brain work hypothalamus. The beta cells secrete insulin and the alpha cells secrete glucagon. Consisting of two types of cell. The anterior lobe secretes Oxytocin influences the dilation of Anterior lobe growth hormones that stimulate the the cervix before giving birth and the development of the muscles and bones. 137 . baldness and weight gain. The other two cells are the gamma and delta cells. The four small parathyroids regulate the calcium Isthmus Trachea levels in the body. Vasopressin allows the Hormones from the in concert and mediate feedback loops retention of water in the kidneys and hypothalamus are in the endocrine system to maintain suppresses the need to excrete urine. intestine. If the level of calcium is too high the thyroid releases calcitonin to reduce it. The it also stimulates the development of lactation of the mammary glands are Posterior lobe ovarian follicles in the female ovary. Pancreas Maintains healthy blood sugar levels in the blood stream. contraction of the uterus after birth. The pituitary gland features an contracting the blood vessels in the