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HOW

THE BODY
WORKS
HOW
THE BODY
WORKS
CONTENTS
Editorial consultant Contributors
Dr Sarah Brewer Virginia Smith, Nicola Temple
Project Art Editor Senior Editor
Francis Wong Rob Houston
Designers Editors
Paul Drislane, Charlotte Johnson, Wendy Horobin, Andy Szudek,
Shahid Mahmood Miezan van Zyl
Illustrators Assistant Editor
Mark Clifton, Phil Gamble, Francesco Piscitelli
Mike Garland, Mik Gates,
Alex Lloyd, Mark Walker
US Editor
Jill Hamilton
UNDER THE
Managing Art Editor
Michael Duffy
Managing Editor
Angeles Gavira Guerrero
MICROSCOPE
Jacket Designer Producer,
Natalie Godwin Pre-production Whos in charge? 10
Nikoleta Parasaki
Jacket Editor
Organ to cell 12
Claire Gell Producer
Mary Slater
Jacket Design How cells work 14
Development Manager Publisher
Sophia MTT Liz Wheeler What is DNA? 16
Art Director Publishing Director
Karen Self Jonathan Metcalf
How cells multiply 18

How genes work 20


First American Edition, 2016
Published in the United States by DK Publishing
How genes make 22
345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 different cells
Copyright 2016 Dorling Kindersley Limited
DK, a Division of Penguin Random House LLC Stem cells 24
16 17 18 19 20 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
001274815May/2016
When DNA 26
goes wrong
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HOLDING IT SENSITIVE
TOGETHER TYPES
Skin deep 30 Feeling the pressure 74

Outer defenses 32 How do you feel? 76

The extremities 34 ON THE Pains pathway 78

Pillars of support 36
MOVE How the eye works 80

Growing bones 38 Forming an image 82

Flexibility 40 Pulling power 54 Vision in the brain 84

Biting and chewing 42 How do muscles pull? 56 Vision problems 86

The grinder 44 Working, stretching, 58 How the ear works 88


pulling, braking
Skin damage 46 How the brain hears 90
Sensory input, action output 60
Breaking and 48 Balancing act 92
mending The control center 62
Hearing problems 94
Wearing thin 50 Communication hub 64
Catching a scent 96
Sparking into life 66
On the tip of 98
Act or relax? 68 the tongue

Bumps, sprains, 70 Body position sense 100


and tears
Integrated senses 102

Using your voice 104

Reading faces 106

What you dont say 108


THE HEART
OF THE FIT AND
MATTER HEALTHY
Filling your lungs 112 Body battleground 168

From air to blood 114 Friend or foe? 170

Why do we breathe? 116 IN AND Germs are us 172

Coughs and sneezes 118


OUT Damage limitation 174

The many tasks 120 Infectious diseases 176


of our blood Feeding the body 138 Looking for trouble 178
How the heart beats 122 How does 140 Assassination squad 180
How blood travels 124 eating work?
Cold and flu 182
Broken blood vessels 126 A mouth to feed 142
Vaccine action 184
Heart problems 128 Gut reaction 144
Immune problems 186
Exercising and its limits 130 Up, down, and out 146

Fitter and stronger 132 Bacterial breakdown 148

Maximizing 134 Cleaning the blood 150


your fitness Water balance 152

How the liver works 154

What the liver does 156

Energy balance 158

The sugar trap 160

Feast of fast? 162

Digestive problems 164


THE CIRCLE
OF LIFE
Sexual reproduction 204

Monthly cycle 206

CHEMICAL Tiny beginnings 208 MIND


BALANCE The generation game 210
MATTERS
Growing life 212
Hormone factories 190 Mothers new body 214 Learning skills 230

How hormones 192 The miracle of birth 216 Making memories 232
work
Primed for life 218 Falling asleep 234
Inner balance 194
Growing up 220 Entering your dreams 236
Hormonal changes 196
Hormonal teenagers 222 All emotional 238
Daily rhythms 198
Getting older 224 Fight or flight 240
Diabetes 200
The end of life 226 Emotional problems 242

Feeling attraction 244

Extraordinary minds 246

INDEX 248

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 256
UNDER THE
MICROSCOPE
Whos in charge? ARE THERE ANY
BODY SYSTEMS WE
CAN LIVE WITHOUT?
To perform any task, the bodys many parts work
together in groups of organs and tissues called systems. All our body systems are
Each system is in charge of a function, such as breathing vital. Unlike some organs
such as the appendix
or digestion. Most of the time, the brain and spinal cord
if an entire system fails
are the main coordinators, but the bodys systems are
it usually results
always communicating and giving each other instructions.
in death.

Brain A matter of organization


Systems are communities of body parts with a single function. However, some
body parts have more than one job. The pancreas, for example, is part of the
digestive system because it pipes digestive juices into the gut. It also acts as
Spinal cord
part of the endocrine system, releasing hormones into the bloodstream.

Pituitary
Windpipe
Hypothalamus
Thyroid
Lungs

Adrenal
glands

Pancreas
Ovary (in
women)
Testis (in
men)

Respiratory system Endocrine system


The lungs bring air into contact with blood This system of glands secretes hormones,
vessels so that oxygen and carbon dioxide which are the bodys chemical messengers,
Sciatic
nerve can be exchanged. sending information to other body systems.

Esophagus

Liver
Pancreas
Stomach
Small Kidney
Large
intestines intestine
Bladder Ureter

Rectum

Central nervous system Digestive system Urinary system


The brain and spinal cord process and act The stomach and intestines are the major The kidneys filter blood to remove
upon information received from all over the parts of this system, which turns food into unwanted substances, which are stored
body through an extensive network of nerves. nutrients needed by the body. in the bladder and expelled as urine.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Whos in charge? 10 11
Brain
As the body
performs a
gymnastic routine,
the brain receives data
from the eyes, inner ear, and nerves
all over the body, which it puts
together to get a sense of
balance and body position.

Breathing and heart rate


Information from the brain
prompts the release of
hormones that equip the
body for the stress its
Muscles and nerves undergoing. Breathing
Nerve impulses are sent to the muscles becomes more rapid
to make instantaneous adjustments to and heart rate increases
body position to maintain balance. to carry much-needed
The nervous system interacts with the oxygen to the
muscular system, which in turn acts muscles.
on the bones of the skeletal system.

Digestive and
urinary systems
The stress hormones
released by the
endocrine system act on
the digestive and urinary
systems to slow them down
energy is needed elsewhere!

78
ONE ESTIMATE OF
Everything in balance
None of the bodys systems operates on
its owneach is constantly responding
to several others to keep things running
THE TOTAL NUMBER smoothly. To balance on the rings, each
OF ORGANS IN THE system of a gymnasts body can make
adjustments to compensate for stress
BODYALTHOUGH placed on other systems, which may
OPINIONS VARY! require more of the bodys resources.
ONE IN 10,000 PEOPLE
HAS ALL THE INTERNAL Organs
ORGANS ON THE WRONG The organs within the body are typically self-
contained and perform a specific function.
SIDE OF THE BODY The tissues that make up that organ help it
function in a particular way. The stomach,
for example, is largely made
of muscle tissue that can
OE expand and contract
SO to accommodate
PH
AGU
Stomach structure S the intake
Muscle is the main tissue of of food.
the stomach, but it is also lined with
glandular tissue, which secretes digestive
juices, and epithelial tissue, which forms
a protective barrier on both the inner
and outer surfaces.

Organ to cell
Each organ in the body is distinct and
recognizable to the naked eye. Cut through Stomach has
an organ, however, and layers of different three layers of
smooth muscle
tissues are revealed. Within each tissue are
different types of cells. They all work together
to carry out the functions of the organ.
STOMACH

Entrance to
intestines
Inner wall is lined
with cells that secrete
mucus or acid

WHICH IS THE
LARGEST ORGAN?
The liver is the largest of
the internal organs but the
skin is actually the biggest
organ of the body.
Outer layer is covered
It weighs roughly with epithelial cells
6 lb (2.7 kg).
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Organ to cell 12 13

Tissues and cells Types of cells


Tissues are made up of a group of connected cells. Some tissues come There are around 200 different
in different types, such as the smooth muscle that forms the walls of the types of cells in the human
stomach and skeletal muscle, which is attached to the bones and makes body. They look very different
them move. As well as cells, the tissue might contain other structures, under a microscope, but most
such as collagen fibers in connective tissue. A cell is a self-contained have common features, such
living unitthe most basic structure of all living organisms. as a nucleus, cell membrane,
and organelles.
Smooth action
The loose arrangement Red blood cells
of the spindle-shaped Lack a nucleus and
smooth muscle cells carry as much oxygen
allows this type of muscle as possible.
tissue to contract in all
directions. It is found in the
walls of the gut, as well as Nerve cells
in blood vessels and the Carry electrical signals
urinary system. between the brain and
all parts of the body.

Epithelial cells
Line the surfaces and
cavities of the body to
form a tight barrier.

Smooth muscle cells


These long, tapering cells are Adipose cells
capable of operating for long Store molecules of fat that
periods without tiring. help insulate the body and
can be turned into energy.

Tissue types
Skeletal muscle cells
There are four basic types of tissue found in the human body. These are Arranged into fibrous
subdivided into different subtypes, for example, blood and bone are both bundles that contract
connective tissues. Each type has different propertiessuch as strength, to move bones.
flexibility, or movementthat makes it suited to a specific task.
Reproductive cells
The female egg and male
Connective tissue Epithelial tissue sperm combine to form
Connects, supports, Closely packed cells in a new embryo.
binds, and separates one or more layers that
other tissues and organs. form barriers.
Photoreceptor cells
Line the back of the eye
and respond to light
Muscle tissue Nervous tissue falling on them.
Long, thin cells that relax Cells that work together
and contract to create to transmit electrical Hair cells
movement. impulses. Pick up sound vibrations
being transmitted through
the fluid of the inner ear.
How cells work The nucleus is the cells command
centre, containing blueprints in
the form of DNA. Surrounding it is
an outer membrane, full of pores,
Your body is made up of approximately 10 trillion cells, which controls what goes in and out

and each one is a self-contained, living unit. Each cell uses


energy, multiplies, eliminates waste, and communicates.
Cells are the basic units of all living things.

Cell function
Most cells have a nucleusa structure in their center
that contains genetic data, or DNA. They rely on this
data to build various molecules that are essential
to life. All of the resources they need to do this
Ribosome helps
are contained within the cell. Structures called make proteins
organelles carry out specialized functions,
similar to the organs of the body. Organelles

UM
are held in the cytoplasm, the space

UL
IC
between the nucleus and the cell

ET
membrane. Molecules are brought into

CR
the cell and others are shipped out,

MI
just like in an efficient factory.

L AS
DOP
Receiving instructions

S
1

LEU
Everything that happens in a cell is

H EN
controlled by instructions in the nucleus.

NUC
These instructions are exported on long mRN

ROUG
molecules called messenger ribonucleic acid

A
(mRNA)these molecules travel out of the
nucleus and into the cytoplasm.
1
Manufacture
2 The mRNA travels to an organelle 2
attached to the nucleus called the rough
endoplasmic reticulum. There, it attaches to
ribosomes that stud the organelle, and the
instructions are made into a chain of amino 3
acids that becomes a protein molecule. GOLG
IB
OD
Packaging Y
3 The proteins travel in vesicleslittle cellular
bubblesthat float through the cytoplasm to the Golgi
body. This organelle acts much like the mail room of
the cellpackaging the proteins and putting labels on
them, which determine where they are sent next.
4
Shipping
4 The Golgi body places the proteins into
different types of vesicles depending on their labeled CELL MEMBRANE
destination. These vesicles bud off, and those destined
for outside the cell fuse with the cell membrane and
release the proteins outside of the cell.
Protein released Vesicle within cell,
by Golgi vesicle packed with proteins
Inside a cell
Numerous organelles comprise the Vesicle fusing with
internal structure of cellsthe specific cells membrane and
types vary from cell to cell. releasing protein
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
How cells work 14 15
Cell death
HOW DO
When cells have reached the natural end of their
CELLS MOVE?
life cycle they undergo apoptosisa deliberate
Most cells move by pushing series of events that causes the cell to dismantle
their membrane forward from itself, shrink, and fragment. Cells can also die
prematurely due to infections or toxins. This
the inside using long fibers
causes necrosis, a process in which the cells
made of protein. Alternatively, internal structure detaches from its
sperm cells have tails, which membrane, causing
they whip back and the membrane to
forth to move. burst and the
cell to die.

Healthy cell
SMOOTH ENDOPLASMIC
RETICULUM APOPTOSIS NECROSIS

Smooth endoplasmic
reticulum produces and Cell
processes fats and some structures
hormones. Its surface expand
lacks ribosomes, so it
looks smooth
Fragment
of cell
Centrosomes are the
organization points Cell shrinks and fragments Cell swells
for microtubules
structures that
One of the bodys cleaner
help separate DNA
cells (phagocytes)
ESICL
during cell division Burst cell
membrane
E
V
CENTROSOME

Vesicles are
MI containers that
TO transport materials
Cell fragment
CH from the cell
ON
DRI membrane to
ON the interior and Fragments eaten by cleaner cell Cell explodes
vice versa

SO
Lysosomes act as CELL COMMUNICATION
SO the cells cleanup
M

crew. They contain


LY

chemicals used to Cells communicate with one


get rid of unwanted another and respond to their
molecules
environment using signaling
Cytoplasmthe space molecules produced by distant
between organellesis cells, nearby cells, or even the
filled with microtubules
same cell. Signaling molecules
Mitochondria are the cells bind with receptors, which are
CELL 1
powerhouses, where most of themselves molecules, on
the cells supply of chemical the cells membrane. Cell 1s
energy is generated signaling
The binding event
molecule
triggers changes
MOST CELLS in the cell, such as Receptor
activating a gene. on cell 2s
HAVE A DIAMETER membrane
CELL 2
OF ONLY 0.001 MM
NU X CHR
CL OM
E O

US

SO
ME
Boy or girl?
Y chromosome
Humans inherit one set of 23
chromosomes from their mother and
X chromosome another set from their father. Pairs 1 to
22 are duplicates, but with a slightly
different version of each gene on each
chromosome. Our sex is determined
by our chromosome 23 pairing.
Females have two X chromosomes,
while males have an X and a Y. Few of
the X chromosome genes are repeated
on the shorter Y chromosome, which ME
SO
One of 23 pairs of mostly carries the genes that produce

O
M
chromosomes masculine characteristics.

RO
Y CH
CELL

CH
RO
M
Control center

O
SO
DNA is stored in the nucleus of

ME
every cell, except for red blood cells,
which lose their DNA as they mature.
In each cell nucleus, there are 6 ft (2 m)
of DNA tightly coiled into 23 pairs
of chromosomes.
Body builders
Human library The genes that build our bodies may range
from a few hundred bases to more than
DNA is a long molecule that provides 2 million bases in lengthlonger than the
all the information necessary for an small section shown here. Each gene
organism to develop, survive, and produces a single protein. These proteins
are the building blocks of the body,
reproduce. It is like a twisted ladder forming cells, tissues, and organs. They
with rungs made of a pair of chemical also regulate all the bodys processes.
bases. These bases form long
sequences called genes that are
The DNA helix is itself
coded instructions for building tightly coiled
proteins. When a cell needs to
duplicate its DNA or make a new
protein, the two halves of the
ladder unzip so that a copy of the gene can
be made. Humans have more than 3 billion
bases in their DNA and nearly 20,000 genes.
The outer edge of each
strand is made of sugar

What is DNA?
and phosphate molecules

The colored bars show


DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a chain molecule that exists in the four basesadenine,
nearly all living things. The chain is made up of a sequence thymine, guanine, and
cytosinewhich are
of molecular components, known as bases. Incredibly, the arranged in a particular,
meaningful sequence
sequence acts as coded instructions for making an entire living
organism. We inherit our DNA from our parents.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
What is DNA? 16 17

Express yourself Eye color is inherited, but can Several genes control the curliness
be influenced by any of the of hair. Two curly-headed parents
The majority of genes are the 16 genes that control color may produce a straight-haired child
same in everybody because
they code for molecules that are
essential for life. However, around
1 percent have slight variations
known as allelesthat give us our
unique physical characteristics.
While many of these are harmless
traits, such as hair or eye color, they
may also result in more problematic
conditions, such as hemophilia or
cystic fibrosis. Because alleles
come in pairs, one may override the Unpredictable outcomes Freckles are controlled by
Many of our physical features are under the a single gene. Variations
effect of the other so that the trait control of more than one gene. This may of the gene control the
remains hidden. result in unexpected combinations. number of freckles

Unraveling DNA
Chromosomes help package DNA to fit into the nucleus. The DNA
is wrapped around spool-like proteins that run through the center DO HUMANS HAVE
of each chromosome. The helix is made of two strands of sugar THE MOST GENES?
phosphate linked together by a pair of bases. The bases always
form the same pairs, but the sequences of bases along the strand
Humans have a relatively low
are specific to the proteins they will eventually produce. number of genes. We have more
than a chicken (16,000) but fewer
than an onion (100,000) or an
The bases on one side of the strand are amoeba (200,000). This is
paired with a complementary base on the
other sidein this case cytosine (green) because we lose unwanted
bonds with guanine (blue)
genes faster from our
Adenine (red) always
bonds with DNA than they do.
thymine (yellow)

Guanine (blue) always bonds


with cytosine (green)
How cells multiply
We all start life as a single cell, so to develop specific
tissues and organs and enable our body to grow, our OUT OF CONTROL
cells need to multiply. Even as adults, cells need to be Many cancers occur when a
replaced because they get damaged or complete their mutant cell begins to multiply
life cycle. There are two processes by which this rapidly. This is because the cell
can override the usual checks
happensmitosis and meiosis. during mitosis, enabling it to
replicate itself more quickly than
surrounding cells and
take up more of the
Wear and tear available oxygen
Mitosis happens whenever new cells are Resting
needed. Some cells, such as neurons, are 1 The parent cell gets
and nutrients.
rarely replaced, but others, such as those ready for mitosis by checking
lining the gut or tastebuds, undergo its DNA for damage Cancerous cell
mitosis every few days. and making
any repairs
needed.

Cell
Offspring
6 Two daughter cells are Nucleus 2
Preparation
Each chromosome
Four of cells 46
formed, each containing a chromosomes in the parent cell makes an
nucleus with an exact copy of exact copy of itself prior to
the DNA from the parent cell. Mitosis entering mitosis. The copies
Every cell enters a phase in its life cycle called join at a region
called the
mitosis. During mitosis, the cells DNA is centromere.
duplicated and then divides equally to form
two identical nuclei, each containing the exact
same DNA as the original parent cell. The cell
then divides up its cytoplasm and organelles
to form two daughter cells, each containing Centromere
a single nucleus. There are a number of
checkpoints throughout the DNA replication
and division processes to repair any damaged
DNA, which could lead to permanent
Lining up
Splitting mutations and disease. 3
5 A nuclear membrane
Each of the doubled
chromosomes attaches to
forms around each group of special fibers, which help
chromosomes and the cell line them up
membrane starts to in the middle
pull apart to form of the cell.
Separation
two cells. 4 The chromosomes split
at their attachment point
(centromere) and each
half is pulled to an
opposite end
of the cell.
Fiber
Centromere
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
How cells multiply 18 19

Pairing and
2 crossover
Chromosomes with similar
lengths and centromere
First separation
1 Preparation locations line up with one 3 The chromosomes line
Each of the cells another and undergo gene
chromosomes duplicates and swapping. up and, just like in mitosis, are
the copies join together at the pulled to opposite ends
centromere. of the cell along
special fibers.
Cell
Nucleus
Chromosome
Centromere
Gene swapping
Meiosis features a unique process that shuffles
the DNA passing into the daughter cells. DNA is Fiber
exchanged between the chromosomes, which
creates new combinations of DNA. Some new
combinations may be beneficial.

Four offspring Two offspring


6 Four cells are 4 The cell divides, and
produced, each with half the two cells containing half the
Second separation
number of chromosomes of 5 The chromosomes line chromosomes are formed.
the original parent cell, and Each is genetically distinct
up along the midline of each
each genetically unique. from each other and from
cell and are pulled apart so
that each new cell receives half the parent cell.
of the chomosome pair.

Meiosis
Egg and sperm cells are produced through DOWN SYNDROME
a specialized type of cell division known as
Sometimes mistakes can happen during meiosis. Down
meiosis. The aim is to reduce the number of syndrome is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 in
chromosomes from the parent cell by half so some or all of the bodys cells. This usually happens when the
that when an egg and sperm fuse during chromosome doesnt separate properly during the meiosis of an
fertilization, the new cell has a full egg or sperm cella condition known as trisomy 21. Having an
complement of 46 chromosomes. Meiosis extra chromosome means that some genes are overexpressed by
produces four daughter cells that are each the cell, which can cause problems in how it functions.
genetically different from the parent cell. It is The extra 310
the process of gene swapping during meiosis genes can result
in overproduction
that introduces the genetic diversity that of some proteins.
helps make each of us unique individuals.
THREE COPIES OF CHROMOSOME 21
How genes work
If our DNA is the bodys recipe book, then a gene within that DNA
is equivalent to a single recipe in the book; it is the instructions for
building a single chemical or protein. Its estimated that humans
have around 20,000 genes that code for different proteins.

Genetic blueprint
To translate a gene into a protein, the DNA is first
copied (transcribed) in the nucleus of a cell by enzymes,
Amino acid
forming a strand of messenger RNA (mRNA). The cell
will only copy those genes that it needs, not the entire
DNA sequence. The mRNA then travels outside the
TRANSFER RNA
nucleus where it can be translated into a chain of
(tRNA)
amino acids, which will build the protein.

Nuclear
membrane

CELL NUCLEUS
MESSE
NGE Anticodon
RR
NA
DN (mR
Pore in nuclear NA
A membrane )
DNA unzips at right
gene sequence

Starting translation
RNA polymerase 1 The newly made mRNA travels to a
enzyme builds new
protein-building unit called a ribosome, to
strand of mRNA
which it attaches. There, it attracts molecules
of transfer RNA (tRNA), each of which has an
SINGLE ST

mRNA contains amino acid attached to it.


matching base
pairs to DNA strand
AN D R

A
mRN mRNA strand moves out
into the cells cytoplasm
OF

N
D

DNA copied in nucleus


A special enzyme binds to the DNA, where it
separates the two strands of the double helix.
It then moves along, adding RNA nucleic
acids that complement the single strand of CYTOPLASM
DNA, forming a single mRNA strand.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
How genes work 20 21
Amino acids folded
4 into proteins
When the ribosome reaches
a stop codon at the end of
the mRNA strand, the long Making proteins
chain of amino acids is Every three bases in the mRNA is known as
complete. The sequence of
the amino acids determines
a codon and each codon specifies a particular

CHA
how the chain folds up amino acid. There are 21 different amino acids
into a protein. and a single protein may be made up of a chain

IN
FO
LD of hundreds of these amino acids.
E

D
Chain of amino acids

IN
builds as ribosome O

T
moves along PR
O T EIN
mRNA strand

Ribosome attaches amino acids


2 As the ribosome moves along the mRNA strand,
the tRNA molecules attach to the mRNA in a specific
order. This order is determined by the matching up of
codonsa sequence of three nucleic acid bases on the
mRNA strandand their complementary three bases
called anticodonson the tRNA molecule.
E
SOM

Building a chain
3
RIBO

The amino acid detaches from


the tRNA molecule and is joined to the
previous amino acid with a peptide
bond, forming a chain.

tRNA, once it has dropped


off its animo acid, floats off
Codon
into cytoplasm

LOST IN TRANSLATION
Gene mutations can cause WHAT HAPPENS
changes in the amino acid TO mRNA AFTER
sequence. A single mutation TRANSLATION?
in the 402nd base of the
gene that codes for the hair A strand of mRNA may be
protein keratin causes the translated into a protein many
amino acid lysine to be put
in place of glutamate. This times before it eventually
changes the shape of the degrades within the cell.
keratin, making the hair
look beaded. STRAIGHT HAIR BEADED HAIR
How genes make
different cells
HOW DO CELLS
KNOW WHAT TO DO?
The chemical environment
DNA contains all of the blueprints for life, but cells around the cell or signals from
pick and choose only the plans (genes) they need. other cells tell it that it is part
These genes are used by the cell to build the proteins of a particular tissue or organ,
or in a certain stage
and molecules that not only define what the cell looks
of development.
like, but what it does within the body.
Gene expression
Each cell uses, or expresses, only a fraction of its genes. As it
becomes more specialized, more genes are switched off. This
process is highly regulated and happens in a specific order, usually
Gene to be
when the DNA is being transcribed to RNA (see pp.2021). transcribed
(copied to RNA)
REGULATOR
PROTEIN PROMOTER OPERATOR
Regulation
1 Transcription
of a required gene is
controlled by a series
of genes that sit in
front of it. These
include regulator,
promoter, and
operator genes.
The gene wont be
transcribed until REGULATOR GENE SEQUENCE
conditions are right. RNA
POLYMERASE Repressor protein prevents
REPRESSOR polymerase binding to DNA

Repressor
2 protein
If a repressor protein
is blocking the gene,
transcription cant
take place. The gene
can only be turned on
when a change in the
environment removes
the repressor protein.
Activator protein
Polymerase can now bind to the DNA
and start transcription

Activation
3 When an
activator protein
RNA
binds to the regulator
POLYMERASE
protein and there are
no repressor proteins
blocking the gene,
transcription can start.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
How genes make different cells 22 23
Nerve cell gene
On or off?
Nerve
Embryonic cells start out as stem cellscells precursor
NERVE CELL
with the ability to turn into different cell types. stem cell
Stem cells initially have the same set of genes Dendrite
switched on and they simply keep growing
and dividing to produce more cells. As
an embryo develops, its cells need
Axon
to specialize and organize into
tissues and eventually organs.
So when signaled, the cells start
shutting off some genes and
switching on others to turn EMBRYONIC
into a specific type of cell. STEM CELL

Epithelial EPITHELIAL CELL


Making a difference precursor
As an embryo is developing, a stem cell destined to become stem cell
a nerve cell will turn on the genes needed to grow dendrites
and an axon, whereas another stem cell might activate
different genes to become an epithelial (skin) cell. Epithelial cell gene

Housekeeping proteins TR
A BOY OR GIRL?
Some proteins, such as DNA repair
N

proteins or enzymes needed for


SP

At 6 weeks, an embryo has all


OR

metabolism, are called housekeeping the internal organs needed to


T

proteins, because they are essential to be either male or female. If it is


the basic functioning of all cells. Many genetically a male embryo, a
are enzymes, while others add structure gene on the Y chromosome will
to cells or help transport substances in turn on at this stage and produce
Transport the hormones that develop the
and out of cells. The genes for these
protein male reproductive organs and
proteins are always turned on. STR cause the female organs to
UC degenerate. The reason why
On the move
men have seemingly pointless
TU

Special proteins are


nipples is that these are formed in
RE

Structural protein needed to move


materials around the first 6 weeks, but their further
the body or help development depends on whether
Enzyme them cross cell they are in a male or female
membranes.
hormonal environment.
EN
ZY

Providing support
MES

Structural proteins
are found in all cells.
They give the cell its
Chemical Speeding things up
split by shape and hold the
enzyme Enzymes are proteins that organelles in place.
help chemical reactions go
faster, such as those used in
the breakdown of food.
WHERE DO ADULT
Adult stem cells STEM CELLS COME FROM?
Adult stem cells have been found in the brain, bone marrow, This is currently being
blood vessels, skeletal muscles, skin, teeth, heart, gut, liver, investigated, but one theory
ovaries, and testes. These cells can sit inactive for a long time
is that some embryonic stem
until they are called into action to replace cells or repair damage,
when they begin to divide and specialize. Researchers can cells remain in various tissues
manipulate these cells to become specific cell types that can after development.
then be used to grow new tissues and organs.

N FR O M M A R R O W CE LL S CU
C TI O LTU
RA RE
T D
EX

Culture
1
Harvest
Stem cell therapy may help repair damaged heart tissue
2 The sample is filtered to remove non-
following a heart attack. A small sample of the patients bone stem cell material and then taken to a lab that
marrow is taken because stem cells are more concentrated there. will identify the stem cells. The lab cultures these
cells, getting them to multiply and specialize.

Stem cells
Stem cells are unique because they can specialize into many
different types of cells. Stem cells are the foundation for the
bodys repair mechanisms, which makes them potentially
useful in helping repair damage in the body.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Stem cells 24 25
Engineering tissues
ADULT OR EMBRYONIC CELLS? Researchers have found that the
physical structure of the supporting
Embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell type, but research
matrix (scaffold) used to grow stem
on them is controversial, because embryoscreated using donor
eggs and spermare grown specifically for the purpose of cells is critical to the way they grow
harvesting the cells. Adult stem cells are less flexible, forming only and specialize.
different types of blood cells, for instance, but new treatments
can now be used to turn them into a wider range of cells. Taking shape
1 To repair the eyes
UNTREATED ADULT STEM CELL EMBRYONIC STEM CELL cornea, stem cells are
extracted from a healthy
tissue (the cornea of the
unaffected eye) and grown Stem
Red blood White blood Skin Fat Blood on a dome-shaped mesh. cells Mesh
cell cell cell cell cell support
2 Transplant
The damaged cells
on the cornea of the eye are
removed and replaced with
the mesh structure. After
several weeks, the mesh
dissolves leaving the grafted
Platelet Nerve cell Muscle cell
cells, which have restored the
patients sight.
INJEC TION
TO
HE DA M A G E D
AR HE
T AR Potential uses of stem cells
Stem cell research has improved our understanding
T

of embryonic development and the natural repair


M

mechanisms in the body. The most active area of


US

research is their use in growing replacement organs


CLE

and reconnecting the spinal cord so that paralyzed


people can walk again.

REP
AI Blindness
R
Deafness
ED
MU

Missing
teeth Muscular
SCLE

dystrophy

Wound healing
Cells grow
into heart
muscle
Bone marrow
Repaired transplant
muscle
Spinal cord
injury

Inject Repair Rheumatoid


3 The cells are injected into 4 After several weeks, arthritis
the damaged heart muscle where the damaged heart muscle is Diabetes
they attach to the damaged fibers rejuvenated. This process also
and begin to grow into new tissue. reduces scarring that would Crohns disease
restrict the hearts movement.

Osteoarthritis
20,000
Environmental assault
Each of our cells is inundated daily by chemicals and energy
that can cause damage to our DNA. Solar radiation (UV),
environmental toxins, and even the chemicals produced
through our own cellular processes can cause changes to our THE NUMBER OF DAMAGED
DNA that affect how it works, including how it can be copied
or how it produces proteins. If this damage becomes a
BASES REMOVED AND
permanent change in the DNA, it is called a mutation. REPLACED IN EVERY
CELL EVERY DAY
Intrastrand crosslinks
CAN THE DAMAGE make the helix unwind
ALWAYS BE REPAIRED? and prevent it being
copied
Double strand breaks
Our ability to repair DNA are caused by radiation,
diminishes as we get older. chemicals, or free oxygen
radicals. Incorrect repairs
Damage starts to accumulate can result in rearrangement
of the DNA, which can
and this is thought to be lead to disease
one of the main reasons
behind aging.

Chemical toxins from


pollution or smoking bind
to bases, creating mutations
that can lead to tumors

Single strand breaks


can result in the loss of
a base, which leads to
mismatches when the
DNA copies itself

Abnormal bases occur


when chemicals change
the structure of the base
molecule, which leads
to mispairing

When DNA goes wrong


Every day, the DNA in cells is damagedwhether by natural
processes or environmental factors. This damage can affect
DNA copying or how specific genes function and if it cant
be repaired, or is repaired incorrectly, it can lead to disease.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
When DNA goes wrong 26 27
UNDER ATTACK Interstrand crosslinks
This DNA strand is shown under many between the same bases
kinds of stress. However, some types of halt DNA copying
DNA damage can be used to advantage. because they prevent
Many chemotherapy drugs are designed the strands from
to cause damage to the DNA in cancerous unzipping
cells. Cisplatin, for example, forms
crosslinks in the DNA, which triggers
cell death. Unfortunately it also
causes damage in normal
healthy cells.

Base mismatches occur


when an extra base has
been added or one
has been skipped in the
replication process

Gene therapy
When DNA damage causes a mutation, it can stop
a gene from working properly and result in disease.
While drugs might help treat the symptoms of the
The insertion or deletion of disease, they cant solve the underlying genetic
bases means that when the problem. Gene therapy is an experimental method
code is being read during
copying, the wrong proteins thats exploring ways to fix the defective gene.
will be produced
Cells now
1 Cells with 7 produce the
a defective correct protein.
gene are harvested
REPAIRING DNA from the patient.

2 A virus is
disabled
Cells have builtin safety systems that so that it cant
help identify and repair damage reproduce.
to their DNA. These systems are
constantly active and if they are
unable to fix the damage quickly, they 6 Altered cells
are injected
will stop the cell cycle temporarily so into the patients body.
they can take some extra time to work
on it. If its not repairable, they will
A healthy
trigger the death of the cell by 3 version of
apoptosis (see p.15). the patients gene is
inserted into the virus.

The virus
5 inserts the
healthy gene into the
4 The altered
virus is mixed cells DNA.
with the patients cells.
HOLDING IT
TOGETHER
Skin deep
The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It protects us
from physical damage, dehydration, overhydration, and infection,
but also regulates body temperature, makes vitamin D, and has
an extraordinary array of special nerve endings (see pp.7475).

Keeping cool and staying warm of our body hair and rely on clothes to keep us warm,
Humans have adapted to survive in the heat of the even fine body hair plays a role in controlling body
tropics, the cold of the arctic, and the temperate temperature. In hot weather, it is vital to drink plenty
climates in between. Although we have lost most of water to replace the sweat that helps keep us cool.

Hot-weather skin Cold-weather skin


Each day, the skins 3 million sweat glands In cold weather, the skin goes into heat-
secrete 2.1 pints (1 liter) of sweat, or up to retention mode. Tiny muscles stand
21 pints (10 liters) daily in extreme conditions. our body hairs upright, trapping
Evaporation of sweat takes the heat energy away warmth close to the skin. Meanwhile,
from the body. Ring-shaped muscles around the the capillary-network muscles stop
blood vessels also help by diverting blood to the warm blood from flowing into
skin, which lets heat escape from deep in the body. the skins surface layers.

Hair stands up to trap


Hair reclines to release the heat around it
the heat around it Hair erector muscle
Sweat droplets contracts
evaporate, taking heat The skin rises into
Heat rises to the surface away with them a goose bump Sweat
of the skin from the
around the hair production
capillary network
stops
CAPILLARY NETWORK

SWEAT GLAND Fat in the


lowest layer
of the skin
retains heat

BLOODSTREAM

Muscle in the capillary network relaxes, Hair erector muscle relaxes, Capillary muscle contracts, reducing the
shunting blood to the outer layers of the skin allowing the hair to flatten flow of blood to the outer layers of the skin
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Skin deep 30 31
Defensive barriers
The skin is made up of three layers, each of which THE SKIN OF AN AVERAGE
plays a vital role in our survival. The upper layer, called
the epidermis, is an ever-regenerating defense system
ADULT MEASURES 20 SQ FT
(see pp.3233) and has its roots in the middle layer, (1.9 SQ M) IN AREA
called the dermis. The inside layer is the hypodermis
a cushion of fat that keeps us warm, protects our bones,
and keeps us supplied with energy (see pp.15859).
DO GOOSE
Microbe Sebum Ultraviolet light
BUMPS REALLY HELP?
Goose bumps do help us retain
Antibacterial oil
Glands secrete an oil heat in cold weather. However,
called sebum into hair they were much more effective
follicles to condition
the hair and waterproof millions of years ago, when we
the skin. Sebum also
suppresses the growth
were covered in thick hair. The
of bacteria and fungi.
Ultraviolet light protection thicker the hair, the more heat
The skin uses ultraviolet light is trapped when the hair
to synthesize vitamin D
but too much ultraviolet stands on end.
light can cause skin cancer.
A skin pigment called
melanin helps maintain Constantly
a balance between the regenerating
Sebaceous two (see pp.3233). epidermal cells
gland secretes
sebum
NICOTINE PATCH

EPIDERMIS
FT
SHA

DERMIS
HAIR

Nicotine reaches
One of the skins
the bloodstream
many types of
nerve endings
(see pp.7475)
Letting things pass
Although skin is a barrier, it is selectively
permeable, letting through drugs, such
as nicotine and morphine, from patches
HAIR applied to the skins surface. Various
BULB creams, such as sunblock, moisturizer, and
antiseptic cream, can also cross the barrier.

The epidermis stretches all HYPODERMIS


the way under the hair bulb
Outer defenses ARE FINGERPRINTS
REALLY UNIQUE?

The skin is the frontier between us and the outside The curls, loops, and swirls
worlda boundary at which enemies are fought of each finger are unique,
and friends let in. Key features of its defenses are and each grows back the
a self-renewing outer layer and a pigment that same way after injury
a handy fact for police
shields us from ultraviolet light.
detective work.

The self-renewing layer


The epidermis is a conveyor belt of cells, which are constantly
forming at its basethe basal layerand traveling upward
to the surface. As they move, they lose their nucleus, flatten,
and fill with a tough protein called keratin, and so form a
protective, outer layer. This layer is constantly being
worn away and replaced by new,
upthrusting cells. Each cell EPIDERMIS
dies by the time it reaches the
surface. The dead cells fall
off and contribute to the
dust in our houses.

Dead cell flakes off


Cells travel up through
the epidermis
Tattoo
Transparent defense DERMIS
Because the epidermis sheds its
cells, tattoos have to be inscribed
beneath it, on the dermis. The
epidermis is transparent, so tattoos New cells form HYPODERMIS
can be seen through it. Basal layer in the basal layer

Scaffolding Collagen fiber Elastin fiber Wrinkle Weakened fibers


Beneath the epidermis lies
the dermis, a thick layer that
gives the skin its strength
and flexibility. It contains
the skins nerve endings,
sweat glands, oil glands,
hair roots, and blood vessels.
It is made primarily of
collagen and elastin fibers,
which form a kind of Young skin Ageing skin
scaffolding that enables the The collagen and elastin fibers of The collagen and elastin fibers of
skin to stretch and contract youthful skin are strong, keeping aging skin are weak, causing wrinkles
the skin smooth and firm. Proper to form on the surface. Smoking,
in response to pressure. hydration and a healthy diet keeps sunlight, and poor diet accelerate
the skin youthful. the aging process.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Outer defenses 32 33

Skin color FRECKLES ARE


One of the skins many functions is to make vitamin D,
which it does by harnessing ultraviolet (UV) light from CAUSED BY
the Sun. However, UV light is also very dangerous (it can MELANOCYTES
cause skin cancer), so we also need protection against it.
As protection, the skin produces melanina pigment that
CLUMPING
serves as a Sun shield, and so determines skin color. TOGETHER
Dark skin Intense rays of UV light
At the equator, the suns rays strike the
Earth almost vertically, and with great
intensity. This means that people born
near the equator have a great need of UV shield
UV protection. To provide this, the skin 5 Melanosomes break
produces large amounts melanin apart, spreading melanin
which results in dark skin. across the skin. This forms
a shield against UV rays.
Dendrites
2 Melanocytes have
Absorption
fingerlike extensions
called dendrites. Each
4 Melanosomes are
of these touches around absorbed by neighboring
35 neighboring cells. skin cells.

Melanocytes Melanosomes
1 Melanin is 3 Melanin moves along
produced by special cells the dendrites in packets
called melanocytes. called melanosomes.
These are embedded in
the base of the epidermis. Melanosome
Dendrite
Basal layer
Melanocyte

Pale skin
North and south of the equator, the Mild rays of UV light
suns rays hit the Earth at increasingly
shallow angles. The shallower the
angle, the less intense the light, and less
need for UV protection. In response,
the skin produces smaller amounts of
melaninwhich results in pale skin.
Weaker shield
3 The weaker melanin
shield is sufficient against
Dendrite weaker UV rays.

Melanocytes Paler melanosomes


1 In pale skin, the 2 Melanosomes are
melanocytes are less paler and taken up by fewer
active, and have fewer surrounding cells.
dendrites.

Melanocyte Melanosome
The extremities
Hair and nails are both made of a tough, Thick, straight, and red
A mixture of pale and dark melanin
fibrous protein called keratin. Nails produces hair that is gold, auburn,
or red. Large, round follicles
strengthen and protect the tips of your produce thick hair. Thickness
fingers and toes, while hair reduces heat also depends on the number
of active follicles present.
loss from the body to help keep you warm. Redheads tend to have
relatively few follicles.

Hair color, thickness, and curliness


Each hair has a spongy core (medulla) and a middle
layer (cortex) of flexible protein chains that give
it wave and bounce. An outer layer (cuticle) of scales
reflects light so hair looks shiny, but if these are
damaged, hair looks dull. The color, curliness, A large proportion
of pheomelanin
thickness, and length of your hair are determined
by the size and shape of your follicles (in which
they grow), and the pigments they produce.

Fine, straight, A little


and blonde eumelanin
Cells at the base of
WHY DOES HAIR each follicle feed melanin
LENGTH VARY? pigments through to the root.
Blonde hair contains a pale Medulla
melanin pigment that is
Scalp hair can grow for years, only present in the
but hair found elsewhere on middle of the shaft
(medulla). Small,
the body only grows for weeks round follicles
or months. Thats why body produce straight,
fine hair.
hair is usually shortit falls Cuticle
out before it can grow
Pale melanin pigment,
very long. pheomelanin A little dark melanin,
Scales or eumelanin
Cortex

Hair growth Hair shaft Elongated shaft


Each hair follicle goes through around
25 cycles of hair growth during its
lifespan. Each cycle has a growth
Hair root
stage when it lengthens, followed Blood
by a resting phase in which the hair vessel Hair bulb

remains the same length, starts to


loosen, and falls out. After the resting
Early growth Late growth Resting
phase, the follicle reactivates and 1 The follicle 2 The shaft elongates 3 The follicle
starts to produce a new hair. activates, producing new over a period of 26 years. shrinks and the hair stops
cells within the hair root. A longer growth period growing as the bulb pulls
These die and are pushed (more common in women) away from the root. This
upward to form the shaft. produces longer hair. takes 36 weeks.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
The extremities 34 35

Nails
Thick, black, and curly
Dark hair contains black Nails are transparent plates of keratin. They
melanin pigment in both act as splints to stabilize the soft flesh of your
the cortex and the fingertips, and improve your grip on small
medulla, producing
more depth of color. objects. Nails also contribute to the overall
Wavy hair grows from sensitivity of your fingertips. However,
oval-shaped follicles. As because they project from the body,
follicles become flatter,
hair curliness increases. nails are easily damaged.
Matrix, or growth area

NAIL CUTICLE
NAIL BED

BONE

FAT

Dense How nails grow


eumelanin Growing areas at the base and sides of each nail are
protected by folds of skin called cuticles. Cells in the
nail beds are among the most active in the body.
They are constantly dividing, and nails grow up to
1
5 in (5 mm) per month.
Air space

Poor diet 4 months ago caused a


pale patch, called leukonychia, Splinter hemorrages
due to a lack of protein from tiny bleeding
Curly and gray blood vessels 56
Hair turns gray due to reduced months ago may
6 be due to a heart
activity of an enzyme that
5 infection
produces melanin pigment. Hair
without melanin is snow white; hair 4
with a little pigment appears gray.
months

Impoverished Serious illness


eumelanin 3
2 months
2 ago caused
a horizontal
1 trench known
Old hair as a Beaus line
0
An injury
1 month ago
caused bleeding
New hair under the nail
Bulb detached
from blood
vessel
Diary of a nail
Detatchment New growth Because nails are nonessential structures, blood
4 The loose hair is shed 5 The follicle starts its and nutrients are diverted away from the nail beds
naturally, or dislodged by next cycle. With age, fewer in times of deficiency. Nails are therefore a good
brushing or combing. follicles reactivate, so hair indicator of your general health and diet. A doctor
Sometimes its pushed out becomes thinner, recedes, glances quickly at a patients hands because the nails
by a new hair growing. and bald areas may appear. can indicate a number of illnesses.
Blood vessels thread
MORE THAN HALF
throughout all the
bones tissues OF YOUR BONES
Dense, compact
bone makes up
ARE IN YOUR
80 percent of a
bones weight
HANDS AND FEET
Osteons are cylindrical structures
formed by concentric layers of
compact bone tissue

MAR
ROW

HOW STRONG
IS BONE?
Periosteum is a surface
layer functioning as
Bone is five times stronger the bones skin
than a steel bar of the same

CO
weight, but it is brittle and can Bone marrow

M
PA
fracture on impact. Low levels

CT
BO
of calcium and/or vitamin D

N
E
can lead to the brittle bone Small arteriole supplying
blood to bone cells
disease, osteoporosis.

Pillars of support THE SMALLEST BONES


The stapes in the middle ear is
Your skeleton is rather like a coat hanger on which the smallest named bone. You
also have small sesamoid bones
your flesh is draped. As well as giving your body (named after the sesame seeds
support and shape, your bones provide protection they resemble) in long tendons
at sites of pressure to prevent
and, through their interaction with muscles, allow the tendons from wearing away.
your body to move and adopt different poses.
Living tissue
LIFE SIZE
Bone is a living tissue made up of collagen protein fibers filled with
mineralscalcium and phosphatewhich give them rigidity. Bones contain
99 percent of all the calcium in your body. Bone cells constantly replace old,
worn-out bone with new bone tissue. Blood vessels supply these cells with
oxygen and nutrients. A surface layer of skinlike periosteum covers a shell
of compact bone, which provides strength. Beneath this is a spongelike
network of struts that reduces the overall weight. Bone marrow in certain
STIRRUP (OR STAPES)
bones, including the ribs, breast bone, shoulder blades, and pelvis, has EAR BONE
a special job it produces new blood cells.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Pillars of support 36 37
Cranium
protects brain
SKULL
How the skeleton fits together
The skeleton can be divided into two main parts. The axial
skeleton consists of the skull, vertebral column (spine), and
ribcage and protects the internal organs and the central nervous
system. The appendicular skeleton includes the upper and lower MA
ND
IBL
limbs, plus the shoulder and pelvic girdles that attach them to ER E
LD E
the axial skeleton. It anchors the muscles muscles that U
O D
SH BLA
bring about conscious movement. S RU
ME
HU

)
OLUMN (SPINE
Inside a living bone RIB

US
Dense, compact bone is made up of

DI
tiny tubes of bone (osteons). Spongy

RA
bone has a honeycomb-like structure
that provides strength yet remains

NA
VERTEBRAL C
relatively lightweight.

UL
Elbowcalled the funny
bone because knocking it
traps the ulnar nerve,
SPONGY BONE which creates an electric
shock sensation Femuror thigh

SACRUM
bonethe longest
PELV bone, averaging one
IS
quarter of your
NTS OF THE F
AME
height as an adult
OO
LIG T
FEMU
R

Fibulahelps
stabilize the ankle
Lightweight Strong,
Bone

A
spongy bone stretchy

UL

IA
ligament
FIB

TIB
Tibia (shin
Heel bone anchors bone)
Natural foot strapping the Achilles tendon
Bones are held together by bands HE
of tough tissue called ligaments. E LB
Nowhere are they more abundant ON
than in the foot, which consists of E
26 bones. Over 100 strong, elastic
Skeleton in action
ligaments bind the bones
The arms join to the vertebral column via the shoulder
together, allowing some flexibility
girdle, which contains the collar bones and shoulder
and absorbing shock. They are
blades. The legs connect to the vertebral column
resilient enough to limit the range
through the pelvic girdle. The pelvis is made up of
of movement within each joint.
three bones on either side, which are fused together.
Growing bones
A healthy baby measures 1822 in NEWBORN BABY WEIGHT
(4656 cm) in length at birth. Growth
An average newborn baby
is rapid during infancy as the long weighs 51 2 91 2 lb (2.54.3 kg).
bones elongate. Bone growth slows Babies normally lose weight
during childhood, but then speeds up in the first days after birth,
but by 10 days, most have
again at puberty. Bones stop growing regained their birth weight
at around 18 years of age, when final and start to put on around
1 oz (28 g) per day.
adult height is reached.

How bones grow Articular cartilage


Growth in height occurs at special growth plates at the
ends of the long bones. Bone growth is controlled by
growth hormone, with an additional growth spurt occurring
Cartilage growth
in response to sex hormones at puberty (see pp.22323). plate (epiphysis)
The cartilage growth plates fuse by adulthood, after
which no further increases in height are possible.
New bone formation (secondary
ossification center)

Articular cartilage Cartilage growth Compact


Cartilage plate (epiphysis) bone

Medullary cavity
(marrow
formation)
Developing
periosteum

Compact bone Medullary


Developing spongy cavity
bone (primary containing
ossification center) bone marrow

Cartilage not yet Spongy bone


converted into bone

Embryo Newborn baby Child Teenager


1 Bones initially form 2 At birth, bones still 3 In childhood, most of 4 At puberty, a surge in
from soft cartilage that acts as consist mostly of cartilage, but the shaft consists of hardened sex hormones causes a rapid
a scaffold on which minerals there are active sites of bone compact and spongy bone. growth spurt. Increases in
are laid down. Hardened formation (ossification). The Growth plates (epiphyses) at the height occur when new bone
bone starts forming when the first to develop is the primary ends allow lengthening. Bone is is laid down at the cartilage
fetus reaches 23 months of ossification centre in the shaft, still soft and can bend on impact growth plates (epiphyses) to
development in the womb. followed by those at the ends. to form a greenstick fracture. lengthen the bone shaft.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Growing bones 38 39
Bone growth
79 Male average
(200) Male upper 5% and lower 5%
Articular cartilage Female average
Fused growth plate Female upper 5% and lower 5%
(epiphyseal line)

Length/height / in (cm)
Boys average adult
height is greater

Girls reach their adult


height earlier than boys
39
(100)

Proportion change
from birth to adult
0 2 8 12 18

0 5 10 15 20
Age (years)
Growth patterns
A babys head is one-quarter of his or her total body length. Changes in
relative growth means that by age two that ratio is down to one-sixth. An
adults head is only one-eighth of body length. Girls enter puberty earlier
than boys and reach their adult height around 1617 years of age. Males
only reach their final height between the ages of 19 and 21.

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR FINAL HEIGHT


Assuming both parents are of normal stature, a childs potential adult height can
be calculated as follows. Add fathers height to mothers height. For a boy, add
5 in (13 cm) and for a girl deduct 5 in (13 cm). Then divide the total by two. Most
children will have a final adult height within 4 in (10 cm) of this estimate.

+ 5 in 2 =
(13 cm)

+ SONS HEIGHT

5 Adult
After puberty, the cartilage
growth plates are converted into FATHERS MOTHERS 5 in
bone (calcified) and fuse. This HEIGHT HEIGHT
- (13 cm)
2 =
leaves a hardened area called the
epiphyseal line. Bones can still
increase in diameter, but can DAUGHTERS HEIGHT
no longer increase in length.
Flexibility
Your joints allow you to move your body and manipulate
objects. Movements can be small and controlled,
such as when writing your name,
or large and powerful, such as
when throwing a ball.

Joint structure
A joint forms where two bones
come into close contact. Some
joints are fixed, with the bones Ellipsoidal
These complex joints involve a
locked together, such as the bone with a rounded, convex
suture joints in an adult skull. end fitting into a bone with a
Some joints have a limited hollow or concave shape. This
allows a variety of movements,
range of movement, such as including sideways tilting, but
the elbow, while others can not rotation.
move more freely, such as
the shoulder.

Ball and socket


Found in the shoulders and hips, this
BONE

type of joint allows the widest range


of movement, including rotation.
The shoulder joint is the most
LIGAMENT

mobile joint in the body.


Cartilage

Sinovial
fluid
BONE

SINOVIAL
JOINT

Inside a joint
The bone ends within a
mobile joint are coated with
slippery cartilage and oiled Gliding
with synovial fluid to reduce These allow one bone
friction. These synovial joints to slide over another
are held together by bands in any direction within
of connective tissue, called one plane. Gliding joints allow
ligaments. Some joints, such the vertebrae to slide over each other
as the knee, also have when you flex your back. They are
internal stabilizing ligaments also found in your feet and hands.
to stop the bones from
sliding apart while bending.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Flexibility 40 41

Types of joints
Although your body as a whole moves in
complex ways, each individual joint has only
a limited range of movement. A few joints have
a very limited amount of movement so that
they can absorb shock, such as where the
two long bones in your lower leg (tibia and
fibula) meet or some of the joints in the feet.
The temporomandibular joints (see pp.4445)
between your jawbone and each side of the skull
are unusual in that they each contain a disk of
Saddle cartilage that allows the jaw to glide from side to
This is only found at the base of side and protrude forward and backward during
the thumb and allows a similar
but wider range of movement to chewing and grinding your food.
ellipsoidal joints, including a circular
motion, but without rotation.
THE SMALLEST JOINTS ARE
FOUND BETWEEN THE
THREE TINY BONES OF
Pivot THE MIDDLE EAR THAT
This allows one bone to rotate
around another, for example HELP TRANSMIT SOUND
when you move your forearm
to twist your palm to face up WAVES TO THE INNER EAR
or down. A pivot joint in your
neck allows your head to turn
from side to side.
DOUBLE-JOINTED PEOPLE
People who are said to be double-jointed have the
same number of joints as everyone else, but their
joints have a wider than normal range of movement.
This trait is usually due to inheriting unusually elastic
ligaments or a gene that codes for
the production of a
weaker type of collagen
(a protein found in
ligaments and other
connective tissues).

Hinge
This type of joint mainly allows
movement in one plane, rather
like a door opening and closing.
Good examples are found in the
elbow and knee.
Biting and chewing
Humans struggle to swallow large pieces of food so your

SEC ISOR
INC
teeth break down food as part of the first stage of digestion.

ON
CA
PR
Teeth also play a role in speechit would be difficult to

NIN

D
EM
FIR AR
make the sound tutt without any teeth, for example.

PR

E
OL
SEC OLAR

ST
EM
ON
D
From baby to adult

MO
FIR AR
Your teeth are all present at birth as tiny buds deep within each

L
jawbone. The first milk teeth need to be small to fit within an

ST
infants mouth. These teeth are shed during childhood as the
mouth enlarges, leaving more room for adult-sized teeth.

612 months
SECOND
1019
MOLAR
1623

918 Third molar, or


wisdom tooth
2333
BABY TEETH
Crown
Eruption of milk teeth
The 20 milk teeth usually start to appear ENA
Pulp cavity MEL
between the ages of 6 months and 3 years,
although some infants have to wait a year. DENTINE
GU
68 years M
79
912

1012
1112
TOOTH ROOT

67

1113
Cementum,
a natural glue
1721 ADULT TEETH holding the
tooth in its
socket
Eruption of adult teeth Root canal
The 32 adult teeth appear between the ages Periodontal
of 6 and 20 years and should last for the ligaments help
rest of your lifeeven if you live to be 100. Blood vessel anchor tooth
in jawbone

MUCH LIKE A
FINGERPRINT,
EACH PERSON Tooth structure
Each tooth has a crown, above the gum, which is
HAS A UNIQUE coated in hard enamel. This protects the softer
dentine forming the tooth root. The central pulp
BITE IMPRESSION cavity contains blood vessels and nerves.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Biting and chewing 42 43
WHAT ARE
WISDOM TEETH?
R
Infection
IN RST
SO
The last set of molars
CI ND
CI

R
FI

IN CO usually appear between the Tooth enamel is the hardest


SO

NE
SE

substance in the body, but readily

NI
ages of 17 and 25. It is thought
CA that they are called wisdom
dissolves in acid, exposing the underlying
parts of the tooth to bacteria and infection.
teeth because they appear Acid can come from some foods, juices, and
after childhood. sodas, or from bacterial plaque, which
breaks down sugar to form lactic acid.

Region of tooth to
be drilled, to Filling of
remove decay amalgam
Cavity

Different types
Your teeth differ in shape
and size depending on
their use. Sharp-edged
incisors cut and bite,
canines tear, and molars DECAYING TOOTH TOOTH WITH
and premolars have FILLING
Decay and filling
flattened, ridged surfaces When the hard enamel dissolves, it allows infection
that chew and grind food to rot the softer dentine beneath. A cavity forms as
into tiny pieces. the weakened enamel overhead collapses.

Bacteria and pus fill Crack lets


pulp cavity and in bacteria
root canals

ARE YOU A GRINDER?


One in twelve people grind their
teeth while asleep, and as many as
one in five clench their jaws while
awake. Known as bruxism, this
weakens your teeth. You could be
a grinder if your teeth look worn FLATTENED TEETH
down, flattened or chipped, if your
teeth are increasingly sensitive, or if
you wake with jaw pain, a tightness
in your jaw muscles, earache, or a
dull headacheespecially if you TOOTH WITH AN ABSCESS
also chewed the inside of your Abscess
cheeks. Worn-down teeth may If bacteria reach the pulp cavity, they may set up an
be reshaped with crowns. infection in a place that is difficult for the immune
AFTER TREATMENT system to tackle and lead to an abscess that can
spread to the jawbone.
The grinder
Your jaws are powered by strong muscles that produce
considerable pressure as you cut and grind food with your
teeth. The lower jaw can withstand these forces because
it is the hardest bone in your body.

How we chew
Chewing is a complex motion in
which the temporalis and masseter
muscles control movement of the
jaw back and forth, up and down,
and side to side. This grinds food From side
between the back molars like to side
a pestle and mortar. The flexibility
of the joints in our jaws allow us to
slide effortlessly between chewing
Up and down Forward and
movements, depending on what backward
we are eating.
JAW MOVEMENT

How the jaw works


WHEN WE ATE LEAVES The two temporomandibular joints
between the lower jawbone and the
Once, our primitive ancestors had smaller
skull each contain a disk of cartilage that
skulls and a chewier diet, rather like todays
gorilla, pictured. Their powerful jaw provides a wider range of movement than
muscles were anchored by a tall, sagittal is possible in other hinged joints, such
crest along the top of the skull. This acted as the elbow and knee. This disk is what
in a similar way to the breastbone of a allows the jaw to glide from side to side and
bird, which anchors its giant flight muscles. move forward and backward when talking,
chewing, or yawning.
Sagittal crest

WHAT CAUSES A
CLICKING JAW?
If the protective disk of
cartilage is displaced forward,
you may have a clicking jaw.
The lower jawbone clicks
against the zygomatic
arch as you chew.
GORILLA SKULL
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
The grinder 44 45
Temporalis tendon attaches to the cranium

975
with hundreds of extensions of the tendons
collagen fibers, which perforate the bone
and anchor the muscle
Temporalis muscle
forms a thin sheet over
the side of the skull
(442 KG) THE POUNDS
CRANIUM OF FORCE THAT THE
TEMPORALIS T
END
MASSETER MUSCLE CAN
ON
Chewing muscles EXERT DURING A BITE
TEMP

attach to the front


and back of the
cheek bone
C
ORAL

Cartilage disk in

LO
temporomandibular joint

SE
IS

D
MUSC
LE

Condyloid
process of lower
jawbone sits in
its socket

Cartilage Mouth shut


Z YGOMATIC ARCH The cartilage disk within the temporomandibular
disk
joint sits in a socket in the skull and wraps
around a knob on the lower jawbone called the
condyloid process. The disk cushions the joint
and prevents the jawbone from grinding against
the skull bones when you chew.
E
SCL

Cartilage disk slides forward


MU

MAX
UPPE ILLA, OR
R JAW
TER

BONE

OP
Pterygoid
SSE

muscle pulls

EN
hinge joint
MA

open when
using jaw

Masseter muscle can MA


close the jaw with LOW NDIBL
ER J E
AW , OR
great force Condyloid process
rocks forward
BON
Jaw muscles
E out of socket

The chewing muscles are attached


to the skull. The strong temporalis Mouth gaping
and masseter muscles control the Both the lower jaw and the cushioning disk of cartilage can rock
jaw as it grinds, snaps, and closes. forward out of their socket, allowing your lower jawbone to hang
open. Three fingers should fit between your upper and lower teeth.
Skin damage WHY DO
Damaged skin, whether it is a superficial scrape SCABS ITCH?
or a cut that penetrates deeper into the skin, During healing, when the
lets infection enter the body. It is therefore cells move around the base of
important for healing to occur quickly, to the wound, they begin to contract,
prevent infections from spreading. which helps stitch the skin back
together. As the tissues shrink,
they stimulate specialized itch-
Wound healing
When the skin is breached, the first important step for the
sensitive nerve endings.
circulatory system is to stem bleeding from a cut, or weeping Try not to scratch the
fluid loss from a burn or blister. Some wounds need medical scab off, though!
attention to seal them more firmly with stitches, butterfly
bandages, or tissue glue. Covering the wound with a dressing
will aid healing and reduce the chance of infection.
Dry scab of fibrin,
Itch-receptor platelets, and dead
nerve cell is blood cells
Fibrin thread stimulated
Platelet WOUND
Red blood cell caught
by fibrin threads

Histamine triggers Damaged Collagen fiber


inflammation cell produced by
and swelling fibroblast

Granulocyte

Skin cells
regrowing

Immune
protein

Widened
blood vessel
Fibroblast Blood vessel

Clotting and inflammation Skin cells proliferate


1 Platelets, which are fragments of blood cells, clump together to 2 Proteins called growth factors attract fiber-producing cells
form a clot. Clotting factors form fibrin threads, which hold the clot in (fibroblasts), which move into the wound. They make granulation
place. Inflammation floods the area with granulocytes and other cells tissue, which is rich in tiny new blood vessels that grow into the area.
and proteins of the immune system, which attack invading microbes. Skin cells multiply to heal the wound from the base and sides.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Skin damage 46 47
Burns
WET AND DRY HEALING If skin is heated above 120F (49C), its
cells are damaged to cause a burn. Burns
When exposed to the air, a scab hardens so new skin
can also result from contact with chemicals
cells have to burrow underneath and dissolve it away.
Modern dressings help keep a wound moist so skin cells and electricity.
can leapfrog across the moist wound surface. This helps
wounds heal more quickly, with less pain, less risk of
infection, and less scarring. EPIDERMIS 1st degree burn
Only the top layer of skin is
DERMIS injured, causing reddening
DRY HEALING Dry dermis and pain. Dead cells may
HYPODERMIS peel after a few days.
Scab
Epidermis
2nd degree burn
Skin growing
Cells in the deeper layers are
deep beneath
dry wound destroyed and large blisters
form. Enough live cells may
remain to prevent scarring.
WET HEALING Dressing Body fluid seeps out and
keeps wound moist
Skin cells 3rd degree burn
taking shortcut The full skin thickness is
straight across burned and skin grafts may
be needed. There is a risk
Wound bed of scarring.

Blisters
A combination of heat, moisture, and
Scar tissue friction may cause layers of skin to
separate from each other and form a Blister
fluid-filled bubble, which protects the
damaged skin. Covering them with a
Repaired tissue
hydrocolloid gel blister bandage will soak
up the fluid and form a cushioning,
antiseptic environment
so that the blister
Granulation tissue can heal faster.
is new connective
tissue that forms to
fill in the wound
Acne Sebaceous Blackhead
Sebaceous glands release gland
oil (sebum) onto the skin
and hair. When the glands
produce an excessive amount
of sebum, the hair follicle can
Sebum
become clogged with sebum
and dead skin cells to form a
Remodeling blackhead. Skin bacteria can
3 The surface skin cells have completed their job of growing infect the plug to cause a Hair root
over the damaged area and converting the scab into scar tissue.
The scar shrinks to leave a red area that slowly becomes paler. pimple or cyst, which can
Granulation tissue remains for a while. leave a scar when it heals.
Breaking and mending
A fracture is a break in a bone, which commonly results from an accident
such as a fall, a traffic accident, or a sports injury. Some fractures are
relatively minor dents or hairline cracks that heal quickly, while severe
impacts can shatter a bone into more than three pieces.

Immature bones are not fully mineralized


OPEN CLOSED and their bone may split on one side when
FRACTURE FRACTURE bent, rather than breaking in two. This is
known as a greenstick fracture and is often
seen when a child falls out of a tree!

Also known as a In a closed fracture, GREENSTICK


compound fracture, an the skin remains intact. FRACTURE
open fracture is a nasty It is also known as a
injury in which the skin simple fracture. The
is punctured either by injury is more likely to
the broken bone or remain relatively sterile
by the impact that and avoid infection. Spiral Fracture
caused the injury. This Often, all thats needed A spiral fracture
means that infection is a cast to keep the winds around the
can get in, so antibiotics bone still in the correct shaft of a long bone
are usually given position for healing rather than breaking
across. It results
from a twisting force
A comminuted fracture occurs such as when a
when a bone shatters into three or toddler lands on an
more pieces. This may need surgery outstretched leg
to insert a plate and screws to hold when jumping.
loose bone fragments in position
for stable healing

A compression injury may cause the


THE BONE IN YOUR NOSE
fractured ends of bone to collapse into
one another and shorten the bone. Pinch your nose with your fingers
The fracture must be stretched by COMMINUTED
tractiona gentle, steady action FRACTURE and you will feel where the bone in
to pull the bones apart the bridge of the nose is connected
SPIRAL to cartilage at the tip. When you
FRACTURE break your nose, its the bone at
Types of fractures
the top that gets fractured.
Bones may be broken by impacts and
crushing, but also by repeated stress, Bone in the
such as marathon running. In young bridge can
fracture
NE

people, the most common broken bones


BO

are elbows and upper arms, which are Cartilage is


flexible and
often broken during play, or lower leg bends with
COMPRESSION
bones, often injured in sports and other FRACTURE
impacts
activities. Older people with brittle bones CARTILAGE
affected by osteoporosis (see p.50) are
more likely to fracture hips and wrists.
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Breaking and mending 48 49
Dislocation Healing
If the ligaments supporting a mobile joint are Bones can heal like any other living tissue, but the
stretched during a wrenching accident, the process takes longer as minerals must be laid down until
bones can slip out of place, causing a joint the bone is strong again. A broken bone is immobilized
dislocation. It is most common in the shoulder, by a rigid cast around the body part. If it needs firmer
finger, and thumb joints. To treat a dislocation, support, surgical screws or a metal plate may be
orthopedists fit the bones back into place and inserted. The fracture then heals in several stages.
keep the joint still with a cast or a sling, so
that the ligaments can heal. Some joints, such
Immediate response
as the shoulder, can dislocate again and again 1 The fracture site quickly fills
if the ligaments remain slack. with blood to form a massive clot.
The tissue around the injury forms
a bruise-like swelling. The area is
painful, inflamed, and some bone
Crooked and swollen cells die due to poor circulation.

Ruptured blood vessel

Periosteum (the bones Blood-filled


skin) is broken swelling

Three days later


2 Blood capillaries grow into
the blood clot and the damaged
tissue is slowly broken down,
NORMAL FINGER DISLOCATED FINGER absorbed, and removed by
scavenger cells. Specialized cells
move into the area and start laying
Dislocated joint down collagen fibers that act like
The finger joints may dislocate if you catch a ball scaffolding for bone cells.
awkwardly. It causes pain, swelling, and an obviously
abnormal shape. Once the dislocated bones are Collagen fibers
repositioned (after an X-ray to rule out a fracture) the
fingers are splinted together to allow healing.
Three weeks later
3 Collagen fibers join up
across the fracture to link the bone
Radius dislocated ends. The repair process forms a
HUMERUS

from its joint with swelling, called a callus, which is


the humerus initially formed of cartilage. This
provides weak support which can
easily refracture if moved too early.

RA Callus
DI
US

UL Three months later


NA 4 Cartilage within the repair
Complete fracture
of ulna just below
tissue is replaced with strong
the elbow spongy bone and compact bone
forms around the outer edge of the
fracture. As the fracture heals, bone
Break and dislocation together cells remodel the bone, removing
When a fracture is close to a joint, the ligaments may the excess callus and eventually
give way so both a fracture and a dislocation occur. straightening out the swelling.
This is commonly seen at the elbow when the ulna
fractures, and the head of the radius is displaced. Healed fracture
Wearing thin
Cells in our bones are constantly remodeling our Depleted outer layer
of compact bone
skeletons by dissolving old bone and laying down
new bone. However, sometimes this process becomes
unbalanced, leading to a variety of problems, not
all of which are easily resolved.
Strong outer layer of
compact bone
When bones wear out
The brittle bone disease,
osteoporosis, develops when
OS
not enough new bone is made TE
to replace the old. This
OP
OR
imbalance can happen if you OT
dont eat enough calcium-rich foods IC
Spongy BO
or if you dont top up your vitamin D interior NE
either in your diet or by getting enough
sun (see p.33)which the body needs to Brittle interior of
absorb calcium efficiently. It can also result weakened bone
from hormone changes in later life, such as
when womens estrogen levels fall after menopause.
HE
Osteoporosis produces few symptoms, but the first AL
indication is often when a fracture of the hip or wrist TH
Y
occurs after a minor fall. BO
NE
Healthy bone
BONE EXERCISE Healthy bone has a strong, thick,
outer layer of dense, compact tissue
and a good, underlying network of
Regular exercise stimulates the
spongy bone. This structure shows up
production of new bone tissue. clearly on X-rays and is strong enough
High-impact exercises, such as to withstand minor blows, such as a fall
aerobics, jogging, or onto your outstretched hands.
racquet sports are
best, but any
weight-bearing
exercise, including Fracture in Increasing
Weakness
gentle yoga or tai upright spine causes further damage
chi, helps stimulate fractures curves the
spine
strengthening at areas
where bone is stressed.
Osteoporosis
in the spine
Spontaneous fractures
of the vertebrae can
occur when the bones
become too weak to
In this yoga exercise, support the weight of
the tibia (shinbone) is the upper body. This
under stress causes pain and leads
to an increasingly
curved spine. EARLY STAGE LATER STAGE ADVANCED STAGE
HOLDING IT TOGETHER
Wearing thin 50 51
HOW COMMON MILK PEACHES
IS OSTEOPOROSIS ?
Worldwide, one in three BONE

women and one in five men


over the age of 50 experience CHEE
CCOLI Topping up your calcium SE
an osteoporotic bone fracture. RO A balanced diet containing good

B
supplies of calcium-rich foods is
Smoking cigarettes, alcohol, essential at all stages of life to
and lack of exercise increase help prevent osteoporosis.
Good dietary sources of calcium
the risk of injury. include dairy products, some
fruit and vegetables, nuts,
seeds, legumes, eggs, canned
fish (with bones), and
fortified bread.

Osteoporotic bone
Brittle bones have only a thin
outer layer of dense, compact
OR
bone and fewer struts within the A N GES FIS H
underlying network of spongy
bone. Thin bones barely show
on X-rays and may fracture in SO S
a simple fall. Y BE AN

When joints becomes weak


Joints are subject to a lot of wear and tear, which JOINT REPLACEMENT
leads to a type of inflammation called osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is treated simply
This is especially common in weight-bearing joints,
with analgesics, but when
such as the knee and the hip, causing increasing symptoms interfere with a
pain, stiffness, and restricted movements. The joint persons quality of life, a better
cartilage weakens and flakes away, leaving the bone solution is to replace the worn-out
ends to rub together and form bony outgrowths. joint with an artificial one made
of metal, plastic, or ceramic.
Synovial fluid However, even artificial joints
eventually wear out, and may
Healthy need to be replaced every 10
bone end Narrowed years or so. A commonly replaced
joint space
joint is the hip joint.
Worn-away
cartilage Upper part of
and bone artificial hip
joint, embedded
in pelvis
Healthy
joint Fluid-filled
cartilage cyst in worn-
away bone

Lower part of
Healthy joint Arthritic joint artificial hip joint,
In a healthy joint, the two bones In an arthritic joint, the joint embedded in
are cushioned with cartilage and cartilages are eroding. The bones femur (thigh bone)
are separated by a film of lubricant grind together and the synovial
called synovial fluid. fluid is unable to lubricate the joint.
ON THE
MOVE
Pulling power
Muscles carry out all the bodys movements
and are attached to bones by tendons. The
tendons are made of strong connective tissue
that can stretch to help deal with the forces
produced during movement.

Teamwork
Muscles can only pull, they cannot push. They therefore work in pairs
or teams that work in opposition to each other. When one set of muscles
contracts to bend a joint, the other relaxes. They swap roles to straighten
the joint again. For example, contraction of the biceps bends the elbow,
while contraction of the triceps straightens it as the biceps relaxes.
Muscle can only push indirectly, via levers.

Biceps is anchored to the


shoulder blade at the top

LDER BLADE
Biceps contracts, getting
shorter and fatter, and pulling
radius bone of the forearm
upward
SHOU

Forearm moves
PS

upward with force


CE

S
BI

CEP
TRI
RA

N
DO

Flexing Extending
US
DI

Bending a joint is known Extension is the opposite


TE
US

ER

as flexing. Flexing of flexion and increases


M

Triceps decreases the angle the angle between two


HU

is relaxed
and can
between two bones. bones. When joints
lengthen When joints can move can move forward and
HOW LONG CAN forward and backward, backward, such as the
TENDONS GET? such as the shoulders, hips, extension means
flexion means forward backward movement.
The plantaris muscle sits just movement. When When standing, both
sitting down, both your your hips and your
above the back of the knee and Elbow flexes hips and your knees flex. knees extend.
pulls on the heel bone via a
tendon 20 in (50 cm) long.
The Achilles tendon is the
strongest and thickest
in the body.
ON THE MOVE
Pulling power 54 55
Body levers
A lever allows movement to occur around a point called a fulcrum. A Lever action
first-class lever has the fulcrum in the middle. A second-class lever places Direction Movement
Fulcrum
of force of load
the load between the effort and fulcrum. In a third-class lever, the effort
occurs between the load and fulcrumlike using a pair of tweezers. Third-class lever
The biceps acts as a third-class lever.
First-class lever Pulling close to the fulcrumthe elbow
Neck muscles work like first-class it moves the bones only a little, but
levers. When they contract, they creates a lot of movement for the
force your chin up on the opposite hand at the end of the lever. A small
side of the fulcrum (a joint between effort translates into a big movement.
your skull and spine).

NE BI
CK CE
CALF MUSCL
PS
M
US

Body rises a
CL

little way,
E

but with
great force
E

Fulcrum is the
elbow joint
Second-class lever
The calf muscle can act
as a second-class lever by
pulling when the foot is on THE ACHILLES TENDON
the ground. The foot then
bends at the base of the toe IS STRONG ENOUGH TO
so the entire weight of the
body is raised on tiptoe. SUPPORT MORE THAN
10 TIMES YOUR BODY
WEIGHT WHEN RUNNING
BIC

Finger extender muscle


EP

Triceps is anchored to the shoulder is anchored to the upper


blade and humerus at the top end arm bone at one end
S
TRICEP

Biceps is relaxed, and can


lengthen, allowing triceps to
extend the elbow
S

Forearm
moves down

Muscles tendon Remote control


splits to pull on
four fingertips
Muscles pull on bones via
tendons. However, the tendons
can be very long, and the
UL muscles far from the joints they
NA
Elbow are operating. Amazingly, there
extends are no muscles at all in the
(straightens)
fingers. All of their movement
is made by remote controlby
Triceps contracts, pulling on the
ulna bone of the forearm muscles in the hand and arm.
Myosin filament
A look deep inside RIL (long chain protein)
Each muscle is made up of bundles of immensely FIB
long, spindle-shaped cells called muscle fibers.
Each fiber is surrounded by a sheath of
connective tissue that electrically insulates
each one from its neighbors. This is vital for
controlled contraction of individual muscle
M US C

fibers. Within each fiber are thousands of


smaller strands, known as fibrils.
LE

Muscle
The cells in skeletal
muscle are grouped
together in bundles
called fascicles, which Actin filament
are separated by sheets (another type of
long chain protein)
of connective tissue.

E
L
IC
FASC

Muscle fibril
Fibrils, also called
myofibrils, contain
overlapping filaments
of actin and myosin
proteins. These
interlocking filaments
move over each
other during muscle
contraction.
Fascicle FIB
Muscles typically RE
Muscle fibril,
contain between or myofibril
10 and 100 fascicles.
The fascicles contain Muscle fiber (muscle cell)
Muscle
long, thin muscle cells Skeletal muscle cells are each
fiber
also known as muscle surrounded by an insulating sheath
fibers, or myofibers. to allow a controlled contraction
independent of its neighbors.

How do muscles pull?


Muscle cells carry out all body movements. Some muscles are under
voluntary control and only contract when you want them to. Others
contract automatically to keep your body working smoothly. Muscle
cells are able to contract due to actin and myosin molecules.
ON THE MOVE
How do muscles pull? 56 57
Miracle molecules
Actin and myosin filaments are arranged in units called FAST AND SLOW TWITCHING
sarcomeres. When a muscle receives a signal to contract, the
myosin filaments repeatedly pull the actin filaments along so Muscles have two types of fibers. Fast-twitch
that they slide closer and closer together. This makes the muscle fibers reach peak contractionthe peak of
shorten. They slide apart when the muscle relaxes again. their power outputin 50 milliseconds, but
fatigue after a few minutes. Slow-twitch
fibers take 110 milliseconds to reach peak
contraction but do not tire. The explosive
Myosin filament
power needed by sprinters is made possible
Actin filament
by having more fast-twitch fibers. Long-
distance runners usually have more
slow-twitch fibers, which dont fatigue
as quickly as fast-twitch fibers.

SARCOMERE OF RELAXED MUSCLE Fast-twitch fibers Fiber types


Actin pull powerfully, but
Fast-twitch
tire quickly
Myosin energized Slow-twitch
1 Myosin head is energized Myosin
by ATP molecule (produced from head
sugars and oxygen). Slow-twitch fibers exert
less power, but keep

POWER
going
Head sticks
to actin
Myosin head sticks to actin
2 The energized myosin head
sticks to the actin filament, forming Myosin
energized TIME
a cross bridge.

Actin pulled CRAMP


along
Head pivots
3 The myosin head releases Sometimes voluntary muscle may contract
energy and pivots, sliding the Head involuntarily, causing painful cramping.
pivots
actin filament over. The cross This occurs when chemical imbalances
bridge weakens. for example, when poor circulation leads
to low oxygen levels and a buildup of lactic
acidinterfere with the release of the
Reenergizing cross bridges. Gently stretching
4 The cross bridge releases and and rubbing the contracted
the myosin head is reenergized. Head
detaches
muscle stimulates circulation
These steps happen many times and helps muscle relaxation.
during a single contraction.

Actins pulled inward, FAST-TWITCH FIBERS


contracting and
shortening the muscle CAN CONTRACT AT
A RATE OF 3050 TIMES
SARCOMERE OF CONTRACTED MUSCLE PER SECOND.
Working, stretching,
pulling, braking
Muscles shorten and pull on bones to bend joints and create
movement. However, they also contract without any movement
to create power and tension, which can hold a weight steady. If
the weight is too great to hold, muscles can even contract and
lengthen as they brake the movement of the weight.

Pulling and shortening


If you contract your biceps muscle when WHY WARM UP
lifting a gym weight during a biceps curl, BEFORE EXERCISE?
the muscle shortens, producing a movement
Doing exercise to loosen
in the direction of the contraction. The force
generated by the muscle is greater than the
muscles and increase blood
weight or force it pulls against. The muscles flow helps to limit muscle
contain both contractile fibers, which injuries, such as tears and
shorten, and elastic fibers, which stretch strains, which can occur
if tension increases. During a shortening with sudden vigorous
contraction, the contractile fibers cause the
movement.
muscle length to change, but the tension in
the elastic fibers remain unchanged.
BICEPS

Muscle at rest

Muscle
shortens
Isotonic
contraction
R E L A XE D

N T R AC T E D
CO

Tension
at rest

Tension
unchanged

Weight being lifted


Forearm flexes
Same tension, different length
A muscle contraction is isotonic when the
muscle length changes, but the tension is
unchanged. If the muscle shortens, the
contraction is also called concentric.
ON THE MOVE
Working, stretching, pulling, braking 58 59
Muscle at Muscle stays the
Pulling without shortening rest same length

If you hold a weight steady, without


dropping it, the muscle does not

CO NTR AC TED
R E L A XED
change in length or generate
movement. Instead of shortening,
it produces a strong pulling force,
or tension. In fact, many of your
Tension Tension
muscles are always slightly at rest increases
contracted to offset the effects
of gravity on the body.

Pulling without moving


D
A contraction is isometric if the muscle stays the OI
same length as its tension increases. Because the ELT
muscle length does not change, no movement D
occurs and the contraction is described as isostatic.
BICEPS

Isostatic contraction of
biceps muscle holds
weight still

Deltoid muscle
Muscle at rest lengthens as it
brakes lowering
of weight
Pulling and lengthening
CONTR AC TED

In an isotonic contraction that is


R E L A XED

Arm is
eccentric, the tension generated within
lowered
the muscle is not enough to overcome
the load. The muscle elongates as it
contracts, for example to act as a brake
when you lower a heavy weight. Muscle
lengthens

Tension at rest
Tension
increases

MUSCLE
CONTRACTION
GENERATES UP
TO 85 PERCENT
OF YOUR
BODY HEAT
Sensory input, HOW FAST?

action output
Reflex reactions are much faster
than reaction times routed via the
brain. This is true of reactions to
visual, hearing, or touch sensations.
The brain and spinal cord form the central nervous
0.25
system. They receive sensory input from all over the SECONDS
VISUAL
body via a vast network of sensory nerve cells. In
response to the sensory information, the brain and 0.17
spinal cord send instructions down motor nerve AUDIO
SECONDS

cells to control your actions.


0.15
SECONDS
IT CAN TAKE YOUR BRAIN UP TO TOUCH

400 MILLISECONDS TO PROCESS 0.005


INCOMING INFORMATION BEFORE REFLEXES
SECONDS

YOU BECOME CONSCIOUS OF IT

INPUT (SENSORY NERVES)

Consulting the brain Sprinter in Ear interprets


position gunshot as an
If a movement requires conscious audio signal
thought, such as listening for a starter
gun, the sensory signal travels up the
spinal cord to the brain for processing
before the body takes action. Some
conscious actions become relatively
automatic and are performed on
autopilot, without thinking. In fact,
most nerve signals sent to and from the Expecting the signal Audio cue
A sprinter is poised at the start The starter gun sounds. Audio
brain, just to keep the body functioning line, waiting for the gunshot waves reach the ear, which sends
properly, occur subconsciously. to start running. sensory messages to the brain.

Taking the brain Pain signaled


by finger
out of the loop
Survival sometimes requires instant
Hot flame
responses that bypass the brain and burns skin
happen as automatic reflexes. Reflex
pathways are routed via the spinal
cord to avoid the delays that would
Sudden signals
occur if the messages traveled via When your finger
the brain. When a reflex action accidentally touches a
is performed, the brain may be flame, a pain message is
sent via a sensory nerve
informed immediately afterward. to the spinal cord.
ON THE MOVE
Sensory input, action output 60 61
Signal travels to the area of the
brain responsible for voluntary
movement, which helps us decide
what action to take

WHY DOES
ALCOHOL AFFECT
L NERVOUS SYST
TRA E REACTIONS?
EN

M
C

BRAIN Alcohol can affect reaction


times because it has a general
The medulla Signals can anesthetic effect, which
is one part of get as far as
the brainstem the medulla slows down brain responses
without you
that controls
movement being aware
and interferes with
of them coordination.

OUTPUT (MOTOR NERVES)


MEDULLA

Nerve signal Muscles Sprinter


travels up spinal commanded to sets off
cord to the brain move by signals

Sensory nerve
carries signal
from ear Motor nerve
carries signal
from brain Message received Conscious action
The motor nervous signals With instructions from the brain, the
SPINAL CORD

received in muscle cells muscles move in a coordinated


trigger a movement response. fashion and sprinting starts.

Nervous signal travels directly from


Hand moves away
the spinal cord down the motor
from flame
nerveit does not travel via the brain

Pain signal travels up spinal cord


to brain, but only after reaction Quick as a flash
The pain-response
messages travel via
a short reflex route
through the spinal
Sensory nerve cord. This causes
carries signal your finger to move
from finger Nervous signal induces milliseconds before
automatic reaction the pain signal
travels up to reach
your brain.
The control center
The brain coordinates all body functions. It contains billions of nerve cells
whose interconnections make it the most complex of all your organs. The
brain can process thoughts, actions, and emotions simultaneously. Despite
popular belief, you use all of your brain although the exact function of
some areas remains elusive.

NE
Inside the brain

RV
Gray matter

EC
The darker outer
The brain is divided into two

ELL BODY
layer of the brain
main partsthe higher brain is composed mainly
and the primitive brain. The of nerve cell bodies,
some of which cluster
higher brain is the largest and together to form
consists of the cerebrum, which nerve ganglia.

GR
is divided into two halves called

E Y MATTER
the left and right hemispheres.
The higher brain is the part Nerve
where conscious thoughts are White matter Axon
The fine nerve

NE
processed. The more primitive
filaments, or

RVE
part of the brain, which connects axons, which carry
with the spinal cord, is where electrical impulses
your bodys automatic functions, away from each
nerve cell, form the
such as breathing and blood paler tissue beneath
pressure, are controlled. the gray matter. Primitive brain
The cerebellum, thalamus,
and brainstem deal with
instinctive responses and
automatic functions, such
The brain at work as body temperature and
sleep-wake cycles. This part
When you learn a skill, new connections form between the brain cells of the brain also generates
that are used. This means that unfamiliar actions start to become primitive emotions, such
automatic. The amount of practice a golfer does is reflected in the as anger and fear. The
cerebellum coordinates
active areas of the brain when the club is swung. muscle movements
and balance.
Motor area active Less of motor area Emotional center Emotional center
in beginners active in experts active in beginners reduced in experts

Visual processing
BEGINNER EXPERT BEGINNER EXPERT Cerebellum coordinates
your body
Outer cerebral activity Inner cerebral activity
As you practice your shots, less of your motor area will A cross section of the brain reveals that the brains
be stimulated as the once unfamiliar action becomes emotional center is active in beginners, who may deal with
more refined. Areas devoted to coordination and visual anxiety or embarrassment. Expert golfers learn to control
processing in both beginners and experts remain the same. their emotions and concentrate solely on taking the shot.
ON THE MOVE
The control center 62 63
The conscious thought What you touch is
Nerve bundle behind movement processed here
happens here
Being aware of what
is around you is
TEX IN processed here
R
BRA
CO R
SPA
TIA
HE L
IG
H

AW
ENT
VEM

AR
MO

E
NE
SS
SE N S

SSING
G
What you see and

IN
N
hear at the same

ES
AN
M
BRU time is processed

PROCE
RE

PL
together in a
CE
ING separate area
INK
TH

UAL
VIS
IN
E BRA Wernickes area
processes and
V G
ITI GIN understands words
IM JUD
PR What you see is
US

interpreted at the
G
N
M

LA back of brain
LI
M

THA LU
E
FE

EL
EB
CE R
Sounds are
processed here
SENSES
BR
AIN
STE

This small area is associated with emotion,


but the brains main emotional centres are
M

Tastes are Smells are on the inward-facing surface of the


processed here processed here hemisphere, not pictured here

Speech is formed here,


Higher brain in Brocas area
SPIN

The surface layer of the cerebrum,


The brainstem
the cerebral cortex, is where the brain
AL C

monitors and
controls your interprets sensations, triggers voluntary WHAT CAUSES
ORD

breathing and movements (rather than automatic ones,


heartbeat such as breathing), and performs all the HEADACHES?
processes involved in thinking and
speaking. It helps you plan and organize, Pain-sensitive nerves wrap
come up with original ideas, and make around blood vessels in the head.
value judgments. It is even where your
personality is forged. Each region of the Changes in blood flow to the head
cortex has its primary function. Movement during times of stress can cause
skills such as writing, singing, tap-dancing,
or playing tennis, for instance, rely on the
these vessels to constrict or dilate,
The spinal cord
carries information action of the motor cortex. pressing against nerves and
between the brain causing pain. It may feel like the
and the body
pain is inside your brain, but
no pain-sensitive nerves
are there!
Communication hub CORPUS CALL
OS
When you think or act, it is not a single UM
region of the brain that becomes active,
but rather a network of cells spanning
several brain regions. It is these
BRAIN
patterns of activity that command
your mind and body.

Brain hemispheres
Your brain is divided into two hemispheres.
Structurally, they are almost identical, however
each of them is responsible for certain tasks. The
left hemisphere controls the right side of Connecting the hemispheres
the body and (in most people) is responsible The hemispheres are physically linked by
a large bundle of nerves called the corpus
for language and speech. The right callosum. It is a highway of roughly
hemisphere controls the left side 200 million densely packed
of the body and is responsible nerve cells that integrate
information from both
for an awareness of your sides of the body.
surroundings, sensory
information, and creativity.
The two halves of your
brain work together,
communicating through
a nerve superhighway called
the corpus callosum.

RIGHT- OR
LEFT-HANDED?
Controling opposite sides
Each side of your body Some scientists believe that
sends information to, and is right-handedness is more
controlled by, the opposite
hemisphere of the brain. common because the part of the
Information travels between brain that controls the right
them by a nerve network
that spreads to every inch handon the left sideis closely
of your body. associated with the part
that controls speech
and language.
ON THE MOVE
Communication hub 64 65
THE BRAIN CONTAINS 86 BILLION Nerve pathway that
NERVE CELLS JOINED BY 100 TRILLION connects brain regions

CONNECTIONSMORE THAN
THE NUMBER OF
STARS IN THE
MILKY WAY
One of many nodes in
brain active while Multiple areas at work
playing chess When you play chess, you
Networks in the brain use many regions of your
To performing the simplest action, such as walking, or a complex brain. Not only do you
maneuver, such as a dance, you rarely use just one area of your use your visual processing
region, you may also
brain. In fact, networks of connected areas all over the brain are activated activate your memory
as you go about your day. By looking for regions consistently activated and planning areas to
together, researchers can track the flow of information around the brain. recall previous games and
establish a strategy.
These networks can change during your lifetime as you
learn new skills and information, and as a result new
nerve pathways are made. Unused nerve pathways
may be pruned as you grow older.

This nerve cell is connected


to four others, forming a
network across the brain DEFAULT MODE
Physical connections When you are relaxed and not focusing on the world
Scientists can trace the physical
connections between nerve cells
around you, your brain shows a specific pattern of
in the brain. The density of nerve activity; this is called the default mode network.
pathways indicates which brain It is thought that this network helps generate thoughts
regions communicate the most. as your mind wanders, and may
be linked with creativity,
self-reflection, and
moral reasoning.

Nerve activity is shown as


areas that light up on some
brain scans
CREATIVE
THOUGHTS
Active brain areas
The electrical activity that nerve
cells generate can be picked up
on certain types of brain scans. DAYDREAMER
Looking at these scans can shed
light on which brain regions are
most active during particular tasks.
Sparking into life
Nerves transmit electrical messages around the body in milliseconds.
Each nerve is like a cable of insulated wires, and each wire is called a
nerve fiber, or axon. An axon is the main part of a single, immensely
long cellcalled a neuronwhose job it is to pass on the signal.

Nerve contains blood


vessels and bundles
of axons (nerve cell fibers) How do nerve cells send messages?
Nerve cells generate a pulse of electricity in response to a stimulus,
such as pain. If the stimulus is strong enough, pores in the nerve cell
N Blood vessel membrane open and electrically charged ions flood in and out of the
ER
VE cell. This generates an electrical impulse that spreads along the
nerve axon. The pores then close again, ready for the next stimulus.

Impulse in a nerve cell


1 The electrical charge moves
along the nerve axon. Fatty myelin
cells are wrapped round the axon
HOW FAST ARE
like beads on a string, leaving NERVE SIGNALS?
spaces in between. The electrical
The electrical
impulse jumps from space to space The fastest are those signal jumps from
to travel more quickly. end to end of each
going to and from position myelin jacket
sensors in the muscles.
They send impulses at
Fasciclea 265 mph (430 kph).
bundle of axons

Myelin sheath (like a jacket of fatty


material) insulates this axon and
ON
speeds up its electrical signal AX

PINS AND NEEDLES


Pressure over a nerve, such as Electrical signal
from a tight sock, can cut off transmits along the
axon of a nerve cell
its blood supply. This causes
numbness by preventing
Electric Electric
the nerve from sending signals signals
messages. When pressure is cease and feeling
relieved, blood flow returns. returns
As the nerve and its receptors
become active again, a
tingling sensation, which can PRESSURE CUTS RECEPTORS
be unpleasant, occurs. OFF BLOOD REAWAKEN
ON THE MOVE
Sparking into life 66 67

Dendrites connect THE GAP BETWEEN NERVE


to other nerve cells
CELLS IS LESS THAN
1 TRILLIONTH THE WIDTH
OF A HUMAN HAIR
Each nerve cell has numerous short
projections called dendrites. These
act like antennae to receive signals
from neighboring nerve cells

Electrical signal continues down


an axon toward the next neuron

CELL
NUCLEUS Neurotransmitter
package ready to be
AX released to trigger
ON next nerve cell
NER Y
VE CELL BOD

The nerve cell


body is the site
of the nerve cells
cellular machinery

Neurotransmitter is
released and floods
across the gap

Neurotransmitter plugs
Communicating the message into a channel protein,
2 To get the message across to another
and opens a gate into the
next nerve cell
nerve cell, a nerve cell converts its electrical
signal into a chemical one. It releases chemicals
called neurotransmitters, which cross the tiny
gap between the nerve cells. By opening gates in Open Closed
LL
the next nerve cells membrane, they trigger the channel channel
NERVE CE
cell to start its own impulse. protein protein
THE NEXT
ACTION RELAXATION

Pupils dilate Pupils constrict


Dilation, or widening, of pupils Normal pupil responses control
occurs in darkness to improve light entering the eye. Pupils
vision, but it also occurs when the constrict, or narrow, in bright
sympathetic nervous system braces light and widen in darkness.
the body for actionalthough BRAIN
experts are not sure why.

Small airways expand


The bronchioles, tiny airways in Small airways narrow
your lungs, widen to allow more When relaxed, the airways
air in. You absorb more oxygen, within your lungs return to
which muscles use for fuel, if a their normal size, allowing for
quick getaway is needed. a regular intake of oxygen.

BRAINSTEM
Widening arteries
Arteries to your muscles and brain
dilate to provide these organs with
more oxygen, so you act faster Blood vessels narrow
and think more quickly. As a result, Your arteries return to their
blood is diverted away from normal size when you are
your skin, making you pale. relaxed. Blood flow is evenly
distributed across the body.

Heart rate increases


Your pulse rises to 100 beats per Heart rate decreases
minute or more so that more Your heart rate returns to your
blood is sent to the lungs normal resting rate as you relax.
to collect oxygen and to the However, resting heart rate can
body to distribute oxygen. vary with your fitness level.
SPINAL CORD

Liver releases sugars


Your liver acts as your bodys Liver stores sugars
engine. It converts glucose, a When you are relaxed, your
sugar, to energy, using stores in liver saves up energy. Any excess
your body. Your muscles need sugar you ingest is packed away,
energy in order to move. or converted into fat and then
stored as extra tissue.
Digestion slows
Your stomach is instructed to Digestion stimulated
bring digestion to a halt. In times In the absence of stress, your
of true terror, you may vomit to stomach churns away to start the
stop digestion. A full stomach digestion process. This could be
can slow you down if running. why you can hear rumbling
stomachs in quiet rooms.

Intestine slows Act or relax?


Blood is diverted from
the intestine, since it is an
unimportant organ in times of Automatic, unconscious functions of the
stress, and movements in your
gut slow down or stop altogether. body are managed by the primitive parts
of the central nervous systemthe spinal
Bladder relaxes cord and brainstem. However, they use
The muscles that usually keep the
bladder shut tend to relax if you are two different networks of nerves to control
anxious, unfortunately resulting in our body parts depending on whether
frequent trips to the toilet.
we need to get moving or put our feet up.

Calming the nerves


Our twin automatic nervous systems are called the
Braced for action sympathetic and the parasympathetic. Together they
The job of igniting and stimulating your body ready for action form what is called the autonomic nervous system. The
lies with the sympathetic nervous system, which uses different parasympathetic nerves tend to slow things down and
nerves. Once it has served its purpose, the parasympathetic start digestion. You dont tend to notice their effects.
system kicks in, counteracting the sympathetic effects to
wind your body back down into a relaxed state.
Bladder contracts
You have complete control
BUTTERFLIES IN THE STOMACH over the bladder muscles.
They keep your bladder shut
when you are fully relaxed.
Act or relax?
ON THE MOVE

The sensation of butterflies


before a stage performance or big
interview is due to the reduction
of blood flow to the stomach when
readying the body for danger. The
stomach has a dense network of
Intestine speeds up
nerves, and some of these nerves
68 69

Nutrients are absorbed from


signal nervous, fluttery feelings, or the small intestines, and bowel
even nausea, as blood flow drops. movements push undigested waste
onward. This process works best
when you are still and relaxed.
Bumps, sprains,
and tears WHY DOES HITTING
YOUR FUNNY BONE
Soft tissues of the body, such as nerves, muscles, FEEL FUNNY?
tendons, and ligaments, are susceptible to injury, Knocking your elbow
leading to bruising, swelling, inflammation, and compresses the ulnar nerve,
pain. Some injuries result from sports, while others which runs down the outside
can occur from overuse or accidents. Injuries are of your elbow, against bone,
more common with age and causing an electric
poor fitness. shock sensation.
Carpal
ligament
Nerve problems
Nerves stretch for long distances and
Muscles further up the arm
often travel through narrow spaces shield nerves from potential
between bones. These tunnels guide knocks or pressure
and protect the nerve, but can also Median nerve
trap it to cause pain, numbness, or
tingly feelings. Pinching can occur
when repetitive movements cause
tissues to swell, from maintaining
Carpal tunnel syndrome
an awkward position for a long The median nerve passes Ulnar nerve
time (such as keeping an elbow bent between the wrist bones and a
during sleep), or when surrounding strong ligament connecting the Exposed ulnar nerve
base of the thumb and little finger. which is where you may
tissues move out of alignment, Pinching of the nerve causes painful hit your "funny bone"
which occurs with a slipped disk. tingling in the hand, wrist, and forearm. Elbow

Whiplash Head thrown back, Momentum whips


This injury to the neck occurs over-extending the head forward
joints in the neck
when the head is suddenly
whipped backward and then Disk pinched
forward or vice versa. This by vertebrae
commonly happens to those
traveling in a car that is hit from
behind by another vehicle. Ligament torn
by sudden
movement

Squashed disks and torn ligaments


The sudden whiplash movement jars the
neck. This motion can injure bones in
the spine, compress discs between the
vertebrae, tear ligaments and muscles,
and stretch nerves in the neck. HYPEREXTENSION FLEXION
ON THE MOVE
Knocks, sprains, and tears 70 71
Back pain
Back pain most commonly
occurs in the lower spine, which
is vulnerable as it supports most Muscle and
Calf
of the body's weight. Many cases muscle tendon strain
result from heavy lifting without A sprain is the stretching or
protecting the back by keeping tearing of a ligament, while
it straight. Excessive strain can a strain is the stretching or
lead to tearing and spasms of tearing of a muscle or a tendon,
the muscles, the stretching of which connects the muscle
ligaments, and even a dislocation Tear in to bone. Muscle strains and
of one of the tiny gliding joints muscle fiber ligament sprains occur when
(see p.40) between the vertebrae. falling or twisting causes
Pressure may cause the soft, Strains and sprains tissues to stretch or tear.
jellylike center of an intervertebral Muscles and ligaments This leads to painful spasms,
disk to rupture through its fibrous have a certain amount swelling, and can result in
of stretchability but,
coat and press on a nerve. when over-stretched, they temporary stiffness and
Treatment involves analgesics, can tear. A large force, reduced mobility.
manipulation, and remaining such as a ski fall, may even
cause a tendon to tear in
as mobile as possible. two (rupture).
Muscle tears in your back Tears in
are difficult to heal because ankle ligaments
Achilles tendon
blood flow is limited

Muscle strain
When you are unfit,
muscles have poor tone.
They are easily strained Ankle ligament
from lifting, carrying,
bending awkwardly, or
even prolonged sitting THE ANKLE IS THE MOST
in one position.
COMMON AREA OF THE
BODY TO GET A SPRAIN
Slipped disk
A damaged spinal disk
presses on a nerve root
causing pins and needles,
PRICE TECHNIQUE
spasm, and back pain.
Sciatic nerve irritation The PRICE technique is an effective way to
causes shooting pain treat a strain or sprain: Protectionuse a
down one leg.
support, crutch, or sling to relieve pressure.
Slipped spinal disk Restkeep the injured area free from
movement. Iceapply an ice-pack to
Bone spurs
minimize swelling and bleeding.
As aging vertebrae Compressionan elastic
start to wear out, mild bandage reduces swelling.
inflammation and the Elevationkeep the area
bones attempt to heal can raised to reduce swelling.
produce spurlike growths
that press against nerve
roots causing pain.
Bone growth
SENSITIVE
TYPES
LIGHT BREEZE TEMPERATURE CHANGE BRUSH OF A FEATHER

TOP, DEAD LAYER OF EPIDERMIS


EPIDERMIS

Epidermis,
AFT

the skins
DERMIS (DEEP LAYER OF SKIN)

surface layer
HAIR SH

Net of nerve cells


wrapped around
the base of the Very light
hair Free nerve endings touch
extend into skins receptors rest
surface layer against the
Nerve cell base of the
firing epidermis

Hair movement Temperature and pain Very light touch


We can sense things that havent touched Nerves without any special structure Slightly lower than the free nerve
our skin. Air currents, or the brushing of around them are sensitive to cold, heat, or endings are Merkels cells, which are
hair against objects, distorts and triggers pain. They are the shallowest receptors, sensitive to the faintest touch. They are
nerves wrapped around a hairs base. extending right into the skins surface layer. particularly dense in the fingertips.

Feeling the pressure


What we think of as our sense of touch is actually
HOW DO WE FEEL
composed of signals from several different receptors DEEP INSIDE THE BODY?
in our skin. Some receptors are concentrated in
Nearly all of our touch sense
certain areas, such as the sensitive fingertips.
is in the skin and joints. But
we also feel discomfort in our
How the skin feels guts. This comes from stretch
Our skin is full of microscopic sensors, or receptors, that are buried at
receptors and chemical
different depths and are poised to respond to touches of different kinds
from faint, brief contacts to sustained pressure. In effect, each represents
sensors in and around
a subtly distinct sense. Receptors work by responding (triggering a nerve our intestines.
impulse) when they are disturbed or distorted.
GENTLE TOUCH FIRM MASSAGE VIBRATION

Pressure
and stretch
receptor

Light touch
receptors sit
at the top of
the dermis Deep pressure
and vibration
receptor

Light touch Pressure and stretch Vibration and pressure


Light-touch receptors are good for If the skin is stretched or distorted by The deepest type of touch receptor occurs
reading Braille because they are arranged pressure, deep receptors fire. They stop in joints as well as skin. These sensors dont
densely and their firing dies away quickly. firing after a few seconds, so they report give up firing, so they respond to sustained
This gives precise, rapidly updating rapid changes, not continuous pressure. pressure as well as vibration.
information.

FROM PALM TO FINGERTIP


Our palms and fingers are very
sensitive, but our fingertips
have more nerve endings than 2,000 EACH OF YOUR
(300)
anywhere else on our skin. FINGERTIPS
Light-touch sensors are packed
by the thousands into the pads 800
CAN DETECT
of our fingers. The pattern in
which they fire tell us about the
(120) DIFFERENCES IN
texture of surfaces that we touch. TEXTURE 10,000
300
Number of nerve endings (50) TIMES SMALLER
per sq in (per sq cm)
THAN THE WIDTH
OF A HAIR
How do you feel?
From our skin, tongue, throat, joints, and other body parts,
microscopic sensors send touch information along sensory
nerves to the brain. The destination of these nerve impulses
is a part of the brains outer layer called the sensory cortex,
where the touch information is organized and analyzed.

How the brain feels


We can tell where something touches us because the brain contains a
map of the body. The map is on a strip of the brains outer layer called the
sensory cortex, but it is a distorted. Because some body parts are Homunculus
so much more sensitive, with closely packed nerve endings, those parts A sensory homunculus is a body pictured
occupy a hugely exaggerated area of the map. The cortex needs such a in proportion to the area of sensory cortex
devoted to it. The colors of this one match
great area to record precisely the detailed touch data. It combines the those on the large illustration of the brain.
information to calculate whether an object is hard or soft, rough or
smooth, warm or cold, stiff or flexible, wet or dry, and much more.

Touch-sensitive brain
Viewed from the side, the part of the
brains surface that receives touch SENSORY
information is a narrow strip. It CORTEX
continues down the inside into
the deep canyon between the
brains two halves.
CORTEX

This pink band is the


sensory cortexthe part
of the cortex that receives
touch information

The cortex, in yellow,


is the outer layer of the
cerebrumthe giant,
folded structure that forms
most of the human brain

Sensitive bits
The cortex reserves a disproportionate
amount of space for the body parts
that deliver the most detailed touch
informationthe lips, palms, tongue,
thumb, and fingertips.

5 MILLION LEFT
HEMISPHERE
receives touch
THE TOTAL AMOUNT information
OF SENSORY NERVE from the right
side of the body
ENDINGS IN THE SKIN
SENSITIVE TYPES
How do you feel? 76 77
Why cant we tickle
ourselves?
HOW DO WE When we try to tickle ourselves, our
SENSE TEMPERATURE? brain takes a copy of the intended
movement pattern of our fingers and
Specific skin nerve endings are
sends it to the body part about to be
sensitive to hot or cold. In the tickled, warning it and dampening
range 41113F (545C), both types its tickle response. This works because
fire all the time, but at different unlike tickles from other people, our
rates, giving the brain an idea of brain can predict the precise movement
how hot or cold it is. Outside this of our own hands and filter it out. This is
an example of the brains vital ability to
range, different nerve endings
filter unwanted sensory data.
take over. These register
not heat, but pain.
TRUNK

Touch is governed
LEG

by the sensory
HEA

cortex
M
AR

Pleasure is
governed by this
part of the
brains cortex
ND
HA

A true tickle
FOOT triggers nerves
S B going to the
G ER UM pleasure center
H
TOES FIN D T as well as the
AN touch center
of the brain

GENITALS E
EY
E
FAC

LIPS The nerve


pathway from a
self-tickle goes
only to the
UE sensory cortex
TONG
OUR OWN
HAND

Tickle experiment
It is easy to confirm
that we cant tickle
RIGHT ourselves with a
demonstration like
HEMISPHERE this. But it doesnt
receives touch work on everyone.
information There are in fact
from the left people who can SOMEBODY
side of the body tickle themselves. ELSES HAND
Pains pathway REFERRED PAIN
Nerve pathways from our
Pain, while unpleasant, is actually incredibly helpful. internal organs run alongside
nerve pathways from the skin
It tells you when your body is damaged, and the level and muscles before reaching our
of pain you feel helps you act accordingly. brain. This means the brain may
misinterpret pain from the organ
as occurring in the
Feeling the pain nearby muscles
Pain signals travel from nerve cell receptors at the site or skin, which is
of injury along nerves to the spinal cord, and then to more common Heart
and likely. pain
the brain, which tells you that you are in pain. Man- signal
made or natural analgesic (painkilling)
Feeling of
chemicals work by stopping pain felt on
this flow of information. arm and right
side of chest
Slow C-fiber

Myelin
sheath
Fast A-fiber
NDLE
RVE BU
NE
Blocked at the nerve
Fast or slow?
Local anesthetic blocks 3 A-fiber axons are wrapped in
conduction of electrical
myelin sheaths, allowing electrical signals
impulses along the
to travel faster than in C-fibres. Dense
A and C nerve fibers,
A-fibre receptors in the skin result in
so these impulses never
sharp, localized pain. Slower C-fibres
reach the spinal cord.
produce dull, burning aches. DULL, SHARP,
GENERAL ACHE LOCALIZED PAIN

PAIN SIGNALS Nerve cell

TRAVEL UP TO 15 Stimulated nerve cell


2 Axon
TIMES FASTER Exposed nerve endings in
your skin start to fire in response to
ALONG A-FIBERS prostaglandins. Electrical signals
signalling pain are carried by nerve
THAN C-FIBERS cell axons into nerve bundles.

Prostaglandins
Blocked at injury
Aspirin blocks
1 When you hurt yourself,
generation of cells in your skin are damaged. Prostaglandin
prostaglandins at the Damaged cells release chemicals molecule
called prostaglandins which released by cell
site of injury to stop
nerve sensitization. sensitize surrounding nerve cells.

Damaged cell

Physical damage directly


stimulates pain receptors,
SKIN giving us our first sensation BRUISE CUT
of pain when injured
Nerve cell synapse-junction
SENSITIVE TYPES
Pains pathway 78 79
passing on chemical signal for pain
Receiving nerve cell
Higher cortex registers
chemical messages as pain

Traveling message
4 Just like any nervous signal, the BRAIN
electrical impulse is converted into a
chemical message to reach the next
nerve cell on the path to the brain.
The brainstem can release
natural opioid painkillers that
inhibit some of the chemical
message from crossing the gap,
dampening the feeling of pain.

Painkillers
Opioids such as Thalamus
morphine mimic Chemical distributes pain
your bodys natural message signals to various
for pain Nerve traveling up
opioids, binding to to brain areas of cortex
the nerve cells in order
to reduce or even block pains
Reaching the brain
chemical message. It can erase the
Nerve in 5 The signal continues to the
feeling of pain altogether, which is the spinal
useful during medical emergencies. conscious part of the brain, the cortex.
cord Feeling pain requires activity in cortex
areas involved in emotion, attention, and
accessing significance. People can
DORSAL experience pain due to this
HORN activity, even if there
is no cause.

Dorsal horn of spinal cord SPINAL CORD


The dorsal horn is one of the four main
columns of nerves found in the spinal
cord. It is responsible for processing
touch and related senses, including pain. Nerve connecting
to spinal cord

Why do we itch? ITCH


Itches arise when our skin is irritated by
Itching cycle
something on its surface, or by chemicals released
Scratching can irritate the
by the body when parts of the skin have become skin further, which makes
inflammed due to disease. It is likely to have the itch signal ever more
Scratching persistant. Scratching
evolved to protect us against biting insects. an itch also causes the brain to
Itch receptors are separate from touch or pain release serotonin to
receptors. When they are stimulated, a signal dampen the pain caused,
providing temporary
travels through the spinal cord to the brain where
relief. However, once it
REL

the scratch response is initiated. Scratching an wears off, the urge to


itch stimulates both touch and pain receptors,
IEF

itch returns stronger


N

than before.
AI

blocking signals from the itch receptor and P


distracting you from the urge to scratch.
How the eye works
Our visual capabilities are amazing. We can see detail and color, see
near and far objects clearly, and judge speed and distance. The first
stage in the visual process is image capturea sharp image forms
on the eyes light receptors. The image then needs to be converted
into nerve signals (see pp.8283) so that it can be processed by the
brain (see pp.8485).

Eye socket, also called the


orbit, is the cavity in the
skull in which the eye sits

RET
IN
Cornea is a slightly A
bulged dome-shaped
window on the front
of the eye Retina is full of light
sensors that turn light
into nerve signals

Iris is the colored part of the eye


and contains muscles that alter
the size of the pupil

Pupil is the opening in the center


of the iris and acts like a cameras
CORNEA

PUPIL

LENS
IRIS

aperture, opening or closing to


admit more or less light

Light let in through the pupil


continues on its path by
entering the eyes lens

OP
TI
At the point light passes SC C
from air into the cornea, LE NE
it bends (refracts) RA RV
E
C H O RO I D

Into the eye Optic nerve carries


The eyes scan our environment constantly, taking nerve signals from
light sensors to brain
in rays of light produced by, or reflected, from objects.
The rays enter the eye first through a clear, bulging
Bending light
window called the cornea. Light is bent by the cornea, 1 Due to the corneas domed
passing through the pupilwhich controls light shape, light refracting through it bends
intensityand is then fine-focused by the adjustable inward through the pupil toward a
Choroid contains blood focal point within the eye. The pupil,
lens onto the retina, whose millions of photoreceptor vessels that supply the which is a hole in the iris, lets a
cells form an image to be sent to the brain. retina and sclera with blood controlled amount of light through.
SENSITIVE TYPES
How the eye works 80 81
Ciliary muscles contract to make lens Light sensors in retina send nerve
fatter for close focus, or relax to make signals in response to image
it thinner for distant objects

Iris

Image on retina
Ligaments attach is upside down
cilary muscle to lens

Lens is elastic and


gets rounder when Optic nerve carries
ligaments are slack nerve signals to brain

Optic nerve

2 Autofocusing
As we look at nearby and distant objects, we adjust 3 Image on the retina
When light hits the retina, more than 100 million light
the focus of our eyes without thinking. For close work, the receptors are stimulated, like the pixels on a digital camera's sensor.
muscles that pull on the lens contract, the ligaments go The pattern of light intensity and color in the image is preserved as
slack, and the lens bulges to increase its focusing power. an electrical signal in the optic nerve, which sends it to the brain.

Upper eyelid
Bright light moves down
Lubrication
The iris is the colored part of when we blink Produced by tear glands under the
upper eyelid, tears moisten and lubricate
the eye with a central opening the eye and wash away small particles
called the pupil. It contains Lower eyelid from the eyes surface. Tears are
doesnt move produced continually, although we only
muscles that contract or relax to when we blink or notice when we cry or our eyes water.
alter the size of the pupil and so close our eyes
let more or less light into the eye. Tear gland produces tears,
Shutters down which trickle into the eye
Our eyes are extremely delicate. through tear ducts
Irisa colored The eyelids close by reflex action
ring of muscles if we are in danger of getting
something in our eyes.
Pupil is enlarged
(dilated) to let in
more light First line of defense Tear drops form when
The eyelashes and eyelids the tear glands produce
dim light too much tear fluid for it to
help protect our eyes. The drain away through the nose
eyelashes prevent dust
and other small particles Channel drains tears
from getting into the eyes. The into the nose
Pupil is small
(constricted) to
eyelids help protect against
let in less light larger objects and irritant substances
in the air. The eyelids also spread tears
bright light across the surface of the eye.
Forming an image
The part of our eye that creates images, the retina,
is only the size of a thumbnail, but can produce an WHAT ARE
incredibly sharp and detailed image. We rely on cells LIGHT SPOTS?
inside the retina to convert light rays into images. The gel-like fluid that fills
the inner part of your eye can
How we see break loose, blocking incoming
Images are formed at the back of the eye in a layer called the light rays and casting shadows
retina. Cells inside the retina are sensitive to light. When light on your retina. These shadows
rays strike them, they trigger nerve signals, which then travel to appear as flashing dots or
the brain to be processed as an image. The retina contains two shapes in your vision.
types of light sensor cells; cone cells, or cones, detect color
(wavelength) of light rays, whereas rod cells, or rods, do not.

Light rays Cornea refracts, or Inverted image


reflect off object bends, light rays

WHITE LIGHT
Lens focuses
Rays of light light rays
White light is composed of light of
lots of different wavelengths. Some RE TINA
light receptors in the eye are sensitive
to certain wavelengths in the light, Rods and cones
Fovea packed Rods are packed most densely around the
giving us the sensation of color. with cones center of the retina, although none are found
in the central region, known as the fovea. The
fovea is packed with cones, and there are no
Rods packed most
blood vessels in this small area, so it produces
densely in retinas center
a sharp, detailed picture. The very center of
Rods and cones in front the fovea contains only red and green cones.
of nerves, leaving nerve
pathway unobstructed
Rods and cones behind nerves, Blind spot where optic
partially obstructing the nerve nerve reaches back of eye
Blindspot evolution pathway back to brain

20-100
In our eyes, rods and cones are
behind the nerves. The nerves must
exit the back of the eye to reach the
brain, and they do so at a single
point, creating a blind spot with
no rods or cones. Our brain
MILLISECONDS
compensates by guessing what
should be in the blank
THE TIME TAKEN FOR
region and filling it in for us.
On the other hand, the eyes
YOUR EYES TO MAKE
of squid have nerves that sit
behind their rods and cones,
A MOVEMENT WHEN
resulting in no blind spot. SQUID EYE HUMAN EYE READING QUICKLY
SENSITIVE TYPES
Forming an image 82 83
Cones send nervous Reaching the retina
signals in response to Once focused by the lens, light rays travel through
green, red, or blue light the inner eye toward the retina, where our light
receptorsrods and conesare located. Light rays
Connecting then hit the rods and cones, and a nearby nerve cell
nerve cell fires a nervous signal which travels along nerve fibers
back in the opposite direction toward the brain.

Rod sends nervous signal in


response to any color of light; In dim light,
it works in dim light flower may seem
black and white

Grayscale vision
Rods are very sensitive to
NER

light and enable us to see


in dim conditions, but
V
E SIG

they cannot distinguish


between different colors.
NAL

Cones are not stimulated


at low light levels, so
Nerve signals travel what you see may
along nerve fibers
SH
R AY appear grayscale.
ADE
Blind S OF G
spot
Cones are responsible for
seeing a flowers full color

Color vision
Cones provide color
NERVE SIG

vision but work only in


bright light. There are
three types of cone, each
one sensitive to red, blue,
NAL

or green light. Combining


these three colors allows
FU us to see millions of
LL C O L O R
different colors.

AFTERIMAGE
NE
RV EC
ELL If you stare at an image steadily, the rods and
S
cones it stimulates start to fatigue and fire less
LIG
Light ray traveling HT often. When you look away, these rods and
REC
through inner eye to EP TOR cones remain fatigued, while those sensitive
retina at back of eye CE L to different wavelengths of light are still fresh, so
LS
begin to fire rapidly. This leads to an
afterimage forming on your
retina in a contrasting
colour. You can prove
Light and nerve signals Wall of cells
The white arrows show Light rays
this by staring at
forming back
the direction of light rays. of retina this bird for 30
Green and blue arrows Color seconds, then
refer to nervous signals looking at
traveling through Black and the cage.
the eye. White
Vision in the brain
Our eyes provide basic visual data about the world, but it is our brain
that extracts useful information from it. This is done by selectively
modifying it, producing our visual perception of the worlddeducing
movement and depth and taking into account lighting conditions.

Binocular vision
Visual pathways
We are able to see in 3-D because of the placement of our eyes. They both point
Information from the eyes is carried
in the same direction, but are spaced apart slightly, so that they see slightly to the back of the brain, where it is
different images when looking at an object. How different these images are processed and turned into conscious
vision. Along the way, signals converge
depends on the distance of the object relative to where you are
at the optic chiasm, where half of the
fixating, so we use the disparity between the images signals cross over to the opposite
to judge how far away an object is. hemisphere of the brain.

VISUA
L FIELD
OF THE
LEFT E
YE

BINOCULAR VISUAL FIELD

This is the image formed by


the brain after it combines
the images from the left and
right eyes visual fields

EYE
E RIGHT
L FIELD OF TH
VISUA

Lens with 3-D television


polarizing
filter only lets
Seeing in 3-D
through visual

24
The way our brains have signal vibrating
evolved to perceive depth horizontally
can be used to produce 3-D
movies. Filmmakers film one
image out of polarized light
waves that are oscillating up
and down, and a different
image, filmed from a different
angle, from light oscillating Polarized
THE NUMBER
from side to side. By providing
each eye with these slightly
signals OF FRAMES PER
different images, they
trick the brain into
Vertical polarized SECOND AT WHICH
light passes through
thinking it is seeing in 3-D. the other filter FILM IS RECORDED
SENSITIVE TYPES
Vision in the brain 84 85
Converging lines are This car appears to be larger,
interpreted as distance but both are the same size
Perspective
Experience tells us that two straight lines, such as
railroad tracks, appear to converge in the distance.
We use this to estimate depth from an imageby
combining this with other cues, such as changes in
texture and comparisons to objects of known size, we Car in front
appears smaller
can estimate distances. The image to the right creates
an illusion because we interpret converging lines as
distance and compare the cars sizes to lane width.

EMISPHERE
LEFT H
PERSPECTIVE ILLUSION

COLOR CONSTANCY

Left visual cortex We are used to seeing objects in a


CT receives signals variety of lighting conditions and
T RA US from left side of
our brain takes this into account to
IC AM each retina
PT AL cancel out the effects of shadows
O TH and lighting. This means we
LEF
FT

M T VI always see a banana as yellow,


LE

SUAL
S

CORTEX
TIC CHIA

no matter how it is illuminated.


But sometimes our brain sees
L CORTEX
only what it expects.
ISUA
OP

V Right visual Square A appears


HT cortex receives
RIG
darker than square B,
RI

signals from but they are the same


GH

T TH right side of shade of gray


OP AL each retina
T IC AM
US A
TR
AC
T B

The right optic radiation


is a band of nerve fibers You expect square B
that carries the visual to be lighter due to
RIGHT HEMISPHERE signal from the thalamus the cylinders shadow
to the right visual cortex

FRAME 1 FRAME 2 Real motion Perceived motion


Moving pictures between frames between frames
Surprisingly, our eyes dont provide a smooth stream
of moving visual information. They deliver a series of
snapshots to the brain, just like film or video. The brain
creates the perception of movement from the images,
which is why we find it easy to blend the frames of FRAME 3 FRAME 4
film and TV into the impression of smooth motion. Apparent motion
When the wheels of cars on TV seem to go backward, it is
The process can go wrong, however, because because they make a little less than one rotation between frames.
a sequence of still frames can be misleading. Our brain wrongly reconstructs a slow backward motion.
Eye problems
90%
Your eyes are complex, delicate organs and therefore
vulnerable to disorders caused by damage or natural
degeneration as you get older. Eye problems affect
most people at some point in their lives, but luckily, THE PROPORTION
many eye conditions are easily treatable. OF 1618 YEAR OLD
CHILDREN WITH
Why do you need glasses? NEARSIGHTEDNESS
You see sharp, clear images when light from an object is bent by your
lens and cornea and focused on the retina (see pp.8081). If this system
IN SOME CITIES
is slightly off, images appear blurred. Glasses can correct for too much or
too little bending of the light, bringing the image back into focus. The Astigmatism
prevalence of nearsightedness appears to be increasingpossibly The most common type of
because modern day life, especially in urban environments, requires astigmatism is caused by a cornea
us to focus more on nearby objects than those far away. or lens shaped more like a football
Sharp image than a soccer ball. This means that
Lens too stiff and thin
behind retina while the image may be focused on
the retina horizontally, the vertical
aspect could be focused in front of
Blurred image
on retina or behind the retina (or vice versa).
It can be corrected using glasses or
Near object contact lenses, or through laser
eye surgery.

What you see


Farsightedness
People with astigmatism may see vertical
In farsighted people, images from
or horizontal lines blurred, but the other
nearby objects are focused behind
in focus. Sometimes, both axes are
the retina. This commonly arises
distortedone can be farsighted and the
with age, as the lens becomes less
other nearsighted.
flexible and is unable to bend the
light enough to focus the image
on the retina. Blurred image
on retina
Lens bulged and
too rounded

HEALTHY VISION NO FOCUS

Distant object

Sharp image in
Nearsightedness front of retina
An overly powerful lens and
cornea mean the image is
focused in front of the retina,
causing objects in the distance VERTICAL HORIZONTAL
to appear blurry. FOCUS FOCUS
SENSITIVE TYPES
Eye problems 86 87
Cataracts
Cataracts are cloudy lenses
that disturb vision and are
the cause of half the cases
of blindness worldwide.
They are common in older
people, but can also be
caused by environmental
factors, such as exposure to
ultraviolet (UV) light, or injury.
They can be treated through
surgery, during which the
lens is removed and replaced
with an artificial one.
WITHOUT WITH
CATARACTS CATARACTS

Healthy vision Blurry vision


Normally, light passes easily With cataracts, the lens
through your transparent lens, becomes cloudy, colors
and you see a crisp image. start to fade, and the
image becomes hazy as
light is scattered.

TESTING YOUR VISION


Glaucoma
Normally, excess fluid in your eyes drains harmlessly Vision tests allow ophthalmologists to examine your
into the blood. Glaucoma occurs when blocked ability to see at far and near distances and to check that
drainage channels cause fluid to buildup in the eye. your eyes are working together and the muscles are
Causes of glaucoma arent well understood, although healthy. They also inspect the eye inside and out, which
genetics plays a part. can pick up illnesses such as diabetes and vision
problems such as glaucoma or cataracts. Another type
of vision problem that may be detected is color
Aqueous fluid blindness. Color vision deficiencies are caused by
trapped missing or defective cone types,
between lens
and cornea so sufferers rely on fewer
causes pressure than the three cone
Pressure types most people
reduces have. This means
blood supply
to optic nerve they confuse
Blocked
drainage certain colors
canal most commonly
Rising pressure reds and greens.
The increasing pressure
caused by fluid buildup can Some people see the
number 74, some 21,
damage the optic nerve and some neither
preventing signals reaching Buildup of Optic
the brain. If left untreated, pressure nerve
it can cause total blindness.
How the ears work The three semicircular
canals in the inner ear
Our ears have the tricky job of converting sound waves are balance organs and
not part of hearing
in the air into nerve signals for our brains to interpret. The
series of steps used ensures that as much of the information
as possible is preserved. Ears can also amplify faint signals, L
and determine where sounds are coming from. NA
CA
R

A
UL
RC
Getting sound into the body

ICI
Malleus
When sound waves travel from air to liquid, as they must

SEM
(hammer) bone
is the first of the
to enter the body, they are partially reflected, so they ear ossicles
have less energy and sound quieter. Our ear prevents the
sound from bouncing off by easing the wave energy in, step
by step. When the eardrum vibrates, it pushes on the
first of three tiny bones called ossicles, which move
in turn, pushing on the oval window and setting INNE
R EAR
up waves in the cochleas liquid. As the sound
passes through the ossicles, they amplify CLES
OSSI
it by 2030 times. Vibration passes
from eardrum to
malleus bone

Eardrum vibrates
MIDDLE
Easing sound in EAR
Sound waves travel down the ear canal and cause the
eardrum to vibrate. The vibration is passed through the
three ossicles. Because of the way they pivot, they
use leverage to amplify the vibration in steps.
The last ossicle pushes at the oval window
the entrance to the inner ear, where
PI

vibrations pass into the fluid L


NA
NN

of the cochlea. CA
A

Oval window
(EX

R a membrane,
EA
TE

such as the
RN

OUTER eardrum
AL

Incus (anvil) bone passes


E

vibration to the final


AR

EAR
ossicle, the stapes
)

Stapes (stirrup)
bone pushes fluid
WHY in the cochlea
DONT OUR OWN through a
membrane-
Sound VOICES DEAFEN US? covered window
vibrations
enter ear
canal Our ears are less sensitive
when we speak, because tiny
Shape of external
ear, or pinna, funnels muscles hold the ossicles steady,
sound waves into ear
canal and gives clues
dampening their vibration. Less
about whether they energy is passed into the
came from, in front
or behind cochlea and it causes
no damage.
SENSITIVE TYPES
How the ear works 88 89
NERVE

E
RV
NE
IBULAR
Sounds of different pitches

RY
TO
Inside the cochlea is the basilar membrane, which is connected to
DI
VE S T

AU sensitive hair cells. Each section of the membrane vibrates most


at a particular frequency, because its stiffness changes along its
length. Different sounds, therefore, cause deflection of different hair
cells. The brain deduces the pitch of the sound using the position of
the disturbed cells.
Auditory nerve More flexible
sends electrical Low-pitched, part of basilar
signals to the Short, high-frequency membrane
low-frequency
brain waves of a high- vibrates
Stiff basilar sound wave
pitched sound
membrane
vibrates

CO TRIANGLE TUBA
C H BA
LE

SIL
A

AR M

M
COCH

BR

COC
ANE
LEA

HL
EA
Row of
hair cells

High notes Low notes


Sound passes High notes are caused by high- Longer, lower-frequency waves
through the fluid
of the cochlea frequency waves. These activate the basilar travel farther through the cochlea before
membrane near its base, where it is narrower causing the basilar membrane to vibrate
Eustachian tube connects ear and stiffer and vibrates more rapidly. nearer its tip, where it is floppier and wider.
to nose and mouth

Sound into electricity


EUST The information in the soundincluding
ACH
IAN
TUBE its pitch, tone, rhythm, and intensity
is converted into electric signals
to be sent to the brain for analysis.
Exactly how the information is
THE WORD encoded is still unknown,
COCHLEA COMES but it is achieved by
the hair cells and
FROM THE GREEK auditory nerves.
Edge of basilar
EL
L
membrane C
FOR SNAIL, HA
IR
Hairs of hair cells bent
BECAUSE OF ITS by movement
of basilar membrane
COILED SHAPE Nerve cell triggered to
Triggering the nerves send signal to
When the sensitive hairs on the hair the brain
cells are moved by vibration of the basilar
LOCATION IN membrane, they release neurotransmitters
THE COCHLEA that trigger nerve cells at their bases.
How the
brain hears Nerve signal from
right ear
Neuron stimulated
where paths meet

Once signals from the ear reach


the brain, complex processing is
needed to extract information. Our
brains determine what the sound Nerve signal
is, where it is coming from, and from left ear

how we feel about it. The brain


is able to focus in on one sound
over another, and even tune out
unnecessary noises completely.

Localizing sound
We use three main cues to find the location of a
sound sourceits loudness, its frequency pattern,
and the difference in arrival time at each ear. We use
frequency pattern to tell if the sound is in front or
behind us, because our ears shape means that a
sound coming from in front has a different pattern
of frequencies than the same sound coming from SOUND SOURCE
behind. Our ears dont help much in pinning down
the height of sound sources, though. Left and right
localization is easiera sound from the left is louder Sound dead ahead
in the left ear than in the right, particularly at high Sounds coming from directly in front of
us reach both ears at the same time, so
frequencies. It also reaches our left ear a few signals travel the same distance within
milliseconds before our right. The diagrams on the the brain, activating central neurons.
right show how the brain uses this information.

Tuned in
Our brains can tune in to a single
conversation over the babble of noise at a
party by grouping sounds into separate
streams, based on frequency, timber, or
source. It might seem as though you dont
hear any of the other conversationsbut
you will notice if someone mentions your
name. Thats because your ears still send
signals from the other conversations to the
brain, which will override the filtering if
something important comes up elsewhere. WE CAN PICK OUT A CONVERSATION IN NOISY ENVIRONMENTS
SENSITIVE TYPES
How the brain hears 90 91
THE BRAIN HAS CELLS
Signal travels farther from this
side before meeting the
THAT RESPOND
pathway from other ear
ONLY TO SOME
FREQUENCIES, JUST LIKE THE
DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE
COCHLEA IN THE INNER EAR
The neuron that fires tells us
how far to the left or right the
sound is coming from

Sounds outside
the cone produce
Sounds from anywhere inside unique neural
the cone of confusion produce responses, so they
Sound waves reach the identical neural responses, so
closer ear first are easier to locate
they cant be told apart

FINDING THE SOURCE

Cone of confusion
In a cone-shaped region outside
Off-center sound source each ear, signals are ambiguous
Different neurons are activated depending on and we find it difficult to localize
the delay between a sound first reaching the sounds. Tilting or swiveling our
nearer ear and then reaching the farther ear. This heads can move the sound source
tells us what direction the sound comes from. out of this confusing region and
SOUND SOURCE help us locate the sound.

Why does music


make us emotional?
WHY DO WE STAND
Music can cause strong emotional
reactionswhether its the soundtrack
STILL TO LISTEN?
heightening fear in a scary movie, or It is easier to listen carefully
chills created by a haunting melody.
when we stop moving
We know there are a wide range of
brain areas involved in the emotions
altogether. This helps us hear
elicited, but we dont know why or better by stopping sounds
how music creates such dramatic that are generated by our
feelings in the listener, or why the YOUR BRAIN own movements.
same song affects people differently. ON MUSIC
Balancing act This canal detects motion such
as that experienced when one AN
A L

RC
performs cartwheels

ULA
As well as hearing, our ears are responsible for

IRC
keeping our balance and telling us how and in which

SEMIC
direction we are moving. They do this using a set of
organs in the inner earone on each side of the head.
At the end of each
Turning and movement canal is a region called an
Inside each of our ears, three fluid-filled canals sit at roughly ampulla containing the
sensitive hair cells
90 degrees to each other. One responds to motions such as
forward rolls, the second to cartwheels, and the third to
pirouettes. The relative motion of the fluid tells our brains in what L
NA
direction we are moving. When spinning repeatedly in the same CA
direction, the fluid builds up momentum. Once that matches the AR

UL
RC
rate of spin, it stops deflecting the hair cells and you no longer feel

ICI
motion. After you stop, however, the liquid continues, giving the

SEM
feeling that you are still moving, known as dizziness.
AMPULLA
This canal detects forward and
backward movements
CANAL
WHY DOES ULAR
MICIRC
SE
ALCOHOL MAKE
YOUR HEAD SPIN? AMPULLA

Alcohol builds up quickly in


This canal detects
the cupulas of the inner ear spinning or rotating
and makes them float in their motions of the head

canals. When you lie down, the


AMPULLA
cupulas are disturbed and
the brain thinks you Gelatinous
are spinning. material

Turning sense organs Movement


When you move, the liquid inside CUPULA displaces cupula
the canals moves too, but because
it has inertia, it takes a while to
start moving. This movement
displaces a gelatinous mass called
the cupula, disturbing the hair cells
inside it and sending signals to the
brain. When the cupula is bent in
one direction, the nerves increase
their rate of firing. If it is bent in
the other direction, firing is
inhibitedthis tells the brain Hairs on hair
Signal sent to brain cells deflected
the direction of the motion. Hair cell RESTING TURNING
SENSITIVE TYPES
Balancing act 92 93
Steady gaze
Your brain constantly adjusts the tiny movements your
muscles make to keep you balanced. Inputs from the
eyes and muscles combine with those from your inner
ear to determine which way up you are.

BALLET DANCERS BRAINS HEAD ON TURNING RIGHT TURNING LEFT

ADAPT TO SUPPRESS THE Correction reflex


Our eyes automatically correct for head movements,
SENSATION OF DIZZINESS keeping the image on our retina stationary. Without
this reflex, we would be unable to read, as the words
AFTER SPINNING would jump about every time our head moved.

Utricle is sensitive to Gravity and acceleration


gravity and horizontal As well as turning motions, our
acceleration
inner ears sense straight-line
accelerationbackward and
forward, or up and down. We have
two organs to sense acceleration
UTRICLE the utricle is sensitive to horizontal
movements while the saccule
detects vertical acceleration (such
as the movement of an elevator).
SACCULE Both organs sense the direction of
Saccule detects gravity relative to the head, such
gravity and vertical
acceleration as when the head is tilted or level.

Heavy layer containing


tiny stones

Cell fires

GELATINOUS LAYER

Gravity sense organs


The hair cells in the utricle and
saccule are within a gelatinous layer,
topped with a structure containing
tiny stones. Due to the weight of the
structure, gravity moves it when the
head is tilted, which in turn deflects
the hairs. During acceleration, the
stone-filled layer takes longer to
start moving because of its greater Heavy layer
mass. If there are no other cues, it pulled by gravity
Hair cell
can be hard to tell the difference Signal sent
between a head tilt and acceleration. UPRIGHT Hairs deflected TILTED to the brain
Hearing problems
Deafness and hearing problems are common but often
treatable thanks to technological advances. Most people
develop some form of hearing loss as they age due to
damage to the components of the inner ear.

Causes of hearing problems


Deafness from birth is usually caused by
genetic mutations that stop the ear from
working properly. The hearing problems
shown here can occur as a result of
injury or illness throughout life.

NAL
EAR CA OSSICLES
(MIDDLE EAR BONES)

Blocked pathways
The ear converts Blockages prevent A damaged eardrum
ID
M
sound waves in the air vibrations from wont pass on
into nerve signals our reaching the eardrum vibrations properly DL
brain can interpret. EE
AR
Anything that stops this
process from working, such as
a physical blockage or damage, Infections can cause fluid
buildup, and make
can cause hearing problems. sounds seem muffled

How loud is too loud?


The decibel sound scale is logarithmic, and every 6 dB increase in volume
doubles the sound energy. Loud noises can damage hair cells and above a
certain level of damage the cells cant repair themselves, and die. If enough
hair cells die, you can lose the ability to detect certain frequencies.

Causing damage TALKING PASSING CAR MOTORCYCLE CONCERT MUSIC GUNSHOT EXPLOSION
Any noise level above 85 dB can cause
damage, depending on how long
you are exposed to it.

DECIBELS
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150+

1 minutes exposure to
110 dB can cause damage Sustained
noise at
15 minutes exposure to
140 dB
100 dB can damage hearing
causes
immediate
TICKING WHISPER RINGING ACOUSTIC 8 hours exposure to 85 dB
damage
CLOCK PHONE GUITAR can damage hearing
SENSITIVE TYPES
Hearing problems 94 95
AROUND AGE 18, YOU Auditory cortex
damage can cause
BEGIN LOSING THE deafness even if the
ear is undamaged
ABILITY TO HEAR VERY
HIGH-PITCHED NOISES BRAIN

NE
CO C RV
HL E
EA

Damage to the auditory nerve


prevents signals from reaching
the brain

If hair cells are permanently


damaged, certain frequencies WHY DO LOUD
may no longer be audible
NOISES MAKE YOUR
EARS RING?
HAIR CE
LL
S Loud noises vibrate hair cells
so violently that the tips can snap
IN
TH

off, causing them to send signals


E COCHLE A

to your brain after the noise


has finished. The tips can
grow back within
24 hours.
Healthy hair cells
have long hairs

RECEIVER
Cochlear implants
Transmitter sends signal
Normal hearing aids simply amplify sounds TRANSMITTER
to the receiver on the
and cannot help people with damaged or inside of the skull
missing hair cells. Cochlear implants replace
the function of the hair cells, converting sound

VE
Receiver sends electric

ER
signal to cochlea
vibrations into nerve signals that the brain N
RY

learns to interpret. Increased current through


TO
DI

the electrodes within the cochlea produces Microphone


W

AU
IR
E

a louder sound, while the position of the and audio


processor
activated electrodes determines pitch. picks up
sound waves

How they work


External microphones detect sounds and send them ANAL
to the processor. Signals then travel to the internal EAR C
receiver via the transmitter, before passing as electric
current to the electrode array inside the cochlea. Electrodes work like
Stimulated nerve endings send signals to the brain, hair cells, stimulating
and sounds are heard. the auditory nerve
Catching a scent 2 Nose hair
At the entrance
Particles in the air are detected by sensory cells in your to the nose, hairs catch
large particles of dust
nose, and signals are sent to your brain so you can and debris, but admit DU
the scent molecules,
identify them as smells. These smells can invoke

ST
which are millions
powerful emotions or memories because of physical of times smaller.

links to your brains emotional center. ESH BRE AD


FR

Sense of smell
Anything that smells releases tiny particles, or scent
molecules, into the air. When you inhale, these molecules
pass into your nose, where the smell is detected by
specialized nerve cells. Sniffing is an automatic response
when catching a whiffthe more scent molecules you T TE N C HEE S
inhale, the easier it is to identify a smell. Our senses RO E
Scent molecule
of smell and taste often work together when we are
enjoying a meal, because scent molecules are
released by the food we eat, which then pass
into the rear of the nasal cavity.
SM O K E

HUMANS HAVE AROUND


12 MILLION RECEPTOR
Types of smell
CELLS AND THEY CAN 1 Aromatic objects such as
freshly baked bread, spoiled cheese,
DETECT 10,000 and burning things, release scent
DIFFERENT ODORS! molecules. The type of molecules
determines what you smell as well as
the smells intensity, since we are much more
sensitive to some scent molecules than others.

LOSS OF SMELL
WHY DO WE
A complete lack of smell is called anosmia. Some people are born
with anosmia, while others develop the condition after an infection
HAVE NOSE BLEEDS?
or head injury. These instances can cause a severage of the nerve Nasal membranes that line your
fibers, reducing the number of nervous signals
they pass to the brain. Those with anosmia nasal cavity are thin and filled with
have reduced appetites and are more likely tiny blood vessels. These blood
to suffer from depressionthis is probably vessels can burst very easily to
because of smells links with the brains
emotional center. The sense can recover cause nose bleedseither by
on its own or after drug treatment or breathing dry air which crusts
surgery. For others, smell training, which and breaks the thin membrane
probably leads to the regeneration
of olfactory receptor cells, can help. or even by blowing your
nose too hard.
SENSITIVE TYPES
Catching a scent 96 97
3 Nasal cavity
PL E
A SUR
E D IS G U S T FE A R 5 Smell and
Scent molecules waft emotion
into the nasal cavity as we The smell of fresh
breathe in. Specialized food often inspires
nerve cells, called olfactory Olfactory bulb full pleasure. Smelling
receptors, sit at the top of nerves carrying anything off causes
of each cavity and detect smell signals to disgust and alerts you
scent molecules. Thin, bony brain to a risk of illness, and
conchae radiate warmth to the scent of smoke can
keep the olfactory receptors AMYGDALA kickstart the fight-or-
functioning and healthy. flight response.
OLF
ACT
ORY RE
CE P T
OR NERVES
S To the brain
Conchae, full 4 Nerve signals
of blood vessels,
warm the air are sent from the tips of
the olfactory receptors
to nerve fibers packed
inside the olfactory bulb.
Signals then travel to the
amygdala, where the
emotional reaction
to each smell is
established.

Lock and key theory


Nose hair
catches dust and
Each of your olfactory receptors
Incoming air
harmful bacteria warmed by responds to particular groups of
blood vessels scent molecules, just as certain
in nose
keys fit into certain locks.
Different patterns of receptors
are activated by different smells;
therefore, we can identify more
smells than we have receptors.
Whether it is the shape of the
molecule that determines where
it binds or a different factor
Mucus-secreting entirely is being studied.
gland
Olfactory receptor cell
may receive two types
of scent molecules
Olfactory
receptor cell

Supporting cell First type of


scent molecule

Second type of
scent molecule
Olfactory receptors Mucus
Scent molecules in the nasal One type of
cavity dissolve into a thin layer of receptor for
mucus. This allows the molecules to Scent molecule one type of
dissolving in mucus scent molecule
bind to the ends of the olfactory receptor cells.
On the tip WHY DONT

of the tongue
CHILDREN LIKE COFFEE?
Childrens dislike for bitter
tastes may have evolved to
Your tongue has thousands of chemical receptors, protect us against poison. As
which detect some key chemical ingredients in your we mature, we learn through
food and interpret them as one of five major taste experience to enjoy bitter
sensations. However, not everyones tongue is the tastes such as coffee.
same, which helps explain food preferences.

Taste receptors SOUR


Our tongues are covered in tiny bumps (papillae), which contain A papillaa visible bump
taste receptors for chemicals that give us the five basic tastessour, on the tongue that may
bitter, salty, sweet, and umami (savory). Each receptor deals only contain taste buds sensitive
to sour, bitter, salty, sweet,
with one taste, and there are receptors for all five tastes all over the or umami tastes
tongues surface. The flavor of food is a more complex sensation, of BITTER
taste mixed with smell, that is detected when molecules travel up
the back of the throat into the nose. This is why things taste bland
when your nose is blocked.
Taste pore

Taste bud
A taste bud begins with SALTY
a pore on the tongue
papillas surface. The
pore lets in particles
of food or drink,
which contact
taste receptor Taste
receptor cell
cells. The cells
send signals to the
brain when certain
tastes are detected. Supporting cell
Taste buds are also
found on the insides Sensory nerve
of your mouth.

SUPERTASTERS
Some people have many more Greater density of papillae
taste buds than others. These
supertasters can detect bitter
substances that other people
cant and generally dislike green
vegetables and fatty foods.
UMAMI
Supertasters are thought to make
up 25 percent of the population. NORMAL SUPER

SWEET
98 99

Other sensations
There may be more than just the
five basic tastes. Fat receptors
have been found, and some sour
receptors bind to carbon dioxide,
affecting the taste of sodas. We
may also be able to detect the
chalky taste of calcium. Metallic
tastes and the astringent sensation
from tea are unexplained by our
five-taste understanding. Some
familiar food and drink sensations
are not tastes at all, but responses
of hot, cold, pain, and touch senses.

Touch receptors
The tongue contains
touch receptors that
detect the texture of
our food, and these may
contribute to the sensations
caused by the bubbles of
carbonated drinks and
other sparkling
beverages.

Pain receptors
Pain receptors signal
various types of pain.
Some receptors respond
to dangerous heat, while
horseradish and wasabi
Cool receptors
activate a receptor type
Nerve endings on our
on the tongue that is
tongue respond to cold
Heat and pain sensitive to itch and
temperatures. These
Heat receptors report the inflammation.
nerve endings are made
more sensitive by the temperature of our food.
menthol in mint, which Capsaicin in chili activates
is why mint feels so these nerves, misreporting
refreshing. to our brains that the
food is burning us.
MIRROR BOX THERAPY Visual information
from eye

Many amputees suffer from phantom limb


pain. The brain interprets the lack of sensory
input from the missing limb as a sensation
that the muscles are clenched and cramping.
By tricking the brain into seeing the Mirrored
phantom limb with a mirror box, image of
complete
movements in the retained limb can often limb
relieve the pain. Complete
limb

Balance
information
from ear

Body Tension receptor

position sense
Organs within your tendons detect
how much force your muscles are
exerting by monitoring muscular
tension (see pp.5657).

How do you know where your hand is if Muscle

youre not looking at it? Sometimes called Golgi tendon organ senses
changes in muscle tension
our sixth sense, we have receptors dedicated
to telling our brains where each part of our
body is in space. We also get a sense that Bone
our body parts belong to us. Tendon

Stretch receptor
Tiny spindle-shaped sense
Position sensors organs buried in your
There is a range of different receptors that muscles detect changes in
the length of the muscle,
help the brain calculate the position of our telling the brain how
body. For a limb to move, the joint must contracted the muscle is.
change position. Muscles either side of the
Muscle spindle organ detects
joint contract or relax, changing in length or changes in length of muscle
tension. Tendons that attach muscle to bone
are stretched, as is the skin on one side of the Nerve sends
joint, while the skin on the other side relaxes. signal to brain
By combining information about each of these Muscle
components, the brain can construct a fairly
accurate picture of the bodys movements.
SENSITIVE TYPES
Body position sense 100 101

Integrator
The brain combines information from the sensors located
in and around the muscles as well as your other senses to
interpret how your body is positioned. The conscious element
of this is controlled by the cerebral cortex and allows you to
run, dance, or catch. The cerebellum, at the base of the brain,
Cerebral is in charge of the unconscious elements that keep you upright
cortex Cerebellum
without your thinking about it.
Subconscious Conscious
pathway pathway

BODY OWNERSHIP SENSE


Bone
Your sense that your body is your own is more complicated and flexible
Touch-sensitive
nerves
than it seems. The rubber hand illusion shown here creates
the feeling that a fake hand belongs to you. A similar technique can
Joint receptors
invoke out-of-body experiences, using a virtual reality headset. This
Receptors within your joints
detect its position. They are flexibility allows us to cope if we lose a limb, or to include tools and
most active when your joints prosthetics in what we think of as part of our body.
are at their extremes to help
prevent damage through 1 2
overextension. However, they
may also play some role in Visual attention
detecting the position of joints on rubber hand
in normal motion.
Brain accepts rubber
Ligament receptors Rubber hand as part of the
hand body
Ligament

Rubber hand and


real hand stimulated
Covering in the same way

ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTION RUBBER HAND SEEN AS PART OF BODY

Skin stretch
Special receptors in the skin BODY POSITION SENSORS
(see p.75) can detect stretch.
This helps us determine the IN THE JAW MUSCLES
movements of our limbs,
particularly changes in the AND TONGUE HELP
angle of a joint, which causes
the skin on one side to stretch YOU FORM THE
while the skin on the opposite
side is slackened.
RIGHT SOUNDS
WHEN YOU SPEAK
Integrated senses
Your brain makes sense of the world around you by

N
combining information from all your senses. But,

AI
BR
surprisingly, sometimes one sense can actually
change how you experience another.

How senses can interact Sound and vision


Everything you experience is interpreted When things happen simultaneously,
by your senses. When you see and pick you often assume they are linked, even
up an item, you feel its shape and texture. though your senses are sending you different
messages. If you hear an alarm close to your
You look for where sounds or smells are car, you will disregard the location of the
coming from and eat with your eyes sound (unless it is very widely different), and
before tasting your food. Your brain believe the alarm is coming from your car.
performs complex processing to If sound of alarm is distant from
integrate this information correctly. car, it can be distinguished
Sometimes, this combination of
information can cause multisensory CAR ALARM CAR
illusions. If information from different SOUND
Sound You move toward
senses seems to conflict, the brain of alarm is car assuming it is
favors one sense over another, and close to car the alarms source
depending on the situation, this can
be helpful or misleading.

Sound of crunching is
played to one person
STALE TASTY while eating

IN NOISY
ENVIRONMENTS
YOU LIP-READ,
STALE POTATO CHIPS USING WHAT YOU
SEE TO INTERPRET
Taste and sound
If someone listens to the sound of crunching while eating stale potato MUFFLED SPEECH
chips, they will claim they taste fresh. Tactically, manufacturers make
chip bags crackly so the chips seem crunchier.
SENSITIVE TYPES
Integrated senses 102 103

SOUNDS AND SHAPES


When shown these shapes and
asked to name one Bouba and
the other Kiki, most people call
the spiky shape Kiki because of
its spiky sound, while deciding
Smell and taste the softer Bouba fits the rounded
Taste is a simple sense, made up of crude shape. This pairing holds across
sensations such as sweet or salty. Most a wide variety of cultures and
of what you think of as flavor is actually what languages, indicating a link
you are smelling. Smell can also influence the
crude sense of taste itself. Smelling vanilla can between the senses of sound
make food or drink taste sweeter, but only in and sight.
parts of the world where vanilla is a common
flavor for sweet foods.

Vanilla pod
emits its
distinctive
Non-sweetened scent
ice cream tastes
sweet

Image of ball and spring Pressure of ball


bouncing on virtual and spring felt
version of hand on real hand

VIRTUAL REALITY REAL LIFE

Touch and vision


When gamers pick up objects in virtual reality, visual
cues give them physical sensations, even though their
touch sense gives them no such information. What your
eyes can see can actually influence what you feel.
Using your voice
Talking is achieved by a complex yet flexible 3 Producing sound
As you exhale, your vocal cords
network of nerve pathways in the brain and vibrate as the air stream passes them,
physical coordination of the body. Tone and making sound. Vibration speed dictates
your voices pitch, and this is controlled by
inflection influences how words are spoken, muscles in the larynx. If you want to shout,
you need a stronger airstream.
which can add numerous meanings to
even the simplest of sentences.

1 Thought process
Firstly, you must decide
what words you want to say. This Brocas area on
activates a network of regions in the left side of brain
the left hemisphere of your brain, formulates speech Vibrating cords
including Brocas area, drawing cause sound
on your memory store of words.

Vocal cords
open to allow air
Articulation
into lungs Larynx 4 Your nose, throat, and mouth
act as resonators, while lip and tongue
movements introduce specific sounds,
altering the buzzing produced by the
vocal cords into recognizable speech.
Breathing in
2 Your lungs provide the
constant stream of air that you
need in order to speak. When
inhaling, vocal cords open to
allow air to pass through, and
then air pressure begins to
build in the lungs. MAKING AN
EE SOUND
Air pressure in
lungs builds
MAKING AN MAKING AN
AA SOUND OO SOUND
How do you talk?
The brain, lungs, mouth, and nose all play vital roles when Making different sounds
producing speech, but the voicebox, or the larynx, is the most Your tongue moves to mould sounds created by your
important. Located in your throat above your windpipe, it vocal cords, aided by the teeth and lips. Changing
the shape of your tongue and mouth produces
contains two sheets of membrane that stretch across the inside. vowels like aa, or ee, and the lips interrupt air flow to
These are the vocal cords, and they are the structures that produce consonants, such as p and b.
produce the sound you craft into speech.
SENSITIVE TYPES
Using your voice 104 105
Pathway of speech
Each area of the brain is connected
via nerves. The bundle of nerves
linking Wernickes and Brocas MOTOR CORTEX
areas, the arcuate fasciculus, Motor cortex sends
is comprised of nerve cells instructions to muscles
that fire at high speeds. to articulate reply

Bundle of nerves
links Wernickes
BROCAS and Brocas areas
AREA
Brocas area allows
listener to plan
reply based on
speech heard
AUDITORY WERNICKES
AREA AREA
Wernickes area
Auditory area
processes word
analyzes speech
meanings

HOW DO YOU SING?


Speech reaching listeners ear When you sing, you use the same
physical and cognitive networks as
when you speak, but it requires much
more control. Air pressure is greater, and
Processing speech several chambers, such as the sinuses,
Air vibrations caused by speech reach the ear mouth, nose, and throat are used as
and trigger nerve cells deep inside, which then resonators, producing a richer sound.
send signals to the brain for processing. Wernickes
area is vital for understanding the basic meaning of
the words, while Brocas area interprets grammar
and tone. These regions are part of a larger
network that understands and produces speech. Frontal sinus
Damage to either area can lead to speech problems.
Nasopharynx
Nose

Mouth Upper
throat

Lower
RESONATING throat
CHAMBERS
Reading faces
We are a social species, so recognizing and understanding
faces is vital for our survival. This means we have evolved
to be very good at noticing themeven sometimes
seeing them where they dont really exist,
like on a piece of burned toast!
Facial expression cues
When recognizing a face, you look at
the ratio between the eyes, nose, and
Importance of understanding faces mouth. Movements of these can help
From birth, babies are fascinated by faces, and show a preference for you detect emotions; for example,
raised eyebrows and an open mouth
looking at them above everything else. As you age, you not only quickly would signal surprise. These signals are
become an expert in recognizing faces, but also reading expressions. interpreted by your eyes and nerve
This allows you to identify those who would help or harm you. signals are sent to the fusiform face
area in your brain to be processed.
Individual faces can stay in your memory for a remarkable
length of time, even if you havent
seen the person in years.

Fusiform face area


This area of the brain, named the
fusiform face area, is activated when
you look at faces. It is thought that
this area of the brain is specialized
in facial recognition. However, it
also becomes active when you
are looking at objects with
which you are familiarif you
were a pianist, it may become
active when you see a keyboard.
Whether it is face-specific is
still being studied.

Location of fusiform face area


on both sides of brain

UNDERSIDE OF BRAIN

RECOGNIZING FACES
Humans tend to spot faces
in random patterns and
placesfrom cars to cheese,
clothes washers and pieces
of wood. This is because
it was important for our
ancestors to interpret the
faces of others in order
to thrive in a complex
social hierarchy.
SENSITIVE TYPES
Reading faces 106 107
Expression muscles
Your face contains muscles that pull your skin and when to leave a person alone, or when to offer
change the shape of your eyes and the position of comfort. Picking up even the subtlest cues, such as
your lips, making your face highly expressive. The the furrowing of the brow or the curling of the lip,
ability to read these expressions on other faces can mean the difference between interpreting a
allows you to judge other peoples moods, intentions, frown or a smirk correctly.
and meanings. Faces tell us when to ask for a favor,

Frontalis muscle inactive


when smiling
Corrugator
supercilii furrows
the brow
Genuine
smiles may use How you smile
How you frown
orbicularis oculi Smiles are caused by
When you frown, the
the zygomaticus major
corrugator supercilii
pulling the corners of
draws your eyebrows
your mouth up and out.
down, wrinkling the
True smiles may also
skin between them.
engage the orbicularis
Meanwhile, the
oculi, causing a crinkling of
orbicularis oculi
the eyes, whereas insincere
narrows the eyes and
smiles do not. Each person
a network of muscles,
uses different muscles
including the
when they smile; one
depressor anguli oris, Levator muscle persons grin may be
angles the mouth lifts upper lip anothers smirk.
down at the corners.

Orbicularis
oculari
muscle
narrows
the eyes
Zygomaticus major
muscle pulls mouth
and corner of lip up
and sideways
Depressor anguli oris
muscle pulls mouth
and corner of lip down

GAZE AND EYE CONTACT PEOPLE


People with autism (see p.246) usually
BORN
dont focus on the eyes and mouth when BLIND
looking at faces. They find socializing
confusing and difficult, and may miss
PRODUCE
vital social cues when communicating. THE SAME
Babies may even exhibit this averted
gaze, and they may go on to develop EXPRESSIONS AS
the condition, so it could be used as
an early warning sign for autism.
SIGHTED PEOPLE
People with autism show different
WHEN EMOTIONS
TYPICAL GAZE THOSE WITH AUTISM patterns of looking behavior ARE PROVOKED
What you dont say
You communicate using more than just your words. INVADING
Facial expressions, tone of voice, and hand gestures SOMEONES
can speak volumes, and noticing these signals is vital
PERSONAL
for understanding what someone really means.
SPACE CAN
Nonverbal communication INSPIRE FEAR,
When you are talking to someone, you are subconsciously picking up on
subtle signals from the other persons voice, face, and body. Interpreting
AROUSAL, OR
these signals correctly is most important when what is said could be DISCOMFORT
ambiguous. Most of these signals allow you to gauge the mood of a
person or group so you act appropriately in social situations. For
example, in a meeting at work, assessing the body language
and moods of your colleagues can be advantageous to you
if you are waiting for the right time to pitch a big idea.

E XPRES CLOT
AL OF

H
E
SI
I

IN
T YP
FA C

ONS

G
Types of signals P OSTU
Facial expressions, hand D GESTU DY
N
BO

gestures, body posture,


HA

RE
RE

and the tone and speed


S

of somebodys voice are


all signals you process
when communicating.
What someone is wearing SPEED AL CON
is also important because D IC
O
N

TA

it can provide clues about


PHY
FV
NE A

CT

their personality, religion,


OI C E

or culture. Physical
TO

contact can add


emotional weight
to what is said.

Head tilted
Arms folded, Body language
forming barrier The way your body moves as you speak
Physical
contact can often be just as telling as what you
say. Holding eye contact, mirroring the
Body turned away facial expressions and posture of others,
from others and physical contact, are generally
interpreted as positive signals.
Folded arms, hunched shoulders,
and positioning yourself away
from others can produce
negative vibes.
Mirrored
legs
NEGATIVE POSITIVE
SENSITIVE TYPES
What you dont say 108 109

Microexpression

Caught in a lie 1 SECOND


It is sometimes an
Pausing advantage to deceive Microexpressions
You may pause more when you lie Lightning-quick expressions appear
those around you, but
because thinking of a fabricated unconsciously on the face of a liar and
response takes longer than providing also useful to be able usually show an emotion he or she is
a natural one. Even if you are telling to tell when someone attempting to conceal. These expressions
a story that actually happened, if last less than half a second and are usually
is deceiving you.
your emotions toward the event missed by the average person, but can be
are untrue, pausing is still a However, there are detected by a trained viewer.
suggestive sign of lying. signals that can give
you away when you lie.
The best liars convince
themselves they are
telling the truthif you
truly believe your lie,
your body language
SUPERMAN POSE
Visible hand twitches cant give you away.
can be a giveaway Body language is so
powerful that it can even
change the way you feel
Hand movements about yourself. Adopting a
Movements of the body are unedited
by consciousness so are often a more powerful stance for just a minute
reliable indicator of lying. When you raises your levels of testosterone,
lie, you often wring your hands, make in both men and women, and
gestures, or have nervous twitches. reduces levels of the stress
hormone cortisol. This increases
feelings of control, the likelihood
CAN WE that you will take risks,
DETECT ALL LIES? and your performance
in job interviews
Noeveryone has improves too.
their own ways of lying. This shows that
One person may pause and movements of
your body
another may twitch their toes, can influence
while both these signs could emotions, and
point to a host of hidden proves the old
Twitches of a saying fake it till
meanings other than persons toes you make it really
dishonesty. may be an
indicator
is good advice!
of lies
THE HEART
OF THE
MATTER
Breathing in
1 Air is warmed and moistened
as it passes through the nose or mouth.
Filling your lungs Air breathed in Nasal hairs filter out dust particles that
could irritate the trachea or lungs
and cause a coughing fit.
Your lungs act like a giant pair of bellows, drawing air
in and letting it out to extract oxygen and expel waste
carbon dioxide. You breathe around 12 times per minute
at rest and 20 times per minute or more during exercise;
which all adds up to roughly 8.5 million breaths per year. NASAL CAVITY

Controlling breaths Drawing breath


Your breathing rate speeds up Air drawn in through
or slows down due to signals the nose or mouth passes TONGUE
from chemical receptors in the BRAIN down the trachea, or
blood vessels. These receptors windpipe, which channels
provide a feedback loop air into the left or right

BR
between the blood vessels, bronchus, and then into
brain, and diaphragm. smaller and smaller air

SIGN AIN
AL TO
passages called bronchioles.
Between the trachea and the
Receptor monitors levels of ends of the bronchioles, your
oxygen in blood vessels
airway divides 23 times.
Air traveling through
Direction of the throat
nerve signals
Blood vessel
Air traveling down
the trachea

NERVE
Cluster of receptors monitors
Signals sent to diaphragm
levels of oxygen in blood
to control breathing rate
from the heart
HEART
TRACHEA

Feedback system
Chemical receptors detect
changes in oxygen, carbon
dioxide, and acidity levels in Bronchiole
the blood. This information is
sent to the brain, which controls
the diaphragms movements,
increasing or decreasing rate
Lining of right lung
NG

and depth of breathing to


LU

keep blood levels constant. DIAPHRAGM


LE
F
T

US
BR

CH
ON

ON
Pleural cavity
CH

BR
US

T
SIZE MATTERS Into the lungs

GH
RI
2 Air travels down each bronchus
The surface area of all the tiny into ever-smaller passages, eventually
air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs ending in tiny air sacs called alveoli.
measures an incredible 753 sq ft The lungs are separated from the
(70 sq m)this is 40 times greater chest by a pleural cavity filled with
pleural fluid. This thin layer of fluid
than the surface area of your skin! acts as a sticky lubricant, letting your
This maximizes the amount of lungs slide over your chest wall and
oxygen you can absorb. preventing them from pulling away
as you breathe out.

ALL YOUR
AIRWAYS
LAID END
SKIN TO END WOULD
MEASURE 1,490 MILES Bronchioles branching
(2,400 KM) into microscopically
small airways

LUNGS

Air breathed out


Air breathed in

Mechanics of breathing
Chest muscles and the rib cage
influence breathing, but the main
powerhouse is the diaphragm. Air enters lungs Air exits lungs
It is a large domed muscle that
separates the chest from the Chest expands Chest tightens
lower organs. To breathe in, the
Filling your lungs
THE HEART OF THE MATTER

diaphragm contracts and pulls


down like a piston. At the same
Lungs expand Lungs reduce in size
time, muscles between your ribs
contract, lifting your ribs so your Diaphragm
contracts Diaphragm relaxes and
lungs expand and air rushes in. domes upward
When your diaphragm and chest Direction of Direction of
movement movement
muscles relax, air is forced out.
112 113

INHALING EXHALING
Vein carries
oxygen-rich
From air to blood blood to heart

Every cell in your body needs oxygen and your lungs


are highly adapted to extract this life-sustaining gas Ring of stiff cartilage
that stops bronchiole
from the atmosphere. This extraction occurs from 300 from collapsing

million tiny air sacs called alveoli, which give your


lungs a spongelike texture. Alveolar sacs

VEIN
The bronchioles lead
into grapelike clusters
of alveoli, each of which
ARTERY

Deeper into the lungs is wrapped in capillaries,


Inhaled air passes from the throat into the trachea to reach the smallest type of
tiny branches called bronchioles. Mucus covers each blood vessel. In contrast
to blood vessels in the
BRONCHIOLE

bronchiole, which keeps them moist and traps inhaled rest of the body, it is
particles. Each bronchiole is lined with thin strips of muscle. the arteries that carry
In people with asthma, a sudden constriction of these oxygen-poor blood
to the capillaries.
muscles narrows the airways, causing shortness of breath. LUNGS
Artery carries
THE AIR YOU BREATHE OUT oxygen-poor
blood from the
CONTAINS 16 PERCENT heart to the lungs

OXYGEN, ENOUGH TO
RESUSCITATE AL
VEOLI
OF
SOMEONE!

ER
ST
CLU
WHY CAN WE
SEE OUR BREATH
IN COLD AIR?
The air you breathe is warmed
in your lungs, so when you
exhale, water vapor in your
breath condenses into clouds
of water droplets.
Capillaries wrap
around every alveolus
Types of gas Exhaled air contains 100
times more carbon
dioxide than inhaled air
Oxygen
Blood going back to heart to
be pumped around the body
Carbon dioxide Inhaled air contains
21 percent oxygen

One-cell-thick
One-cell-thick wall of alveolus
wall of capillary
HIGH ALTITUDE
At high altitudes, air is thinner and
S less oxygen is present. You may find
LU yourself automatically taking deep

O
VE
Blood breaths, since your body will detect

AL
plasma rich lower amounts of oxygen in your
in carbon bloodstream than it normally expects.
dioxide

m x1000 ft x1000
Oxygen-poor 10
red blood cell
9 30
8
7
Carbon 6 20
dioxide
entering air 5
4
3 10
2
1 Carbon
dioxide 1
Carbon dioxide diffuses TEMPORARY PERMANENT
from the blood plasma 0 0
through the one-cell-thick
Y

walls of the capillary and Acclimatizing Adapting


AR

alveolus. Blood can absorb L People who travel Those who live
IL Oxygenated
oxygen and get rid of carbon P red blood cell to high altitudes can their entire lives at
From air to blood
THE HEART OF THE MATTER

dioxide simultaneously. CA adapt by producing high altitudes may


more red blood inherit larger lungs,
Oxygen entering cells to carry more wider chests, and
red blood cell
Gas exchange oxygen in their more efficient
Capillaries are in such close contact with alveoli that circulation. Full oxygen-processing
Oxygen adaptation takes genes in order to
gases are able to cross over rapidly. Carbon dioxide 2 around 40 days, but cope permanently
The oxygen we breathe diffuses
leaves the blood in exchange for oxygen, and the newly from alveolar air into the blood. Here, it is not permanent. with the hardships.
oxygenated blood is distributed around the body by the is captured by red blood cells, turning
heart. Since you do not exhale all your inhaled air in one them, and the blood, bright red.
114 115

breath, oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich air mixes in your


lungs, which is why exhaled air contains oxygen.
Why do we breathe?
The oxygen we breathe is vital for staying alive because we use it
to create energy. Tiny capillaries, the smallest type of blood vessel,
transport oxygen to the 50 trillion cells that make up your body. One
person uses about 1,160 pints (550 liters) of oxygen per day.

Oxygen-depleted blood

HEMOGLOBI Turning blood red Oxygen for energy


N Red blood cells are packed
Blood transports oxygen to every single
with a pigment (a colored
protein) called hemoglobin. cell in the body. Each cell uses oxygen
When oxygen is absorbed in a chemical reaction to break down the
into the blood, it binds to iron
sugars ingested from food to produce
atoms in the hemoglobin, and
in doing so, it enriches the energy. This process is called cellular
pigments color, turning the respiration, and is happening constantly
blood vivid red.
throughout your body. A byproduct of
this reaction is carbon dioxide, which is
carried back to the lungs by veins and
Oxygen molecule
breathed out as we exhale.
binding to iron atom
within haemoglobin

Oxygen molecule Blood cell loses


oxygen, therefore
loses its red colour
Red blood cell
rich in oxygen

Cells of the
body hungry
for oxygen
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Why do we breathe? 116 117

One-cell-thick
Gas exchange capillary wall
Oxygen diffuses, or drifts, from
where it is in high concentrations THIN CAPILLARIES
(in red blood cells) to where
there is a low concentration Capillaries connect tiny arteries
(in body cells). Likewise, (arterioles) with tiny veins (venules).
carbon dioxide diffuses
from the body cells The thin walls of capillaries allow
into the blood. the exchange of oxygen and carbon
dioxide. They are thin enough to
access all body tissues from bones to
skin, yet only just wide enough for
red blood cells. Red blood cells even
have to change their shape to
squeeze through some capillaries.

HUMAN HAIR
0.08MM
Red blood cell

BLOOD CAPILLARY
Body cell 0.008MM
BIN
GLO
O
M
Blue blood?
HE

When hemoglobin is carrying oxygen,


XY

it is called oxyhemoglobin. When it


DEO

releases oxygen into your body tissues,


it becomes deoxyhemoglobin, and
turns a dark red colorthe color of
oxygen-depleted blood. The blood is
not really blue, even though veins look
blue beneath your skin.

No oxygen molecules attached


to the iron atoms
in the deoxyhaemoglobin
IF YOU HOLD YOUR
BREATH, THERE IS
ENOUGH OXYGEN
IN YOUR BLOOD
TO STAY CONSCIOUS
FOR SEVERAL
MINUTES
Red blood cell
without oxygen
Sound waves
Particles irritate
radiate
nerve endings

Air forced
from throat

Particles Air drawn in


irritate
nerve
endings THROAT
Air flowing over
back of soft palate
Vibrating soft palate makes it vibrate
makes air in the
Mucus and Air forced throat vibrate
particles spray out from lungs

Sneezing Snoring
This reflex aims to remove irritants from A partial collapse of the upper airway during
the nasal cavities, and can be triggered sleep will cause snoring. The tongue falls back
by inhaled particles, infection, or allergies. and the soft palate vibrates as you breathe.

Irritants Involuntary
1 enter lungs 2 intake of breath
Coughing is triggered The brain sends a nerve
when special cough message instructing
receptors in the lining the lungs to fill with air.
of the airways are Cough There follows a sharp,
irritated by inhaled receptors in deep intake of breath.
particles, chemicals, airway irritated
by particles
or excess mucus.
Air drawn in

Diaphram
LUNG contracts
Irritant particles
(dust, smoke)
Lungs expand

Coughs
and sneezes
The respiratory system leaps into sudden action without our conscious
control. Its reflex actions get rid of particles in the airways with coughs and
sneezes. The functions of hiccups and yawns, however, are more mysterious.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Coughs and sneezes 118 119

Air expelled
explosively

Irritant particle,
trapped in mucus, Vocal cords
flies out of throat open throat

Air explodes out


4 The chest muscles
forcefully contract and
diaphragm relaxes. The Air bursts out
vocal cords snap open
and an explosive cough
expels the irritants. Irritants
expelled
Pressure
3 rises
The vocal cords
snap shut and the
diaphragm begins
to relax, causing air
pressure in the Chest muscles
lungs to rise. Vocal cords contract
close throat
Air rushes
Pressure from lungs
builds up Pressure from
in lungs diaphram

Diaphram
relaxes and YAWNING
curves up
Amazingly, experts still dont know
why we yawn. Because yawning is
Air drawn in contagious, some scientists suggest
that in our evolutionary past,
yawning was used to signal fatigue
Epiglottis to other members of the troop
snaps shut
or herd, and may even
have helped
synchronize the
Hiccups Sound radiates
groups sleep
A rapid, involuntary contraction patterns.
Lungs
of the diaphragm, sometimes two or expand
more in rapid succession, causes
Wide-open
air to rush into the lungs. A flap of mouth of yawn
Diaphragm
cartilage in the throat called the spasms
does not increase
oxygen intake
epiglottis audibly snaps shutthis is a
hiccup, and it is unknown why we do it.
The many tasks
of your blood
Fluid of life
Plasma is a straw-coloured
fluid containing water
plus dissolved salts,
hormones, fats, sugars,
and proteins, as well
Your heart and blood vessels contain around as tissue wastes.
10 pints (5 liters) of blood, which transports
everything your cells need or produce, such as
oxygen, hormones, vitamins, and wastes. Blood
carries nutrients from food for processing and
toxins for detoxification to the liver, and
transports wastes and excess fluid to the 45% red blood cells
1% white blood cells and platelets
kidneys, which expel it from the body. 54% plasma

What is blood made of?


Blood consists of a fluid called plasma, in which float 5 MILLION
billions of red and white blood cells, plus plateletsthe cell
fragments involved in blood clotting. Blood also contains
THE NUMBER OF RED
wastes, nutrients, cholesterol, antibodies, and protein BLOOD CELLS IN A
clotting factors that travel within the plasma. The body DROP OF BLOOD
carefully controls blood temperature, acidity, and salt
levelsif these vary too much, blood and body cells could
not function properly.

Oxygen transport
Most oxygen is carried within the red blood cells. A small amount
of oxygen is also dissolved in plasma. After a red blood cell collects
oxygen from the lungs, it takes around a minute to complete one circuit
around the body. During this circuit, oxygen diffuses into the tissues
and carbon dioxide is absorbed into the blood. Oxygen-depleted blood
cells are then taken back to the lungs, where
the blood releases carbon dioxide and the
WHERE IS cycle starts again.
BLOOD MADE?
Double circulation LUNGS
Oxygen-depleted blood is
Strangely, blood is actually pumped from the right side of
manufactured in bone marrow the heart to the lungs. Blood
rich in oxygen from the lungs
in your flat bones (such as the is pumped from the left side
ribs, sternum, and shoulder of the heart out to the body.

blades)millions of blood
cells are produced every Lungs absorb
oxygen from the air
single second! and releases it into
the blood
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
The many tasks of your blood 120 121
FOOD
What the body needs
All the living cells throughout the INTESTINES
body need various things to help
them function properly. Blood GLUCOSE
carries these vital supplies, such
as oxygen, salts, fuel (in the form of LIVER
glucose or fats), and protein building
BLOOD CELLS
blocksamino acidsfor growth HEART
and repair. Blood also carries BONE MARROW
hormones, such as epinephrine,
which are chemicals that affect the EPINEPHRINE TISSUES
behavior of cells. ADRENAL GLAND

What the body WASTE


doesnt need
Wastes, such as lactic acid, are LIVER KIDNEY BLADDER
produced as by-products of normal
cell function. Blood quickly carries LACTIC ACID
the wastes away to prevent HEART Liver converts lactic
MUSCLES
acid into glucose
imbalances. Some wastes may be
transported to the kidneys, to be Lactic acid from
expelled in urine, or can be carried exercising muscles travels
in the blood to the liver, GLUCOSE
to the liver to be converted back which recycles it back to BACK INTO
into something that the cells need. glucose using oxygen
BLOOD

Blood now carries carbon


LE dioxide and travels via right
F
side of the heart to the lungs
TS
ID

OF
E

RT
TH
E
A

HE A
HE
F THE

RT

HEART TISSUES
IDE O

Every cell in the


TS

H body receives
RIG oxygen via tiny
blood vessels

Blood carries
oxygen to the rest
of the body
How the R Ventricles
contract

heart beats Second contraction


The electric message
reaches the tip of the
The heart is a fist-sized muscular organ ventricles and spreads
throughout the
that contracts and relaxes around 70 ventricles. The large
R-wave occurs as
times a minute. This keeps blood flowing the powerful ventricles
around the lungs and body, transporting reach peak contraction.

life-giving oxygen and nutrients.

Heart cycle
Your heart is a muscular pump that is divided
R
Q
into two halves, left and right. Each side of the
heart is further divided into two chambersan
upper atrium and a lower ventricle. Valves
prevent backflow so that blood keeps traveling Signal transfer
in the correct direction. A patch of muscle acts The electric signal
as a natural pacemaker, generating an electric then passes down
the thick, muscular
signal that makes the heart muscle cycle wall between the
between contraction and relaxation. The left and right side
rhythmic squeezing of the heart pumps of the ventricles,
creating the valley
blood from its right side to the lungs and of the Q wave.
from the left side to the rest of the body.

ECG recording
Electric impulses within the heart can be recorded by
electrodes to produce an electrocardiogram (ECG). Each
heartbeat produces a characteristic trace on the ECG display. Electricity travels
along wall between

P
Its shape is made up of five phasesP, Q, R, S, and T, each of chambers
which is a sign of a particular stage of the heartbeat cycle.

Q
P
Sinoatrial
node (natural
pacemaker)

First contraction Electric signals travel


Electric activation of through walls of
muscle cells make upper chambers
the atria contract,
pushing blood Atria
through valves into contract
the ventricles and
creating the P wave
Blood forced into
on the ECG.
ventricles
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
How the heart beats 122 123
WHAT CREATES
THE SOUND OF THE How electric
HEARTBEAT? signals travel
The heart has four valves, The hearts pacemaker, the
sinoatrial node, is a region of muscle
and the opening and
in the upper right atrium. It starts
closing, in pairs, of these a regular electric impulse that is
heart valves produces the conducted throughout the heart
familiar lub-dub sound of by specialized nerve fibers. Heart
Oxygen-rich blood from the heartbeat. muscle cells are adept at spreading
the lungs is pumped to the electric messages rapidly, so the
rest of the body
heart muscle contracts in an orderly
sequence, first the two atria
followed by the two ventricles.

S
Atrium relaxed
Natural pacemaker
Electricity
travels back Specialized cells
The S wave and flat Natural pacemaker cells
ST segment occur as in the heart are leaky
the ventricles are and allow a flow of ions
contracting and emptying (charged particles) in and
of blood. The atrial muscle out. This generates a
cells have recharged, ready regular electric impulse
for the next contraction. that causes the heart to
beat. Heart (cardiac)
muscle cells have
Electricity branched fibers that let
travels back up electric messages
towards atria spread quickly to the
neighboring muscle cells.

T
Blood from hearts
right side is pumped Ventricles still
to the lungs contracted

Electric current

T Cardiac
muscle
Heart recharges cell
The final T wave of the
ECG trace occurs as the
ventricular muscle cells
WITH EACH BEAT,
recharge, or repolarize. EACH LOWER
The heart rests as
the muscle cells get CHAMBER PUMPS
ready for the next
HEART MUSCLE contraction. 2 13 FL OZ (70 ML)
CELLS RECHARGE
OF BLOOD
S NEARLY 15 OF A BLOOD
DONATION BAG
How blood travels Blood flow
Blood travels through arteries, capillaries,
and veins. Arteries have muscular, IN
elastic walls to even out surges
in pressure as the heart
pumps. Veins have thinner
walls and can distend to Artery wall
DILATES
help lower blood pressure. is relaxed
Artery wall
If blood pressure rises contracts

too high, damage


RY

increases the risk


TE
AR

of a heart attack
or stroke.

Vessel narrows to limit CONSTRICTS


blood flow locally

Capillaries that Arteries


nourish blood Middle layer (tunica Arteries carry blood away from the heart.
vessel walls media) consisting of Most arteries, except those going to the
smooth muscle lungs, carry oxygenated blood. Their thick,
Lining (tunica elastic walls can cope with high pressure and
intima) Elastic connective tissue widen or narrow to regulate blood flow.
(lamina propria)

Outer layer (tunica externa)

Blood pressure
The arteries pulse with blood in time with the heartbeat,
and so the pressure inside them rises and falls in waves. Artery splits into
Arterial pressure is greatest just after the heart contracts narrower arterioles

(systolic blood pressure) and is lowest when the heart


rests between beats (diastolic blood pressure).
Pressure is much lower in the capillaries as
they are so numerous they spread the force ARTERIES
120 Maximum, or
widely. Once blood reaches the veins, its systolic, pressure
Blood pressure (mmHg)

pressure is minimal. 100


Minimum, or diastolic,
80 pressure (heart relaxed)
Ranges of pressure 60
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of HEARTBEAT
mercury (mmHg) and typical blood pressure 40 CA
varies rhythmically between 120 and 80 PIL
LAR
mmHg. Although the pressure is lower in 20 IES
both capillaries and veins, blood pressure VEINS
never reaches 0 mmHg. 0
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
How blood travels 124 125
Blood flows
OUT
forward
Open valve Route through the body
Blood pulses away from the heart in large
arteries, which divide to form smaller
arterioles. From the arterioles, blood
enters a network of capillaries. In
lung capillaries, blood collects
oxygen and releases carbon
VALVE OPEN dioxide gas. In body
capillaries, blood releases
Blood cannot oxygen and collects
Closed valve flow back carbon dioxide. Blood

VE
then flows into

IN
venules, which join
up to form veins
returning blood
to the heart.
Layer of
VALVE CLOSED smooth muscle
Valve
Veins
Lamina propria
Veins carry blood back to the heart. Pressure in
them is very low (58 mmHg) and the long veins
in the legs have a one-way valve system to prevent Tunica intima
backflow due to gravity. Capillaries
Capillaries form an extensive
CAPILLARIES network that branches finely
through body tissues. The
entrance to some capillaries
is protected by muscle rings
(sphincters), which can shut
down that part of the network.

Small venules join up to


form a larger vein

Small venules

WHY IS HIGH
Air pump
BLOOD PRESSURE
Measuring blood pressure SO HARMFUL?
To measure your blood pressure, a
Pressure gauge
nurse inflates a cuff around your arm High blood pressure damages
until the pressure is high enough to
stop arterial blood flow. Pressure is
artery linings. This can trigger
then slowly released until blood can a buildup of cholesterol-laden
just squirt past the cuff, producing a
distinct sound that pinpoints systolic plaque, which hastens
blood pressure. As cuff pressure hardening and furring
continues to fall, sounds suddenly
stop at the point where blood flow Cuff
up of the arteries.
is no longer constricted, which
pinpoints diastolic blood pressure.
Broken blood vessels
Blood vessels permeate the tissues of the body. Their WHY DO
thin walls allow oxygen and nutrients to pass but are PEOPLE GET DEEP-
easily damaged. Repair systems allow blood to clot so VEIN THROMBOSIS ON
that any damage is quickly fixed, but sometimes LONG FLIGHTS?
unwanted clotting causes a blockage. Blood can clot by mistake
inside a healthy vessel due to
Bruising sluggish blood flow, especially
When a part of the body is knocked, tiny blood vessels may rupture and when someone sits still for
leak blood into surrounding tissues. Some people bruise more easily than hours. Such a clot, or
others, especially the elderly. This is sometimes related to blood-clotting
thrombosis, can
disorders or nutrient deficiency such as lack of vitamin K (needed
block a vein.
to make clotting factors) or vitamin C (needed to make
the protein collagen).

Leaking blood Capillary broken,


visibly pools in the causing blood to leak Hair
upper skin layer

Blood leakage
Circulating blood is under pressure
and readily escapes from a broken
vessel into surrounding tissues.
Released chemicals activate the
clotting response and attract
scavenger cells (macrophages).
BRUISE

Clotting
A damaged blood vessel must be sealed quickly to activate and plug the damage. The blood vessel may
prevent blood loss. A complex sequence of reactions constrict to slow blood flow and reduce blood loss
causes inactive proteins dissolved within the blood to from the circulation.
Platelets bound together
Platelet Blood vessel wall broken Platelets collect at opening by fibrin protein fibers

Initial opening Forming a clot Holding the clot


1 Exposure of proteins such as collagen
2 Platelets stick together and release
3 A sticky web of fibrin fibers forms a
in a broken blood vessel wall immediately chemicals that trigger fibrina protein net that binds platelets together. The web
attracts cell fragments called platelets. circulating in the bloodto form fibers. traps red blood cells to form a clot.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Broken blood vessels 126 127
How bruises heal Varicose veins
Bruises start purplethe color of oxygen-
poor blood cells seen under the skin. Varicose veins are a price we pay for walking
Scavenging macrophage cells recycle the on two legs rather than four. Valves in the long
spilled red blood cells as they clean up the leg veins let blood travel up against gravity. In
area, converting the red blood pigments into
first green, then yellow pigments. surface veins, these valves can collapse, and
Oxygen-rich red blood pools, forming bulges. Varicose veins
BRUISE blood cell with may be hereditary and may also result from
COLOUR hemoglobin
increased pressure during pregnancy.
Oxygen-
poor red
blood cell
containing ALT H Y V EI N
deoxy- Blood restricted HE
hemoglobin from flowing
backward

Macrophage
MACROPHAGE
ABSORBS BLOOD CELLS Healthy valves
A series of valves stops
Cell fragment blood from flowing
containing backward. This allows
hemoglobin blood to flow up the
length of the leg against
Green
pigment the pull of gravity.
R ICO S E V EI N
(biliverdin) VA
MACROPHAGE BREAKS Valve turned inside
DOWN HAEMOGLOBIN out, allowing blood
to leak backward

Yellow Pressure builds


pigment When weak valves give
(bilirubin) way, gravity causes
blood to fall backward
and pool in the veins.
Increased pressure causes Widened,
MACROPHAGE RELEASES the veins to become twisted vein
YELLOW PIGMENT dilated and twisted.

Red blood cell Plaque collects


Blocked blood vessels in artery wall

Clot broken up and Raised blood pressure or high


dispersed by enzymes glucose levels slowly damage
Blood vessel
artery walls. Platelets stick to
wall repaired injured areas to fix the damage. FATTY DEPOSIT Dead blood cells
If blood cholesterol levels are and fat
also high, this seeps into affected
areas, causing a buildup that
narrows the artery and restricts
blood flow. If arteries supplying BLOCKED BLOOD VESSEL
heart muscle are affected, it can Limiting blood flow
Clot dissolves Fatty deposits may collect in damaged
4 Cells that repair the wound also release
cause a heart attack. When blood
areas in arteries to form plaques. These
enzymes that slowly break down the platelet/ flow to the brain is reduced, the deposits cause the arteries to narrow
fibrin clota process called fibrinolysis. memory is affected. and stiffen, restricting blood flow.
Heart problems
The heart is a vital organif it stops
pumping blood, cells will not receive Constricted
the oxygen and nutrients they need. blood flow
A narrowing of a
Without oxygen or glucose, brain coronary artery may
be caused by a
cells cannot function and you buildup of fatty
lose consciousness. deposits (see p.127).

Blood Plaque
AORTA cell in artery
Vulnerable vessels
Heart muscle needs more oxygen than
any other muscle in the body and the
heart has its own coronary arteries to
supply its needs because it cannot absorb
oxygen from the blood in its chambers.
The left and right coronary arteries
are relatively narrow and prone to Y
ER
T
hardening and furring up (narrowing) Y AR
N AR
a potentially life-threatening process RO
known as atherosclerosis. O
C

IS LAUGHTER
REALLY THE BEST
MEDICINE?
It may very well be true
laughter can increase
your blood flow and
relax your blood Damaged heart muscle
Poor blood supply means
vessel walls. heart muscle cells do not get all
the oxygen they need. This leads to a
tight chest discomfort called angina. DE A
D HE ART MUSCLE

THY
HE ART T
I SS ED BLO O D SU P O F HE ART M U
Decreasing oxygen supply AL UE D UC PL AT
H SC
The heart has specialized HE RE Y DE
LE
cardiac muscle cells whose
branched fibers spread
electrical messages quickly.
Characteristic changes on
an ECG (electrocardiogram)
help doctors diagnose
whether chest pain is due Fibers bright red Dark fibers Only a few bright-
to poor blood supply and oxygenated lack oxgyen red fibers remain
(angina) or muscle cell throughout
death (heart attack).
NO T
RM EA HEA
AL HEARTB A N GI N A R T AT TA C K
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Heart problems 128 129
Heart rhythm problems Electrical activity
Rogue activity arising
If the heart is beating too fast, too slowly, in the electrical
or irregularly, medics say that it has conduction system
arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm. can block the normal
pacemaker impulses
Most arrhythmias are harmless, such made by in the
as premature extra beats that feel like Sinoatrial
node sinoatrial node,
a flutter or skipped heartbeat. Atrial stopping the signal
reaching the next node.
fibrillation is the most common type Atrioventricular
of serious arrhythmia, in which the node
two upper chambers of the heart (atria) Rogue electrical
Rogue
beat irregularly and fast. This can cause electrical activity can arise
activity in either atrium
dizziness, shortness of breath, and
fatigue, and also increases the risk of
suffering a stroke. Some arrhythmias
can be treated with drugs. Some need
defibrillation to reset and normalize Irregular
electrical activity
electrical activity.
Sinoatrial node generates Rogue electrical activity
regular heartbeat blocks impulses

NORMAL HEART BEAT IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT

Electrical interference
The coordinated beating of the heart relies DEFIBRILLATION
on a clear signal reaching the ventricles
from the sinoatrial node. If rogue electrical
activity gets in the way, the hearts rhythm
Some life-threatening arrhythmias can be treated by defibrillation.
of contraction is disturbed and can A burst of electricity is delivered to the chest in an attempt to
become erratic. re-establish normal heart electrical activity and
contraction. Defibrillation only
works if a shockable rhythm
is present, such as ventricular Defibrillator Defibrillator
paddle paddle
THE HUMAN fibrillation. It cannot restart the
heart if no electrical activity is
HEART BEATS detected (asystole).
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
MORE THAN can trigger electrical activity so
36 MILLION TIMES that defibrillation can be tried.
DEFIBRILLATOR
A YEARABOUT PADDLES
APPLIED TO
2.8 BILLION TIMES IN THE CHEST

AN AVERAGE LIFETIME
Exercising and its limits
When you go for a jog or a sprint, extra blood is pumped to your muscles,
providing you with the vital ingredient to make energyoxygen. Deep,
regular breaths replenish your muscles with oxygen and set your pace.

Oxygen Aerobic jog


consumption When exercising at a moderate pace, your
body is relying on the oxygen you breathe and
STARTING
YOUR JOG energy stores in your muscles. Oxygen burns
glucose, a sugar that is stored in your body,
for energy. Muscle cells use energy to contract
and ultimately move your body. This process is
aerobic respiration, and is the most stable form
of exercise. Aerobic exercises include jogging,
cycling, rowing, swimming, and dancing.
FINDING
YOUR PLACE

Steady rise
Your breathing
rate will rise EXHAUSTION
Slowing down
with your pace.
Breathing rate soon
returns to normal
COMING
Lactic acid after a jog.
TO A STOP
level rises

Steady breaths
Rhythmic breathing allows a
steady flow of oxygen to keep OUT OF
lactic acid at bay. BREATH

Lactic acid level


soon returns
Replenishing breaths
to normal
Immediately after the race,
you continue to use your
lungs vital capacity and
Lactic acid you are taking your
level starts deepest breaths.
to fall
30-MINUTE JOG
Oxygen debt
Minutes after
the race, deep
Jogging breaths continue.
A slower pace allows you to exercise for This is neccessary
longer periods of time. Your body can because oxygen is still
make energy much more efficiently needed to neutralize the
from its glucose stores. buildup of lactic acid.
130 131
Crouch
All systems go You prepare to take Reaching your limit
Lactic acid builds up deeper breaths. A buildup of lactic acid in your
quickly in the muscles. ON body is the reason why you get
Oxygen intake lags behind. YOUR tired during exercise. Lactic acid
MARKS
EXERTING interferes with muscle contraction,
YOURSELF which results in physical exhaustion.
Oxygen is needed to get rid of lactic
acid, which is why you breathe heavily
after exercise. This buildup of lactic
acid happens during both aerobic and
anaerobic exercise, but it occurs quicker
in the latter. Brain cells can only burn
glucose for fuel and as exercising muscles
deplete the bodys available glucose
REACHING
YOUR 30-SECOND SPRINT supplies, mental fatigue also sets in.
LIMIT
EFFECT OF LACTIC ACID IN MUSCLES
Actin
Muscle cannot
Sprinting contract
Exerting yourself in a short space of MUSCLES
High level time causes your body to make energy
of lactic acid inefficiently, which releases a lot of
lactic acid, causing the burn.

Anaerobic sprint Lactic acid


During strenuous exercise, your body Myosin
demands energy more quickly than you
can provide oxygen to make it. Muscles HYDRATION
can continue to break down glucose
without oxygen in a process known Drinking water during exercise helps
as anaerobic respiration. It is great for regulate body temperature through
short bursts of energy, but it generates sweating and flushes away lactic
Breaking point
You become dizzy and feel excessive lactic acid in your muscles and acid. Water in blood plasma is
the burn. Lactic acid will is unsustainable. Now, oxygen is needed, sweated out, so your blood thickens
eventually reach a level where not to help burn glucose, but to convert and your heart works harder to
your muscles simply cannot pump blood around the body.
contract. The breaths you the build up of lactic acid into glucose
This is called cardiac drift, and its
take are as deep as possible for future energy. This is known as one reason why you cant respire
to maximize the amount of paying the oxygen debt and leaves
oxygen you absorb. aerobically and jog forever.
you out of breath for some time after
an intense sprint.

FULLY LIMIT OF SAFE


HYDRATED: 75% DEHYDRATION: 70%
Fitter and
stronger
Scalene muscles
contract to raise
upper ribs
Internal
intercostal Lung volume
muscles reduced as
muscles contract
Exercise that makes your heart race and your lungs contract
and tilt ribs and ribs tilt
breathe hard and deep is called cardiovascularit downward

strengthens the heart and improves stamina. In


contrast, exercise that forces you to contract
muscles repetitively is called resistance
training, and it can build and
strengthen your muscles. COLLARBONE

Cardiovascular exercise
When you perform cardiovascular Chest muscles
Muscles within the neck,
exercise, such as jogging, swimming, chest wall, abdomen,
bicycling, or brisk walking, you and back coordinate to
train your cardiovascular system. expand and reduce the

STERNUM
size of your ribcage, so
Your heart rate climbs, beating that the volume of air
faster in order to pump more blood your lungs inhale and LUNG
around your body, especially to exhale increases.
RIB
the chest muscles that influence
the depth of your breaths. As
your bodys demand for oxygen
increases, your breathing rate
and depth rises accordingly. External intercostal
muscles contract and tilt
Your blood is saturated with as ribs upward
much oxygen as possible to
provide your body with the
energy it needs.

Deep breaths Rectus


include red and abdominis
blue areas muscle pulls
ribcage
downward
VITAL CAPACITY

Lung capacity
Your tidal volume is the
volume of air that flows into Lung volume
your lungs during a relaxed increases due to
breath. If you try to breathe ribs tilting upward
VOLUME

all the air out of your lungs,


TIDAL

some air remains as your


residual volume, and cannot
RESIDUAL be breathed out. Your vital
VOLUME capacity, the deepest breath External oblique muscles
you can take when training, contract and shorten to
Air that remains Relaxed is the rest of your lung pull ribs downward
in lungs after breathing volume excluding the
deep breath residual volume. INHALING EXHALING
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Fitter and stronger 132 133
WHICH
TYPE OF EXERCISE Resistance training
BURNS MORE FAT? Weight training builds your muscle, but so does dancing,
It depends on the individual, gymnastics, and yoga they are all forms of resistance training.
A repetition (rep) is one complete motion of exercise. A set is a group
but a combination of both
of consecutive reps that will contract a particular muscle, or multiple
cardio and weight training muscles, repeatedly. You can target muscles to grow by choosing to
will result in greater fat loss perform a selection of sets and reps over a period of time. The fewer
than just doing one reps you are able to do per set, the tougher your workout.
or the other. Cell nuclei Muscle tear Satellite cell

MUSCLE FIBER MUSCLE FIBER MUSCLE FIBER


BEFORE EXERCISE AFTER EXERCISE DURING REST

DOIN A REP Muscle growth process


G Exercise tears muscle fibers, which
are then repaired by satellite cells.

RE-TRAINING
SHRINKING
Rectus abdominis Although muscle fibers are single BULKY MUSCLE
muscle body cells, they have many nuclei, FIBER WITH MANY
and they incorporate the satellite NUCLEI
Bow pose cells, along with their nucleigrowing
Yoga is a good way to grow as they do so. During a break from
muscle steadily. The bow pose exercise, your muscle fibers shrink,
forces the rectus abdominis but they retain the nuclei from the
muscle to contract and tear satellite cells and regain their size
slightly. Repeating this as a rep quickly after retraining. MUSCLE FIBER AFTER
will start the muscle growth process. MONTHS OF NO EXERCISE

RATES OF EXERCISE
Exercise intensity can be expressed as the
percentage of your maximum heart rate. 100
When you go for a jog, you are working Maximum training
your heart at about 50 percent of its Anaerobic training
maximum heart rate

80
potential power. Athletes who have Cardio training
Percentage of

reached their peak fitness can work Weight control


60
their heart at maximum strength100 Moderate activity
percent. A fitness instructor can give
40
you a target heart rate to reach when
training (which varies with age) while
achieving your fitness goals.

WHEN YOU SLEEP, HORMONES


THAT STIMULATE MUSCLE
GROWTH ARE RELEASED
Maximizing
your fitness BRAIN

While exercising is necessary to maintain health,


regular training can improve your overall fitness.
Your body will adapt to tough training regimes;
muscles get thicker, breaths get deeper, and
your state of mind is enhanced.

Positive results of regular exercise


If you exercise regularly, you will see widespread
improvements across your body. Adults benefit from just HEART
30 minutes of brisk exercise on most days, while children
need at least 60 minutes of running
TAKE
around. Keeping yourself active is N IN LUNG
YGE
vital for improving your organs OX
and muscles, and by exerting
yourself in steady sessions Exercise strengthens LIVER
your chest muscles,
your body systems will
which allows greater
become more efficient lung expansion. So,
and eventually will start the amount of air
your lungs can hold
to function at the best
increases, and your
of their ability. breathing rate rises,
resulting in a greater
amount of oxygen
Depth of each absorbed when
breath increases exercising and
with exercise also at rest.

RE A SE
R IN C
E TE
AM R OV E
IMP
DI

When exercising, nerve S


EM
RY

signals cause arteries ST


SY
TE

to dilate, or widen,
AR

IC

increasing blood flow.


OL

This delivers more


B
TA

oxygenated blood to the


ME

muscles. If you exercise


Artery regularly, the diameter
widens that your arteries dilate Metabolic process
to when you exercise occurring in liver
becomes wider,
maximizing the amount Your metabolic rate is the speed at which
of oxygen that reaches chemical processes, such as digestion or
your muscles. the burning of fat, take place in your body.
Exercise generates heat, which speeds
up these processes in your organs,
even after you finish exercising.
CO G N I T
IVE
IM
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Maximizing your fitness 134 135
PR
O

VE
Reaching your maximum

M
EN
Regular exercise During a training program, for most people, the

T
increases the delivery
of blood, oxygen, and effort you put in reaps great benefits at first, as
nutrients to the brain. your fitness increases from your untrained level.
In turn, this stimulates Further improvements become ever harder to
new connections
between brain cells, achieve as you approach your own physiological
improving general mental limits, which depend on age, gender, and other
abilities. Exercise also boosts the genetic factors. You reach your maximum
levels of neurotransmitters such
as serotonin in the brain, more quickly with a higher-intensity training
raising your mood. program. The best athletes explore their limits,
looking for opportunities to extend them.
Limit
S TRO NG ER
CA
RD g
IA nin

Maximum oxygen intake


C
M t ra i
s it y
Cardiac muscle fibers grow in size, en
US

t
but not via satellite cells as is the case -in g
CL

gh in
Hi n
ai
E

in muscles in the rest of your body.


Instead, their existing fibers grow tr
a te
stronger. Your hearts contractions er
become stronger too, and it distributes od
blood more thoroughly around the M
body, lowering your resting heart rate.

0 3 6 9 12
Time (weeks)

RESTING HEART RATES


Athletes have low heart rates at rest because
training enhances the strength of their cardiac
muscle. Compared to those who are untrained,
athletes heart contractions are stronger, and
S TRO blood is distributed more efficiently with every
NG heartbeat. A trained athlete may have a pulse rate
ER
M as low as 3040 beats per minute at rest.
US
CL

Slow
ES

heartbeat
Having strong Fast
muscles increases heartbeat
your physical
strength, strengthens
your bones, improves
posture, flexibility, and
how much energy you burn
during exercise and while
at rest. Strong muscle is also
more resilient to exercise-
induced injury.

UNTRAINED TRAINED
IN AND
OUT
Feeding the body WHAT IF I DONT
GET WHAT I NEED?
Although the body can manufacture many vital
Your body systems will start
chemicals, a lot of the materials we need must be
to fail and you may be afflicted
acquired by eating. The energy needed to fuel the
with deficiency diseases. For
body is gained entirely through the food we example, if you do not have
consume. Once nutrients are absorbed enough minerals in your diet,
into the bloodstream, they are then your bones will not
transported to different parts of grow properly.
the body, where they are put to Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates
innumerable tasks. are the main energy
source for the brain.
Whole grains and fruits and
Water vegetables that are high in
Some 65 percent fiber are healthy sources
of the body is made of carbohydrates.
up of water. This is
Proteins
constantly being lost
Proteins are the major structural
through breathing
components of all cells. Healthy
and sweating, and
protein sources include beans,
it is critical that it
lean meat, dairy, and eggs.
is replenished.
Sugars

Amino
What the body needs acids

There are six essential types of


nutrient that the body needs to get
Fats
from the diet in order to function Fats are a rich source of energy
DIGESTIVE TRACT
properly: fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and help in the absorption of
vitamins, minerals, and water. The fat-soluble vitamins. Healthier
fat sources include dairy, nuts,
last three are small enough to be fish, and vegetable-based oils.
Fatty
absorbed directly through the lining acids
of the gut, but fats, proteins, and
carbohydrates need to be broken
down chemically into smaller
particles before they can be
Vitamins
absorbed. These particles are Vitamins are
sugars, amino acids, and fatty needed to
acids respectively. make things
in the body. Vitamin C, for
example, is needed to build
collagen, which is used in
various tissues.
Minerals
Minerals are vital for building
bones, hair, skin, and blood
cells. They also enhance nerve
function and help turn food
into energy.
IN AND OUT
Feeding the body 138 139
Building an eye
Every tissue in our body is built and maintained by the
nutrients we absorb from our food. The tissues of the human
THE LIVER CAN
eye, for example, are built from amino acids and fatty acids, STORE UP TO
and fueled by sugars. The membranes and spaces are filled 2 YEARS WORTH
with fluids, and vitamins and minerals are needed to convert
light into an electrical impulsethe basis of vision itself. OF VITAMIN A

Cell membranes Energy


All the cells of the eye (and the The eyes are an
rest of the body) are surrounded extension of the
by membranes that are built brain, and just like
using fatty acids and proteins. the brain, they need
the sugars we get
from carbohydrates
for energy.

The food of sight


Like all organs of the
body, the eye utilizes all six
of the essential nutrients.
These give it structure and
enable it to send visual
information to
the brain.

Fluids
The eye is filled
with fluid, which Red blood cells
maintains the The tissues of the
pressure in the eye are oxygenated
eye and provides Vision by the red blood
Tissue structures
nutrients and Vitamin A is bound cells, which need the protein
Eyelashes are made
moisture to the inner to proteins in the hemoglobin and the mineral
up of the protein
eye tissues. This fluid eye known as visual iron in order to carry oxygen.
keratin, which is built
is 98 percent water. pigments. When light
from amino acids.
hits the cells, the
Other tissues of the
vitamin A changes
eye are made of
shape, sending an
the protein collagen.
electrical impulse
to the brain.
How does eating work?
Eating is the process of breaking down food into molecules that
are small enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream. For the food,
BEFORE EATING Hunger
this involves a 30 ft (9 m) journey through a series of organs known A few hours after
collectively as the gut, or the gastro-intestinal tract. eating, the hormone
ghrelin is secreted
by the stomach. This
sends a signal to the
The journey of food brain, which readies
Food begins as a (usually) appetizing the gut for food.
meal, and ends with us taking trips to the
toilet. Between these stages, the food has Ghrelins signal makes
us feel hungry
done its jobreleased its nutrients in a
four-stage process involving the mouth, the IM HUNGRY
stomach, the small intestine, and the large Leptins signal makes
intestine. The liver and pancreas also us feel full
play roles, as do the hormones leptin and IM FULL
ghrelin. On average, it takes 48 hours
for food to pass through the body. Satisfaction
When we have eaten
HYPOTHALAMUS enough, the hormone
leptin is released by
our fat tissues. This
Nutrient absorption signals the brain to
Some nutrients take longer put the gut back on
to be absorbed than others, AFTER EATING standby mode.
but most are absorbed in
the small intestine. MOUTH
Vitamins Hunger and satisfaction
We eat when we feel hungry, and stop when we
Sugars Mouth and feel full. However, we are not responsible for
1 esophagus
Amino acids these feelings. When we are low on nutrients,
Stage one starts with the
mechanical breakdown of the hormone ghrelin is released by the stomach,
Minerals
food by chewing. This mixes making us feel hungryand when we are full,
Fatty acids the food with saliva, which the hormone leptin is released by our fat tissues,
begins to digest it chemically.
Water The food is then swallowed, inhibiting our appetites.
which drops it into the
Blood flow esophagus (see p.142).
ESOPHAGUS

BLOODSTREAM
1 minute in
the mouth and
esophagus

LIVER
Duct carrying
enzymes from
the pancreas
REAS
PANC

STO
The stomach
2 Muscular contractions

MA
C
H in the esophagus propel the
WHAT IF food into the stomach. Here it is
THINGS GET BLOCKED? doused in gastric juices, which
turn it into a soupy mixture
Blockages can be caused by called chyme (see p.143).

stress, bad diet, or infection.


One remedy is a laxative a
25 hours in the
medication that is taken to stomach
smooth the passage of
3 hours in the
food through small intestine
the gut.
LARGE

Duct carrying
bile from
the liver
INTES

The large intestine


How does eating work?
IN AND OUT

TINE

4 Most of the water from


The small intestine the food is absorbed in this last
3 In the small intestine, section of the gut, along with
the chyme is broken down a few final nutrients. At the
further by enzymes that are same time, the indigestible
SMALL INTESTINE

supplied by the pancreas, parts of the food are pressed


and bile produced by the into feces and stored for
liver. Most of the foods removal (see pp.14647).
nutrients are absorbed
here (see pp.14445).
140 141

3040 hours in the


large intestine
A mouth to feed
Chewing
The long and convoluted journey taken by food through the Air in When food is in the
body begins with a brief stay in the mouth and an acid bath mouth, the epiglottis
stands up to keep the
in the stomach. The goal of this first stage of digestion is to windpipe open. This allows
us to breathe through our
turn food into chymea soup of nutrients that is then moved noses while chewing.
on to the small intestine for processing.
Epiglottis up

Heading south
The route from mouth to stomach is a vertical one, Swallowing
via a connecting tube called the esophagus. The food When we swallow, the
epiglottis folds down,
is propelled by gravity and by muscular closing off the windpipe.
contractions in the esophagus known At the same time, the soft
as peristaltic waves. palate rises to block off
the nasal cavity.
NASAL PASSAGE
Soft palate up

Epiglottis down

Ready to chew again


Chewing creates a ball of
saliva-saturated food
When food has entered
SALIVARY the esophagus, the
GLAND epiglottis and soft palate
return to their former
position. This enables us
TONGUE to breathe and chew again.
The salivary glands
The salivary gland under in the cheeks produce
the tongue produces thick watery saliva Epiglottis up
saliva containing enzymes

Another salivary How to avoid choking


gland under the
jaw releases saliva Since we both eat and breathe through our
at the base of mouths, it is vital that our windpipes can
Digestion begins the tongue
1 As food is chewed in the mouth, the salivary
be closed off when we swallow. Luckily, our
glands increase the production of saliva, which bodies have a pair of built-in safety devices
helps turn food into a paste. Saliva also contains a small flap of cartilage in the throat called
an enzyme called amylase, which converts starch
the epiglottis, and a piece of flexible tissue
WINDPIPE

into more easily absorbable sugars.


in the roof of the mouth called the soft palate.
ESOPHAGUS
A muscular Into the stomach
wave shifts
2 Food enters the stomach via a ring
food down the of muscle. For several hours the food is then
WHY DO WE esophagus churned by three different muscles in the
GET INDIGESTION? stomach. In a violent procedure that we are
Chewed up barely aware of, this mixes the food with the
Indigestion, or heartburn, ball of food gastric juices that are secreted by glands
in the stomach lining.
is the inflammation of the
stomach by the stomachs own Ring of muscle
must be relaxed
acidic juices. It is commonly to let in food
caused by overeating,
stress, or drinking too
Gastric juices
much alcohol.
STOM
are released
AC
H

Gastric juices
3 The stomachs juices include the
extraordinarily corrosive hydrocholoric
acid, which kills bacteria, and pepsin,
an enzyme that converts protein into
smaller molecules called peptides. Also Layers of muscle
released is gastric lipase, an enzyme in the stomach wall
that begins the process of breaking pull in three different
down fat, and mucus. Mucus forms a directions, flexing the
slimy layer that protects the stomach stomach into different
shapes and churning the
from its own digestive juices.
food like clothes in a
washing machine
Gastric juices are secreted
at the base of pits

Layers of
Ring of muscle, open
stomach wall
to release chyme
A mouth to feed
IN AND OUT

Moving on
4 After being churned
in the stomach for 34
hours, all the food has
been turned into
chyme. This chemical
mixture is then squirted
through another ring of Food converted
muscle at the base of the Chyme enters the to chyme
stomach into the neck of the small intestine
142 143

small intestine. Once here,


digestion begins in earnest.

Small intestine
Gut reaction
Once food has been turned into chyme in the stomach, it Organs in concert
To help it digest, the small intestine gets help
is squirted into the small intestine. Here, in a frenzy of from three other organs: the pancreas, which
chemical activity, it is broken down further and finally makes enzymes; the liver, which makes bile;
absorbed by the blood. Each day, around 24 pints and the bile-storing organ, the gallbladder.
(11.5 liters) of food, liquids, and digestive juices pass
through the small intestine.

Bile factory
1 One of the livers
many jobs is to produce
bilea bitter liquid that
turns fats into more LIVER Enzyme engine
readily digestible fatty Food leaves the
3 The pancreas produces
droplets. Once produced, stomach and enters three main enzymes: amylase,
bile is stored in the Bile the small intestine which turns carbohydrates into
MACH

gallbladder. sugars; protease, which turns


proteins into amino acids; and
STO

lipase, which turns fatty droplets


into fatty acids.

Bile store
2 When food
leaves the stomach
bile leaves the gallbladder
and heads for the small
intestine. There it mixes Bile travels
with incoming enzymes down bile duct
from the pancreas. GALLBLADDER PANCREAS

AROUND 95 PERCENT OF The pancreatic duct,


filled with enzymes
ALL ABSORPTION TAKES SM
AL
PLACE IN THE SMALL L IN
TES
TIN
INTESTINETHE REST TAKES E
PLACE IN THE COLON Food is propelled by
muscular contractions
in the intestine wall
E
Opening of ducts

N
carrying digestive juices

Z
CHEWING THE FAT
YM

BILE
Fats are particularly hard to digest. FAT
ES
Absorption begins
Even after being drenched in 4 For 35 hours bile and enzymes
hydrochloric acid in the stomach, work together, reducing nutrients to simpler,
they are still not fit for enzyme absorbable forms. Absorption takes place
consumption. This is where bile BILE in the intestine wall, which is lined by
comes in. In a process called thousands of fingerlike projections. These
projections, called villi, greatly increase the
emulsion, bile turns fats into fatty surface area of the intestine and thereby its
droplets, which are then small capacity for absorbing nutrients.
FATTY
enough for enzymes to attack.
DROPLETS

Lipase digests fatty Amylase digests


droplets, producing fatty Protease digests protein, carbohydrates,
acids producing amino acids producing sugars

FATTY DROPLET PROTEIN CARBOHYDRATE

Thousands of villi line


the intestine wall

Fatty acids Amino acids Sugars

Into the blood


5 Villi absorb nutrients and channel them into
the blood. Once there, they are taken to the liver
Gut reaction
IN AND OUT

and distributed around the body. Meanwhile, the


remaining chyme enters the final part of the gut
(see pp.14647). Although not shown here, fat
digestion has another complication; on entering the
villi, the fatty acids take a trip through the lymph
system before finally entering the bloodstream.

Dissolved fatty acids


144 145

Dissolved amino acids Dissolved sugars

EAM
BLOODSTR
Up, down, and out
The final stage of digestion takes place in the large intestinea 4 ft- (2.5 m-)
long tube that frames the small intestine. Here, bacteria set to work fermenting
carbohydrates, releasing nutrients that are vital for human health.
At the same time, fecal matter is compacted, stored, and ejected. Forming pockets
Every 30 minutes or so,
bands of muscles in the
POCKETS colon squeeze to form
pockets in which fecal
material is churned and
mixed. It hardly moves
forward at all.
N
LO
E CO
TRANSVERS
Muscular waves
With similar movements
WAVES to those in the esophagus
and the small intestine,
muscles squeeze feces in
waves up from the cecum
WATER and along the colon.

As the waste
2 travels on, SODIUM
Mass movements
water and the minerals Stimulated some three
chloride and sodium times per day by food
are absorbed by the SQUEEZING entering the stomach,
blood, along with slow-moving waves of
various B vitamins muscular squeezing shift
and vitamin K. Here, feces along the colon
these vitamins are VITAMIN B
into the rectum.
produced by bacteria,
but they can also be
found in food.
VITAMIN K

ASCENDING COLON
Friendly bacteria Keeping regular
at home in the
colon wall Waste takes 19 36 hours to move through the
large intestine, allowing time for water to be
absorbed. If the feces are rich in fiber, their
CHLORIDE bulk carries them promptly through the system.
CECUM
WHY DO WE
HAVE AN APPENDIX?
The appendix is possibly
Potassium and
SMALL INTESTINE bicarbonate are the remnant of an organ that
absorbed by the helped our ancestors digest
colon to replace
the sodium foliage thousands of years ago.
absorbed by
the bloodstream Today, however, it plays no

DESCENDING COLON
Appendix obvious role, except perhaps
Having left
as a safe refuge for
1 the small gut bacteria.
intestine, waste
material begins
a vertical climb
of the cecum.

WHEN NATURE CALLS


When feces enter the rectum, stretch
Feces are receptors trigger a need to go reflex by
3 compacted sending impulses to the spinal cord. Motor
into the lower colon.
They are kept moist signals from the spine then tell the internal
by mucus secreted anal sphincter to relax. At the same time,
from the colon walls. sensory messages to the brain make a
person aware of the need to defecate,
and the person makes a
conscious decision to relax
the external anal sphincter.
Feces are On a healthy diet, this
4

RECTU
expelled via happens between three

M
the rectum. Some
60 percent of the times a day and once
Journeys end
Up, down, and out
IN AND OUT

volume is made every three days.


of bacteria; the The large intestine has three main sections: the
rest is mostly cecum, where waste from the small intestine is
indigestible fiber. collected; the three-part colon, where nutrients are
absorbed; and the rectum, where feces are expelled.
The largest section is the colon, in which colonies of
Anus contains both bacteria consume the starches, fiber, and sugars that

ANUS
inner and outer
sphincters humans cant digest (see pp.14849).
146 147
Bacterial breakdown
Over 100 trillion beneficial bacteria, viruses, and fungi live in Lactobacilli are common stomach
bacteria that are used in probiotic
the digestive tract. Known collectively as gut microbes, they medical treatments. They fight off
other bacteria that cause diarrhea
provide us with nutrients, help us digest, and help defend us
against harmful microbes (see pp.17273).

Swallowing microbes
We receive our first microbes at birth, and more
enter our bodies every day of our lives. They enter
STOM
through the nose and mouth and travel to the

AC
stomach, where conditions are too acidic for

H
many to take up permanent residence. The small
intestine is likewise too acidic, but many microbes
survive just long enough to move into the colon,
where they play a vital role in digestion. Helicobacter
pylori is a foe,
causing ulcers as it
90 PERCENT OF ALL burrows into the
stomach lining
THE CELLS IN OUR CHYME
BODIES ARE BACTERIAL 70 percent
of all gut
microbes live
RATHER THAN HUMAN in the large
intestine

ANTIBIOTICS
LARGE INTESTINE
Harmful bacterium
Antibiotics destroy or slow down invading the small
the growth of bacteria, but they intestine
arent able to discriminate between
harmful and friendly bacteria. As a Wall of friendly SMALL
consequence, the friendly microbes bacteria INTESTINE
in the gut suffer when we take
antibiotics. The diversity of gut
bacteria starts to decrease as soon
as the antibiotic course starts and
reaches a minimum about 11 days
later. The populations soon bounce
back after treatment, but overuse
of antibiotics can cause them
permanent damage.

Substances released
by friendly bacteria
to ward off invaders

In it together
Although many of the bacteria that get into our
bodies are harmful, most of them protect us
against microscopic enemies. They do this both by
taking up space (lining the intestine walls), and
releasing substances that kill harmful bacteria.
IN AND OUT
Bacterial breakdown 148 149

Digesting what we cant


The microbes in the colon use the carbohydrates we cant digest for WHATS THAT SMELL?
energy. They ferment fibre such as cellulose, which help us absorb
Fermentation by gut microbes
dietary minerals such as calcium and iron, are used to produce
produces a number of different
vitamins, and have other benefits in the body. The microbes gases, including hydrogen, carbon
themselves also secrete essential vitamins, such as vitamin K. dioxide, methane, and hydrogen
sulfide. In large amounts, these
Gases produced
E INTESTINE can cause bloating and flatulence.
LARG by fermentation
Bacteria digesting The most gas-producing foods
carbohydrates include beans, corn, and broccoli
but onions, milk, and artificial
Carbohydrates sweeteners are major offenders too.

CORN BROCCOLI

Nutrients being
absorbed by the
large intestine

Wall of friendly
bacteria

Vitamin K plays
a vital role in
blood clotting
N K

B VI I
N TA M
AC ETIC

TAMI
ID

PR ACI

BU
AC

T
OP D

AC YR VI
WHAT ARE
ID IC
IO
NI

PROBIOTICS?
C

Probiotics are the opposite


Acetic acid is vital BLOOD
of antibiotics. They are live
STRE
for muscle health AM bacteria that are consumedin
Absorption into the yogurts or tabletsto fortify
bloodstream
gut bacteria that have been
Butyric acid produces damaged by antibiotics
energy for gut cells Propionic acid helps Vitamin B helps
tissues respond to insulin us convert food or disease.
into energy
THE ENTIRE BLOOD
Cleaning the blood STREAM IS FILTERED
As blood travels through the body, it picks up a great deal of BY THE KIDNEYS
waste and excess nutrients. These would quickly reach life- 2025 TIMES PER DAY
threatening levels without the kidneys, whose job
it is to flush them out of the system. Each nephron is anchored
to the middle part of the
kidney, called the medulla
Waterworks
It takes 5 minutes for blood to pass through
the kidneys. It enters waste-laden and leaves
clean, having passed through countless Waste in the form
microscopic filters that turn the waste into of urine is collected
in the medulla
urine. The urine then flows to the bladder,
CORTEX
at which point we feel the need to MEDULLA
urinate. A major component of urine
is ureaa waste product formed in
the liver (see pp.15657).
Dirty blood in
1 Waste-laden
blood enters the kidney
STONES IN THE BODY via the renal artery.
This artery branches
out into a forest of
So much waste passes through capillaries that feed
the kidneys that even the smallest around a million
amount of a mineral can build up microfilters known as
and form a stone. These so-called nephrons. After being
kidney stones can pass out of filtered, clean blood
leaves the kidney via
the body without incident, but the renal vein.
some can become
large enough to
block the ureter.
Dirty blood
The causes of flows in
kidney stones
include obesity,
Clean blood
bad diet, and flows out
not drinking RENAL PELVIS
enough water.
RENAL ARTERY
Kidney stones
RE
NA
LV
EIN
Dirty blood The glomerulus, where
approaching the blood is filtered
glomerulus Waste fluid

URETE
R

Dirty blood flowing


to a neighboring Waste products,
nephron including urea, other
Collecting urine toxins, and excess salts,
The urine-collecting tubes of flow out in the urine
Cleaned blood leaving the medulla join together as they
to join renal vein coverge on the renal pelvis. Here the
urine flows past the renal artery and
the renal vein and enters a tube
Capillaries Urine leaving called the ureter. The ureter connects
reabsorbing salts the nephron the kidney to the bladder.
and water NEPHRON

Waste disposal
The filtration process Muscular contractions squeeze the urine
As the blood passes through a nephron, it is forced along the ureterwhich is why our bladders
through a tiny filter called a glomerulus, which lets urea fill even when we are lying down. When the
and other wastes pass, but keeps blood cells and valuable bladder is full, its muscular walls squeeze the
proteins in the bloodstream. On the far side, the waste urine further, but the urine is halted by a
fluid passes on a long loop through the kidney, where ring of muscle at the base of the bladder.
its composition of salts and water is fine-tuned, before Learning how to control this muscle gives
it flows into urine-collecting ducts. us the choice about when to urinate.

WHAT IF
THE KIDNEYS FAIL? Bladder full
of urine
Cleaning the blood
IN AND OUT

If a persons kidneys are


MU
S

too weak to filter the blood, a


CUL

dialysis machine can be used BLADDER


instead of the kidneys. The
persons blood flows through
a tube into the machine, gets
AR BLADDER W
AL

cleaned and filtered, and


L
150 151

then returns to
their body. Urethra
LOSING BALANCE
Water balance A number of commonly consumed substances uspet our water
balance. Alcohol, for example, blocks the pituitary gland from
Water levels in the blood have to be kept within releasing ADH. This means that the kidneys, which are working
a certain range; otherwise, the bodys cells hard to get rid of the alcohol in the bloodstream, send more
water out into the urine. Drinking just one glass of wine can
become too shrunken (dehydrated) or too bloated cause the body to get rid of the equivalent of four wine glasses
(overhydrated) to work. The kidneys, the endocrine of water. Substances that
system, and the circulatory system work together to make us produce a lot
of urine are called
maintain a healthy balance in our bloodstream. diuretics. Caffeine
is another diuretic.

Too little water Too much water


We lose water constantly, but there are times when we lose a lot of Far rarer than dehydration is overhydration, which can be
water quicklythrough sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea, for example. caused by extreme water intake after exercise, drug abuse,
This results in both a decrease in blood volume and a rise in the level or disease. This results in an increase in blood volume and
of salt relative to water in our blood. These act as triggers for balance a reduction in the level of salt relative to water in the blood.
to be restored.
POTHALMUS POTHALMUS
HY HY
Salt detector Salt detector

Pituitary gland Pituitary gland

Low water alert High water alert


1 The hypothalamus 1 The hypothalamus
receives signals that blood receives signals that blood
pressure is low and salt pressure is high and salt levels
levels are high. It responds are low. It responds by
by increasing the producing less ADH. Since ADH
production of ADH BRAIN
instructs the kidneys to store
(antidiurectic hormone), water, a reduction in ADH
which is carried to the means an increase in urination.
pituitary gland, where it
is released into the blood.

Stretch receptor on blood Stretch receptor on blood


vessel warns hypothalamus vessel warns hypothalamus
of decreasing blood pressure of increasing blood pressure

Torrent Trickle
of ADH of ADH
Decreasing water levels Rising water levels
in blood vessel in blood vessel

WATER EXCESS
BLO

WATER DEFICIT

OD VESSEL
Relaxing
muscles
OD VESSE

Contracting

BLO
L

in blood
muscles vessel wall
in blood
vessel wall

Blood vessels contract Blood vessels dilate


2 High levels of ADH instruct 2 Low levels of ADH

STORE WATER!
muscles in the walls of the blood instruct the blood vessel

RELEASE WATER!
vessels to contract. This constricts wall muscles to relax. This
the blood vessels, which, given the expands the blood vessels
current reduction in blood volume, and eases the blood pressure
restores blood pressure to normal. caused by the excess water.

KIDNEY KIDNEY
Water
reabsorption Water release
accelerated in accelerated in
kidneys kidneys

URETER

URETER
BLADDER

Water Water release


3 reabsorbtion 3 Low ADH levels
High ADH levels also signal the kidneys
also signal the kidneys to to reduce the amount of
reabsorb water and to retain water that they reabsorb,
the salts that are often lost so that more water is
through sweating or vomiting. added to the urine and
passed out through
Water balance
IN AND OUT

URINE URINE the bladder.

Concentrated urine Diluted urine


4With the body retaining as 4 With less water being reabsorbed
much water as possible, the bladder fills by the body, the bladder fills quickly and
more slowly, so the urine is more more diluted urine is produced. The more
concentrated, and darker in color. diluted the urine, the lighter its color.
152 153
How the liver works
Once nutrients have entered the bloodvia the mouth,
stomach, and intestinesthey are taken straight to the
liver. Here, they are variously stored, dismantled, or turned
into something new. At any one time, the liver holds some
10 percent of the bodys blood supply.

HEPATIC VEIN
Liver lobule
Ins and outs of the liver
The liver is made up of thousands of Blood arrives from two directions, then
tiny factories called lobules. Each of the liver outputs blood via the hepatic
these contains thousands of chemical vein and bile through the bile duct.
processors called hepatocytes. These Blood from the intestines
do all the livers work, albeit supported Blood from the heart
by Kupffer cells and stellate cells. Each
Blood to the heart
lobule has a central outflowing vein and
is six-sided, with each of its corners Bile to the gallbaldder

HEPATIC PORTAL VENULE


supporting two incoming blood supplies
and an outflowing duct for bile.

HEPATIC ARTERIOLE
LIVER
LOBULE

HEPATIC ARTERIOLE

HEPATIC PORTAL VENULE


Lobule cut in half

DOUBLE BLOOD SUPPLY


An unusual fact about
the liver is that it has two HEART
blood supplies. Like all Nutrients in
other organs, it receives LIVER 1 Each corner of the lobule
oxygenated blood from receives nutrient-rich blood from a
the heart to give it energy, branch of the hepatic portal vein,
but it also receives blood which comes from the intestines;
this is called the hepatic portal
from the intestines, venule. It also receives oxygen-rich
which it cleans, stores, blood from a branch of the hepatic
and processes. INTESTINES artery, which comes from the heart;
this is called the hepatic arteriole.
IN AND OUT
How the liver works 154 155
Nutrients out
3 After being processed, the blood is drawn up
through a central vein, which sends it away from the liver.
From there it travels to the heart, the lungs, back to the
heart, and finally to the kidneys, where toxins are flushed Kupffer cell removes
away in the urine. bacteria, debris, and HOW FAST
old red blood cells
DOES THE
LIVER WORK?

INTERLOBULAR VEIN The liver filters around


3 pints (1.4 liters) of blood
every minute. It also makes
up to 2 pints (1 liter) of
bile every day.

Microcanal
carries bile to
the bile ducts

HEPATIC PORTAL VENULE


BILE DUCT
CENTRAL VEIN

HEPATIC ARTERIOLE

Rows and columns


of hepatocytes
Stellate cell is a Branches of the
storehouse of hepatic portal Branches of the hepatic
vitamin A venules interlace arterioles interlace the
Nutrients processed
the entire lobule entire lobule 2 Hepatocytes work around
the clock storing, dismantling, and
reconstructing nutrients. They also
produce bile, a chemical used in the
breakdown of fat (see pp.14445).
Bile is continually sent to the
HEPATIC PORTAL VEIN gallbladder for storage.
What the WHAT ELSE
DOES THE LIVER DO?

liver does It produces blood clotting


proteins, which ensure that
we stop bleeding when
The liver is perhaps best understood injured. People with
as a factorya processing plant with unhealthy livers tend
three main departments; processing, to bleed easily.
manufacturing, and storage. Its raw
materials are the nutrients absorbed Glucose from
carbohydrates
by the blood during digestion In a process called
but which department they go to gluconeogenesis, the
liver makes glucose
depends on the bodys priorities. out of carbohydrates
when the body
is low on energy.

Processing
The liver spends most of its
Metabolizing fat
Excess carbohydrates time processing nutrients.
and proteins are This involves making sure
converted into fatty that the right nutrients are
THE REGENERATING ORGAN acids and released into
sent to the right parts of the
the bloodstream for
energy. This becomes body, and that back-ups are
Unlike other organs, which create scar tissue vital when glucose provided when needed.
at sites of injury, the liver creates brand new is running out.
cells when it needs them. This is lucky, since it Crucially, this also means
is constantly being bombarded by unhealthy, flushing out toxic subtances.
toxic chemicals. These chemicalswhich
include some prescribed medications
frequently damage the liver, but it holds its Detoxifying
ground by regenerating itself. Incredibly, it the blood
Pollutants, bacterial
can lose 75 percent of its mass and still
toxins, and defensive
regrow completelyall in a matter of weeks. chemicals from plants
are turned into less
dangerous compounds,
then sent to the
kidneys to be flushed
25%
out of the body.
Bile production
IN AND OUT
What the liver does 156 157
Bile is constantly
being produced by
the liver and sent to the
gallbladder for storage.
It is made out of
hemoglobin, which Hormone production
is released during the The liver secretes at least
breakdown of old three hormones, making it a
red blood cells. key player in the endocrine
system (see pp.19091). The
livers hormones stimulate
cell growth, encourage bone
marrow production, and aid
blood pressure control.
Manufacturing
The liver is a major
manufacturing hub, turning
simple nutrients into, among Protein synthesis
other things, chemical The liver produces
many proteins that are
messengers (hormones), body then secreted into the
tissue components (proteins), blood. It does so
and a vital digestive fluid (bile). particularly when
certain amino acids
Since it is always busy, the liver (the building blocks of
also produces another precious proteins) are missing
commodityan enormous from the diet.
amount of heat.
THE LIVER
Vitamins PERFORMS SOME
The liver can store up
to 2 years worth of 500 CHEMICAL
vitamin A, which is vital
Storage to the immune system. FUNCTIONS
Vitamins B12, D, E,
A great deal of stockpiling and K are also stored IN TOTAL
goes on in the liver, mainly until needed.
of vitamins, minerals, and
glycogen (the stored form of
LIVER DAMAGE
glucose). This enables the
The liver is the only organ that can
body to survive without food regenerate itself. However, repeated
Minerals
for days and weeks on end, Two vital minerals are exposure to damaging agents, such
and ensures that any shortfall stored in the liver: iron, as alcohol, a drug, or a virus, can
in dietary nutrients can which carries oxygen eventually injure the liver. This
through our bodies; and
quickly be corrected. copper, which keeps the
happens when it is inundated by
immune system healthy. toxins and never gets a chance to
Copper is also used to regenerate. In this strung-out state,
make red blood cells. the liver is finally scarred
a condition known
Glycogen
as cirrhosis. A
Energy is stored as
glycogen in the liver. common cause
When the body runs of cirrhosis is
out of energy (see drinking too
pp.15859), the liver much alcohol.
converts it to glucose
and releases it into
the bloodstream.
Energy balance
Most of the bodys cells use glucose or fatty acids
Numerous sugar
for energy. To maintain a regular supply of these, molecules indicate
high blood sugar
the body alternates between absorbing energy level after meal
(by eating) and releasing it (after which we feel
hungry again). In ideal conditions, this cycle
repeats itself every few hours.

Filling the tanks Fatty acid molecule

Glucose and fatty acids enter our bodies through


the food we eat. As blood glucose levels rise, the Glucose molecule
pancreas releases the hormone insulin. This Fatty acids being stored in a fat cell
tells muscle and fat cells to absorb and store the
glucose and fatty acids as energy for the future.
Excess glucose stored
3 Most fatty acids are stored
in fat cells, which serve as resevoirs
of energy. These cells also absorb
excess glucose and convert it into
fatty acid molecules.
Excess glucose heading for

ABSORB!
storage in a fat cell

Muscle burns glucose


2 Muscle cells, among
Food rich in sugar
others, convert glucose
into energy for contracting.
Muscle cells also absorb
fatty acids. They burn
the fatty acids when
glucose levels are low.

Glucose being absorbed

ABSORB!
by a muscle cell
Fatty acid being
absorbed by a muscle cell
DOES FAT
MAKE YOU FAT?
Only when eaten with sugary Absorb! signal sent
1 After a meal, the
foods or carbohydrates. These pancreas detects high levels
foods contain glucose, which of sugar in the blood. In
response, it releases insulin,
signals the body to store which circulates in the blood.
nutrients, and so This readies the muscle and fat
cells to open and receive glucose,
put on weight. which all cells use for energy.

PANCREAS
IN AND OUT
Energy balance 158 159

Sparse sugar
Burning the fuel molecules indicate
As the bodys cells absorb nutrients, blood low blood sugar level
glucose levels start to fall. Unless more food
is digested, these levels drop to a point
where the body burns fat instead of glucose
for energy. Once again, this process is
organized by the pancreas.

Fatty acids being burned Muscle cell


in a muscle cell 3 burns fat
Here, a muscle cell
receives fatty acids
from a fat cell and
breaks them down
for energy.
ENERGY SUPPLY AND DEMAND Fatty acids released
BURN!

into the bloodstream


Food energy is measured in calories. A steak
contains around 500 calories, as does a large
bag of potato chips or 10 apples. A person at Fat sent to
2 muscle
rest needs around 1,800 calories a day to Glucagon also tells fat
maintain weightmore in or out tips the scales. cells to release their
stored fatty acids into
the bloodstream.
These fatty acids can
then be used as a
source of energy
by other cells.
WEIGHT MAINTAINED
BURN!

Burn! signal sent


1 A few hours after
WEIGHT LOSS eating, specialized cells
in the pancreas detect a
drop in blood glucose
levels. The pancreas
releases the hormone
glucagon into the
bloodstream. This signals
WEIGHT GAIN the liver to release the
glucose it has stored
CALORIES IN CALORIES OUT in the form of glycogen
into the bloodstream
PANCREAS (see pp.15455).
The sugar trap
ARE CALORIES
BAD FOR YOU?
A calorie is the amount of
Calories are equal in terms of the amount of energy energy your body will gain from
they contain, but where they come fromfat, protein, eating the food that contains it,
or carbohydratedetermines how they are used by so nowe need energy to live!
the body. Some foods give us a steady source of energy; But if you eat too many
calories, your body will
others can take us on a hormone roller-coaster ride.
store the excess
as fat.
Lingering insulin
Foods that are quickly turned into sugars cause a spike Rise and fall
in blood glucose levels (see p.158). Insulin spikes in response, The peak and crash of glucose Glucose
causing glucose levels to plummet. The sugar crash leaves and steady rise and fall of insulin
levels in the blood is traced along
us tired and craving more sugar, while insulin lingers in mealtimes during a morning. Insulin
our blood and prevents us from burning fat.

8am breakfast 10:30am snack 1pm lunch


1 A carbohydrate-rich
2 As blood glucose plummets and
3 By lunchtime, a
breakfastbe it toasted lingering insulin inhibits fatty acid new sugar crash is
bread or cerealgives release, we start to feel tired and upon us, which can
us a sugar rush and want a snack. Some sugary cookies tempt us to eat a
insulin levels rise. This raise blood glucose again, and high-carbohydrate
rush can be heightened insulin follows in response. lunch. And so the cycle
by the fruit juice we continues, with both
drink or the sugar we glucose and insulin
put in our coffee. levels spiking beyond
the healthy range.

8AM 10:30AM 1PM

Putting on the pounds Fatty acid being


absorbed
The sugar trap quickly leads to weight Cell nucleus
gain, and being overweight can have Stored fatty acid
serious health implications. These include
Storing fat
insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance,
When we put on fat
type 2 diabetes (see pp.201), heart disease, we dont increase the
some types of cancer, and stroke. To avoid number of fat cells in
our body. The same fat
obesity, it is vital to keep insulin levels
cells just get bigger as
low, and one way of doing that is through they accumulate more
a low-carbohydrate diet. FAT CELL fat deposits.
IN AND OUT
The sugar trap 160 161

HIGH-PROTEIN DIET Low-carbohydrate diets


A popular, if controversial, way out of the
To cut out carbohydrates, sugar trap is to limit our consumption
some diet promoters of carbohydrates, which are otherwise
recommend getting calories broken down into sugars and stored as fat.
from protein and healthy fats By doing so, we avoid the glucose-insulin
instead. You can follow a diet roller coaster that ends in sugar cravings SUGAR IS NOW
in phases designed to train
your body to start burning fat
and increased fat storage. Keeping THOUGHT TO BE
sugar and insulin levels within a
and rely less on carbohydrates.
healthy range enables fat, rather MORE ADDICTIVE
than glucose, to be used as THAN COCAINE
an energy source.

MUSCLE CELL BRAIN CELL

Ketone body being used


Fatty acid being for energy in a brain cell
used for energy in
a muscle cell

Ketone body released


into bloodstream
Fatty acid released
into bloodstream
FAT CELL LIVER Ketone body
Stored fatty acid produced from fatty
acids in the liver

Releasing fatty acids Producing ketone bodies


When blood glucose is maintained at a Unlike other tissues, the brain cant use fatty
healthy level, insulin levels remain low. acids as an energy source. So when blood
This allows the release of fatty acids from glucose is low, the liver begins to convert
fat cellsa process that is otherwise fatty acids into ketone bodiesmolecules
inhibited by insulin. that provide energy for brain cells.
Feast or fast?
Two of todays most popular
diets dont involve calorie
counting at all. Palaeolithic VEGETABLES

diets aim for an ancestral way


of eating, removing the highly
processed foods of today. EGGS Hunted and
Intermittent fasting, on the gathered foods
Whole foods, such as
other hand, takes a more fruits, vegetables, nuts,
feast and fast approach, FRUIT
and seeds, are part of the
paleolithic plan. The
restricting when you eat diet promotes eating
high-quality protein,
rather than what you eat. which includes eggs,
wild fish, and pasture-fed
meat, which has higher
Back to basics nutritional value than
The theory behind paleolithic diets is that grain-fed meat.
our bodies have not evolved to consume the
highly processed, sugary, carbohydrate-rich
foods that are abundant in supermarkets MEAT
today. The diet promotes foods that are
thought to have been available to our
NUTS AND SEEDS
hunter-gatherer ancestors, who lived before
the advent of farming, 10,000 years ago
although the lifestyle doesnt involve
reverting back to cave life. Dieters used to
getting their calcium from dairy foods need
to find calcium-rich alternatives, or they put
themselves in danger of calcium deficiency.

Intermittent fasting
The idea behind intermittent fasting is to take regular
breaks from eating, during which the body gets all its
energy from stored fat, but not for so long that it starts
to break down muscle protein for energy. There MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY
are two main intermittent fasting
methods; the 16:8 and the 5:2. 24
22 2

The 16:8 method 20 4 Fasting days


FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY
Followers of this regime eat during
an 8-hour period every day (say
noon to 8pm). The other 16 hours 18 6
you fast, but luckily a lot of this
time is spent sleeping, which 16 8 The 5:2 method
makes it more manageable. This regime restricts your daily energy intake to about 500 calories
14 10 (about one meal) per day for two days of the week. You can eat as
Key Eating Fasting 12
much as you like (within reason) for the other five days of the week.
IN AND OUT
Feast or fast? 162 163
ONE-THIRD OF
THE WORLDS
ADULTS NOW PRODUCE,
GRAINS THE ENZYME THAT
SUGARS
DIGESTS DAIRY SUGAR
Farmed and The glycemic index
processed foods
Sugar, processed food,
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of
grains, beans, alcohol, and how quickly carbohydrate-containing
REFINED PROCESSED
dairy are excluded from FOODS foods increase glucose levels in the blood.
paleolithic diets because
they are products of
The lower a foods GI value, the less it
farming and industry. affects blood sugar levels. An attraction
However, many followers of paleolithic diets is that they focus on
do eat some dairy foods,
since many of us have
low GI foods.
evolved a tolerance to
Blood glucose rockets
milk (see pp.16465),
up and down
unlike our ancestors.

Blood glucose level


HIGH GI

BEANS Blood glucose


rises steadily but
remains low

DAIRY LOW GI

Hours 1 2
Blood glucose levels
High GI foods rapidly increase blood sugar levels,
but this is followed by a rapid decrease, leaving us
feeling hungry. Low GI foods gradually increase
blood sugar levels, leaving us feeling full for longer.

FEASTED BRAIN HEALTH


Natural fat-burning STATE
Exercising when your body is There is evidence that fasting improves
FASTED
naturally burning fat may give SUGAR STATE brain health. Intermittent fasting in
your workout more punch. particular puts the neurons under mild
A run before breakfast, for stressmuch like our muscles are stressed
example, takes advantage by exercise. This stress causes the release of
of the fact that your body FAT FAT chemicals that help in
the growth and
is already burning fat after
maintenance
fasting all night. A run in the of neurons. FASTED BRAIN
evening, however, is more MUSCLE MUSCLE
likely to be fueled by blood
glucose supplied by the days Evening Morning Neuron
food. For this reason, morning The body can run Once glucose
on the glucose is used up, the
exercise is generally more from a meal for body starts to
effective for losing weight. about 35 hours. burn fat stores.
Digestive problems
Digestive problems can range from temporary discomfort after
eating to life-long persistent disorders. In most cases, the
treatment is simply to avoid the foods that cause the symptoms.

Lactose intolerance Lactose Lactase


enzyme Lactose digested
Many adults lack the enzyme lactase, 2 by lactase
which is needed to break down lactose, Lactase breaks lactose into two smaller
the sugar found in milk. All healthy babies sugarsgalactose and glucose.
have it, but most of us stop producing SM
this enzyme after weaning. Only about
ALL
INT
35 percent of the worlds population EST
IN
have acquired a mutation that allows E Glucose
them to produce lactase into adulthood.

Lactose in
1 small intestine
When the cells that line the
WHO ISNT walls of the small intestine
LACTOSE-INTOLERANT? encounter the sugar lactose, Galactose
they start to produce the
Countries that have a long digestive enzyme lactase.
Galactose and
history of dairy farming tend 3 glucose absorbed
to have populations that have These two smaller sugars
adapted to drinking milk into are then absorbed into
the bloodstream by the
adulthood. Most of these small intestine.
countries are in Europe.
Bacterial fermentation
2 Bacteria living in the large
intestine (see pp.14849) ferment
the lactose, producing gas and
acids in the process.
Disruption in the bowl
3 The gas produced by
Gas and acids released
fermentation causes bloating by bacteria
and discomfort, while the acids
draw water into the bowel,
leading to diarrhea.

INE Undigested
TEST lactose enters
IN
GE
the large
R intestine
LA
Undigested lactose
1 If lactase isnt present, then
lactose cant be absorbed and instead
passes into the large intestine.

Bacteria fermenting lactose


IN AND OUT
Digestive problems 164 165

BRINGING IT UP Irritable bowel syndrome


IBS is a long-term condition that can cause stomach cramps,
One way the body avoids digestive bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. It is poorly understood, but
problems is by vomiting. When seems to be triggered by stress, lifestyle, and certain types of food.
we eat something rotten or
poisonous, the stomach, the Carbohydrates Bacteria Spasm
diaphragm, and the abdominal
muscles all contract, forcing Acids and gas
the food back up through the
esophagus and out through
the mouth.

SMALL INTESTINE
Diaphragm Water

LARGE INTESTINE

Bacterial fermentation Bowel spasms


1 Carbohydrates that are poorly
2 IBS causes bowel spasms, which
absorbed may increase the amount of water can block the waste and gas from passing
in the intestinal tract. Once in the large through. Alternatively, it can cause the waste
intestine, these carbohydrates are fermented to move too quickly, preventing water
by bacteria, producing acids and gas. reabsorption and causing diarrhea.

Gluten intolerance
Many people experience abdominal
pain, fatigue, headaches, and even
INTESTINAL VILLI

numbness of the limbs when they


eat glutena protein found in
grains such as wheat, barley, and
Small intestine
rye. These symptoms are indicators before celiac
of various gluten-related disorders, disease
ranging from gluten sensitivity to
celiac disease.

Small intestine
after celiac
disease

RYE BREAD BEER PASTA

Gluten sensitivity Celiac disease


Lethargy, mental fatigue, cramps, and diarrhea are all Celiac disease is a serious genetic disorder that causes the bodys
symptoms of gluten sensitivity, which is only cured by immune system to attack itself when it encounters gluten. This
avoiding all gluten productsincluding rye bread, beer, immune response causes damage to the lining of the small intestine,
and pasta. Gluten sensitivity does not damage the inhibiting the absorption of nutrients. Left unchecked, it can totally
intestines like celiac disease does. destroy the small intestines little fingerlike projections, or villi.
FIT AND
HEALTHY
Body battleground
Humans are attacked on a daily basis by a host of marauding
invaders, for whom the body is an ideal place to feed and reproduce.
Ranged against them are the bodys defense forces. Any harmful
microbe, or pathogen, that breaks through the outer barriers is
met with a quick, local response at the site of the infection.
If this doesnt work, a second team is called into action. Complement proteins
As many as 30 different proteins
circulate in the blood, ramping up
Invaders the immune response by marking
Bacteria and viruses are the major pathogens for destruction or
causing them to burst.
causes of disease in humans.
Parasitic animals, fungi, and toxins
can also prompt the immune system
into action. All these microbes are
constantly adapting and evolving
to find new ways to avoid
detection and destruction
by the immune system. Dendritic cells
These phagocytes (microbe eaters)
engulf pathogens and play an
Fungi important role in spurring B and
Most are not T cells into action.
dangerous, but
some can be
harmful to health.

Parasitic animals
Live on or inside humans
and may carry other
pathogens into their host.

Bacteria
Tiny, single-celled organisms taken
into the body by eating, breathing,
or through breaks in the skin.
Barricades
Epithelial cells are the bodys main
Viruses physical defence against pathogens.
Viruses need other living
cells to multiply and can lie The cells are tightly packed together
dormant inside their hosts to prevent anything penetrating
cells for long periods. them. They also secrete liquids
that act as a further barrier
EPIT
SECR

against pathogens.
HEL

Toxins
ETIO

These are substances Secretions Epithelium


IUM

capable of causing disease Fluids such as mucus, Epithelial cells form the skin and
NS

or a reaction that could tears, oils, saliva, and stomach membranes that line all of the bodys
prove deadly to the acid can trap pathogens or break openings, such as the mouth, nose,
human body. them down with enzymes. esophagus, and bladder.
FIT AND HEALTHY
Body battleground 168 169
Frontline troops
Pathogens that break through the barriers are met HOW MANY
with an immediate response known as the innate INFECTIOUS DISEASES
immune system. This is a group of cells and proteins
CAN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
that respond to alarm signals from damaged or
RESPOND TO?
infection-stressed cells. Some target and mark
invading organisms for destruction, while others It is thought that B cells alone
(phagocytes) eat up the pathogens. can produce enough different
antibodies to deal with
1 billion different types
of pathogen.

Granulocytes
There are three types of granulocyte Killer cavalry
that eat invading organisms and If the front-line response hasnt contained the
secrete chemicals that break down infection within 12 hours, the adaptive immune
the cell walls of bacteria.
system swings into action. This system remembers
previous exposures to the pathogen to launch
a specific, targeted response.

B cells
B cells are a special
Macrophages type of cell that can
Their name means big be trained to produce
eater and thats what they antibodies in response
dosurround and engulf to the presence of a
pathogens and dead cells, particular pathogen.
and notify other immune They can multiply
system cells of a problem. rapidly to increase
the response.

Antibodies
Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins
produced by B cells. They stick to the
surface of invaders and mark them out for
destruction by phagocytes.

Mast cells
Mast cells release chemical alarms that
alert other immune cells to invaders.
They are also responsible for most
allergic and inflammatory reactions.

T cells
Natural killer (NK) cells T cells are another type of trainable
NK cells dont attack pathogens cell that directly attack infected or
directly, but instead attack cells cancerous cells and prompt phagocytes
that have become infected, to eat pathogens. Some T cells also
causing them to undergo stimulate B cells to produce antibodies.
apoptosis (see p.15).
Friend or foe?
The immune system has to distinguish the harmful
pathogens that invade our body from the bodys own cells
and friendly microbesin other words, recognize friends
and foes. The body puts its most potent immune cells
B and T cellsthrough safety checks to prevent them
from attacking us.

Self and nonself Starting point


Both B cells (which
Every cell in the body is coated in groups of molecules produce antibodies to kill
that are unique to each individual. The main function invaders, see pp.17879)
of these molecules is to display fragments of protein and T cells (which kill
invaders directly, see
made by the body and friendly microbes so that the pp.18081) start life
immune system learns to tolerate them and recognize as stem cells in the
them as self. bone marrow.

Antigens, specific Antigen of a Bone marrow


to each person, different shape. 1 B cells mature
coat this body cell All antigens have
a characteristic and are tested in the
shape known as bone marrow. Any that
an epitope bond with self proteins
in the marrow are
deactivated and killed
BODY CELL FOREIGN by apoptosis (see p.15).
CELL
BONE
Self tolerance Nonself markers
All body cells carry self surface Foreign cells carry their own B cell
receptor
marker proteins, or antigens, surface marker proteins, which
allowing them to live in harmony trigger an immune response.
with other cells. If the immune Even the proteins you eat may
system loses its ability to be identified as foreign unless
recognize self markers, it can they are broken down first by B CELL
lead to autoimmune diseases. the digestive system.
B cell
2 If a B cell passes the self
TRANSPLANTS test, it is released from the bone
marrow into the lymphatic
Compatibility is examined before system. This is a network of
an organ transplant is given, vessels that runs parallel to
blood vessels and carries
because if it is not a close enough immune cells around the body.
match the recipients immune
system may attack the donated
tissue and start to destroy it. ONLY 2 PERCENT OF T CELLS
Transplant recipients may have to
take immunosuppressant drugs PASS THEIR TRAININGTHE
to try to minimize this complication. REST ARE REJECTED BECAUSE
THEY MIGHT ATTACK US!
FIT AND HEALTHY
Friend or foe? 170 171
DO IDENTICAL
TWINS HAVE THE SAME
1 Thymus Compatibility
IMMUNE SYSTEM? T cells move to the thymus Compatibility tests look at
(a specialized lymph gland found
No. Immunity is shaped in front of the heart), where they the likelihood of a recipients
by what each person is mature. Their receptors are tested immune system attacking donated
to make sure they dont form tissue. Red blood cells carry extra
exposed to in life, so it strong bonds with self proteins.
self markers called blood groups.
is very individual. Two of them, the ABO and Rhesus
groups, prompt an immune reaction
to donated blood from a different
group. People with blood group O,
for example, will launch a response
Tested to destruction to blood from any other group
When the T cells and B cells of the immune THYMUS because they carry both anti-A
system are forming, they generate random and anti-B antibodies.
receptors and put them on their surface.
Because this process is random, it is possible Blood group A
that these receptors might bind strongly with The red blood cells
display A antigens
self, or friendly, antigens. Therefore, these on their surface and
cells go through vigorous testing before being antibodies to B
released into the body. Those that bind to the antigens are found
in the blood plasma.
bodys own proteins are destroyed. T cell
receptor A antigen
Bean-shaped lymph nodes, many of Anti-B
which are in the armpits and groin, are antibody
reservoirs for B cells, T cells, and other
immune cells Blood group B
The red blood cells
display B antigens
on their surface
and the plasma
has antibodies
to A antigens.
B antigen
Anti-A antibody
T CELL
Blood group AB
LYMPH
The red blood cells
NODE
display both A and B
T cell antigens on their
T cells 2 Mature T cells are surface, but there are
B cells released into the lymph no antibodies in the
and blood. Regulatory blood plasma.
Tcells are a subtype that
B antigen
provide an extra check A antigen
on the self-tolerance of
Other immune
other T cells. Blood group O
cells The red blood cells
display neither A nor
B antigens on their
Destination surface, but the blood
If invaders are present in the bodys circulation, plasma carries both
eventually, they have to pass the lymph nodes, where types of antibody.
B cells and T cells lie in wait. The cells activate when they Anti-B
encounter an alien antigen that matches their receptors. Anti-A antibody antibody
E
OS
N

Germs are us Microbes are


carried through the
air, adding to the
The microbes that live peacefully in and on our resident population
of microbes living
body are a big part of staying healthy. These in the nose
microbesmostly bacteria and fungihave At least 600
benefits that range from keeping our skin different species
of microbe live H
UT
healthy by eating dead cells to helping in the mouth O
M

us digest food.

Your local neighborhood


Just as towns may be built around a particular
resource, microbes collect around specific
areas of the body. On the skin, for example,
they are most abundant around sweat glands
and hair follicles, where they are more likely to Its bacteria that
find the nutrients they need to survive. The put the O into B.O.
they feed on sweat Bacteria migrate
conditions in each area of the bodymoist, into the mammary
and turn it smelly
dry, acidicalso determines which species ARMPIT MAMMARY glands from the
GLAND skin and can be
can live there. Skin has the greatest diversity
passed to a baby
of microbes. Those on the oily back are in milk
different to those on the drier front.
The navel is home
to unusual species The forearm has
that enjoy the dry, more species than
oilless habitat any other area of
AM I A HABITAT BELLY BUTTON the skin because
The gut contains a of its frequent
FOR RARE WILDLIFE? relatively low diversity contact with
of species, but by far objects
FOR

Quite possibly. In a study of the greatest in quantity


E AR

90 belly buttons, researchers GUT


M

found 1,400 species of bacteria


that had never been found
on human bodies before,
some of them new Friendly microbes produce
The community chemicals that suppress the
to science. here changes growth of harmful pathogens
with everything in the genital regions of men
we touch and HAND GENITALS and women
every time
we wash
Whats living where
The graphic shows the main types of organism found in or on regions The skin hosts large
of the body. Large icons indicate species that comprise more than quantities of microbes,
50 percent of the population. but most are harmless

Bacteriodetes Malassezia Living on bacteria


Living in our cells

Fungi
Proteobacteria Candida

Viruses

Bacteria
Staphylococcaceae Aspergillus
Firmicutes Other fungi SKIN Naturally moist hotspots
are dominated by species
Corynebacteria
that thrive in warm, wet
Actinobacteria conditions

BACK OF
KNEE
Beneficial microbes
Science is still revealing the
different species that live within
the human microbiome, let alone
Bacterium Chemical released
their many benefits. Some benefits by bacteria prompts
are direct, such as eating dead T cell into action
MICROBIAL
skin and changing the chemical CELLS
environment to prevent harmful Epithelial cell
microbes from growing. Others
OUTNUMBER
are less obvious, such as the HUMAN CELLS
calming effect some gut bacteria T cell releases Immune cells no longer
inhibitors trigger inflammation BY 10 TO 1
have on the immune system by
reducing inflammation. Medicines, Happy bacteria = healthy gut Feet are dominated
such as antibiotics, can also have Eating the right foods helps good bacteria to by fungiaround
thrive. They produce chemicals that damp down 100 species thrive
devastating effects, wiping out the inflammation in the gut, which would allow bad SOLES in their cool and
good microbes as well as the bad. bacteria to penetrate the epithelial wall. OF FEET damp environment

Birthday presents
ARE WE TOO CLEAN?
Germs are us
FIT AND HEALTHY

Babies start to build their own microbiome at birth by picking up


some of their mothers microbes as they pass through the birth canal.
Its possible that our obsession with
These bacteria start to produce chemicals that encourage other
antibacterial cleansers is taking its toll
on friendly microbes. Some studies beneficial microbes to colonize. Many factors can influence the
have shown that excessive handwashing development of the microbiome; different
can lead to the growth of more harmful species will colonize depending on how
microbesbut this is debatable, since the baby is delivered (cesarian babies
other studies have shown the opposite. have different bacteria), whether
172 173

a baby is breast fed, and who


it has contact with.
Damage limitation THERE ARE
375,000
When a physical barrier such as skin is damaged, the immune IMMUNE CELLS
system works quickly to repair it and defend the body against IN EVERY DROP
infection. The local immune cells swing into action against OF BLOOD
the first invaders, calling for more specialist reinforcements
if there are more than they can cope with.
Area becomes red Bacteria
and inflamed
Pus

EPIDERMIS

DERMIS
Sounding the alarm
1 Cells damaged by the wound release
chemicals called cytokines, which trigger
a number of changes in nearby cells and
blood vessels. Blood flow is increased to
the area, making it red and inflamed.
Granulocyte
Cytokines

Macrophage
eats bacteria

On the attack
Blood vessel 2 Macrophages and granulocytes
are attracted to the wound, engulfing
any bacteria that have entered the Bacteria
area and clearing away dead cells.
Mast cell
Immune cells
Blood plasma leaks squeeze
Histamines released out of capillary and through gaps
onto capillary makes area swell

Opening the walls


3 The chemicals released by the damaged
Granulocyte Blood cell B cell cells and local immune cells make the capillary
walls more permeable, which allows immune
cells in the blood to pass through more easily.
174 175
Call to arms
A number of immune cells, such as macrophages, mast cells, and
granulocytes, live in the dermis. If the skin is cut, mast cells detect
the injured cells and release histamines that cause nearby blood
vessels to swell. This increases blood flow to the area, making the
WHY DO CUTS
wound feel hot, but it also brings other immune cells to the site quickly.
TAKE LONGER TO HEAL
The formation of pus is an indication that bacteria have gotten into
WHEN WERE OLDER?
the woundpus is the accumulated remains of dead immune cells.
Blood vessels can become
more fragile as you get older,
which makes it more difficult
to deliver immune cells
to the wound.

Backup team
5 T cells called into the area
release chemicals that kill the MAGGOT THERAPY
bacteria and encourage the
Plasma B cell macrophages to eat them. If a wound in the skin isnt
healing properly or responding to
conventional treatment, maggots
may be the answer. These little fly
Antibody larvae are particularly precise in
digesting dead cells while leaving
the healthy cells alone. As they eat,
Antibody brigade the maggots secrete antimicrobial
4 If the body needs more chemicals that protect the maggot
help fighting the infection, B cells but which are also effective at
travel to the site of infection and killing bacteria, even those resistant
start producing antibodies that
bind to the pathogens, marking to antibiotics. These secretions
them for destruction. also help inhibit inflammation of
the wound, contributing to the
healing process.
B cell

T cell

FLY LARVAE
T cell B cell
Viruses
Bacteria
Viruses are the smallest and simplest
Bacteria are microscopic organisms that
organisms of all, made up of only their
are usually harmless, but can sometimes
genetic material (DNA or RNA) in a protein
cause disease. Bacteria are responsible
coat. Unlike other pathogens, viruses
for some globally important diseases,
need the hosts cells to live and replicate.
such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Flagellum RNA
Capsid (genetic
(protein material)
coat)
LYSSAVIRUS
SALMONELLA VIBRIO (rabies)
(food poisoning) (cholera) ADENOVIRUS
(tonsilitis, conjunctivitis) Surface protein

Envelope

Capsid

STREPTOCOCCUS HERPESVIRUS
TREPONEMA (pneumonia, bronchitis) LENTIVIRUS (hepatitis B, cold sores)
(syphilis, yaws) (HIV/AIDS)

Antibiotics Vaccination
Commonly used for bacterial infections, The best way of preventing the spread
antibiotics break down the walls of of viral infections is through vaccination.
bacteria or interrupt their growth. A vaccine primes the immune system
However, they cant distinguish the to recognize the virus and launch an
good bacteria from the bad. immediate attack (see pp.18485).

Infectious Unwanted visitors


Organisms that live off the bodys cells or

diseases
tissues are called parasites. There are five
main types: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and
animals and protozoans. When they find
favorable conditions they multiply rapidly
but may produce harmful products or
Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi live in
effects that make us feel sick, prompting
and on us all the time. Most are harmless, but our immune system to swing into action.
certain species are pathogensthey can cause
an illness if a change in conditions allows them
to thrive. Other diseases are passed to us from
A SINGLE SNEEZE
people or animals. A fever is almost always CONTAINS 100,000
a sign that an infection is taking hold. GERMS
FIT AND HEALTHY
Infectious diseases 176 177

Animals and protozoans Fungi


We also face attacks from tiny animals Fungi are always present in and
and single-celled organisms called on the body, but sometimes
protozoans that live on or inside the pathogenic species take hold and
body. Some are large enough to see with cause diseases such as athletes
the naked eye, such as worms, or they foot or thrush.
may be microscopic, such as Giardia, the
protozoan that causes diarrhea.

CRYPTOCOCCUS
COCCIDIOIDES (lung or meningial
Two (valley fever) cryptococcosis)
flagellae
Arthrospores
GIARDIA
(diarrhea)
NEMATODE
(Guinea worm, Nucleus Spore-bearing
threadworm) body

TRICHOMONAS
(urethritis, vaginitis)
Flagellum
ASPERGILLUS
(lung infections)

Prevention Antifungal medications


The best strategy against this type Fungal infections are treated
of infection is to avoid activities and according to whether they are
areas where there are known health internal or external. The active
hazards, be wary of unsafe food ingredients either attack the fungus
and water sources, and take directly by breaking down its cell
recommended precautionary drugs. walls, or prevent it from growing.

How diseases spread Animal/insect


There are many infectious diseases Direct contact
but some affect relatively few
individuals and are local to a small
areaonly diseases that spread Air
easily by person-to-person contact Indirect
are said to be contagious. Many contact
pathogens travel between people
INFECTED HEALTHY
by less direct meansthrough the PERSON Food PERSON
air or in water, on objects someone
has touched, or in contaminated
food. Zoonotic diseases are animal
infections that can spread to
humans, usually through bites.
Looking for trouble Helper T cell
stimulates B cell
by releasing
chemicals
If an infection becomes too great for the initial immune T CE LL
system to deal with, a second, more targeted force springs
into action. B cells learn to recognize harmful microbes
that have attacked the body in the past. They can then
produce antibodies that will surround the pathogen
and tag it for destruction by other immune cells.

Macrophage Macrophage puts the


ingests microbe antigens on its outer
membrane, then presents
them to a B cell and
a helper T cell
M
B C E LL
AC
R OP H A

GE

B cell duplicates to produce


Foreign microbe two types of clonememory
with antigens B cells and plasma cells

Presenting antigens Helping hand


1 When a macrophage ingests Microbe is digested and 2 The B cell starts to get ready when it binds to
a pathogenic microbe, it breaks it up is broken into pieces an antigen, but it isnt fully activated until a helper
and puts the microbes antigens (surface T cell recognizes and binds to that same antigen.
proteins) onto its cell wall. This is known The helper cell then releases chemicals that
as an antigen-presenting cell. prompt the B cell to produce antibodies.

Activating antibodies
B cells are a type of white blood cell that TESTING FOR ANTIBODIES
constantly patrol the blood vessels or lie waiting Blood tests show the levels of immunoglobulins (another
in the lymph nodes (see pp.170171). When a name for antibodies) present during infections. IgM is a large
B cell encounters an antigen it recognizes, it antibody that the body produces at the first sign of infection,
becomes primed and ready to clone itself. but it quickly disappears. IgG is a more specific, lifelong
This can happen only when another cell of the antibody that is produced during a later infection. A high IgM
immune system, the helper T cell, recognizes value shows you have a current infection, whereas IgG simply
means you have been infected by a pathogen in the past.
and binds to that same antigen, triggering the
B cell to clone itself and release antibodies. The IgM complex has five
times as many antibodies
available to deal with
pathogens than IgG
A SINGLE B CELL MAY
HAVE UP TO 100,000
ANTIBODIES ON ITS IgG IgM
OUTER SURFACE
FIT AND HEALTHY
Looking for trouble 178 179
ORY B C
M

EL
ME Rounding them up

L
Antibodies can clump
microbes together,
Memory B cell reducing the number
remembers the antigen of infectious units to
for future invasions be dealt with.
Clump of
microbes
S M A CE
LA Tasty morsels
P

LL

Coating the microbe


Coated with antibodies attracts
microbe macrophages and
encourages them to eat.

Nowhere to land
Antibodies prevent the
EPITHELIUM
microbes from sticking
to other cells so they
cant invade and multiply
themselves.
Antibody release Neutralizing pathogens
3 The B cell clones itself. Some of these 4 The antibodies bind to the
clones become memory cells, but most become invading microbes, neutralizing them
plasma cells, which produce antibodies that and marking them for destruction
are specific to the invaders antigens. These by other immune cells.
antibodies are then released into the blood.

Rh-
mother

Second Rh+
fetus
First Rh+
Anti-Rh+
fetus
antibodies
are made Mothers
antibodies
Rh+
attack babys
blood cells
FIRST PREGNANCY BETWEEN PREGNANCIES SECOND PREGNANCY blood cells

Rhesus babies Not-so-safe haven


The Rhesus factor (Rh) is a protein on the surface of red blood cells Antibodies produced in response to
people who have it are called Rh+. When an Rh mother is exposed the babys blood mingling with the
mothers during birth will prompt her
to the blood of her Rh+ fetus (from the fathers Rh+ gene) during birth, immune system to attack the next Rh+
she makes antibodies against it. These antibodies may attack future child she conceives. This is because
Rh+ embryos, but an injection of anti-Rh+ antibodies early in the her antibodies can actually cross
the placenta into the babys blood.
pregnancy usually reduces this danger.
Assassination squad
The immune system can prime some cells to go out into the body and
attack the invasion one-on-one. These are known as T cells. They hunt
down infected and abnormal cells, then destroy them.
Keeping control
T cells are a type of white blood cell that play a key REGULATOR T CELLS ARE
role in dealing with infections. Circulating in the blood
and lymph, the T cells look for foreign antigens on the VITAL IN PREVENTING
surface of body cells. These characteristic proteins AUTOIMMUNE
show that the cells have been invaded by a microbe
or that they have developed a dangerous abnormality.
DISEASES
T cells also marshal the actions of other immune cells
and prime B cells to produce antibodies. T cell activated

Macrophage
Foreign microbe presents antigens
with antigens to a T cell

Microbe
is digested

Activating T cells
1 A macrophage engulfs a pathogen
and breaks it down. It then incorporates
parts of the pathogen (its antigens) into its
membrane, displaying them on its surface.
Macrophage
ingests microbe
When a T cell recognizes the antigen it binds
to it and becomes activated.

E SP O NS E IN JE C T E
Cornering cancer NO R E C C IN D
VA
Immunotherapy is a treatment
designed to help the immune
system fight cancer. There are
many different ways of doing
this. All of them either make the
Cancer cell
cancer cells more easily identified
by the immune system or boost
the immune system by multiplying
cells or cytokines in the lab before
injecting them back into the patient. T cell
Vaccine

Cancer vaccines
Vaccines form one of the methods No threat Identifying the adversary
of immunotherapy being developed. 1 Cancer is the uncontrolled division 2 Cancerous cells have self antigens
They prompt the immune system to of abnormal cells. The immune system may on their surface but also produce their own
target only cancerous cells. not recognize these cells as abnormal antigens. A vaccine is designed to match the
because they are the bodys own cells. shape of the cancer antigen.
FIT AND HEALTHY
Assassination squad 180 181
T cells in action
2 Once the T cell has been Killer T cell
releases cytokines
activated it begins to clone itself.
These clones then become one T cell moves away to
of four different types of cells seek another target
in the T cell family.
Killers
These are the muscle
of the family, actively
seeking and killing
infected cells. Pores
open and
cell starts
to swell
Helpers
Spur the B cells and
other T cells into action.
Also encourage other
immune cells to eat
invaders.

Regulators
Calm the immune INFECTED CELL
system and are critical
in recognizing friendly
microbes.

CELL BURSTS
Killer T cells
Memory 3 The killer T cell recognizes and binds
Remember microbes to an antigen displayed by an infected cell.
that have attacked the It releases chemicals that open up pores in the
body in the past. membrane of the infected cell and cause it to
break down and be eaten by macrophages.

T CE L
L S PRI M R D E S TR O
ED NCE YE
CA D
T cell releases
cytokines
WHAT IS A
T-CELL COUNT?

Healthy cell This is a measure of the


number of T cells circulating
in your blood. Both higher
and lower than normal
Healthy
cell T-cell counts can be an
indicator of disease.
T cell now
recognizes
cancer cell Cancer cell
Trained to kill Targeted attack disintegrates
3 The vaccine trains the T cells 4 The T cells can now target
to recognize and bind to the antigens and attack the cancerous cells,
being displayed by the cancerous distinguishing them from healthy
cells in the body. cells of the same type.
Colds and flu
The reason why you are assailed by colds again and
again is because the virus mutates each time, and
your immune system fails to recognize it when
you catch your next cold. Usually,
the symptoms you experience
are your immune system
reacting to the virus,
not directly caused
by the virus itself.

Common cold Shared symptoms Flu


Cold or flu? Frequent sneezing, a Both the common Influenza is caused
Many of the symptoms of colds mild to moderate fever, cold and flu are by virus types A, B,
low energy, and fatigue classed as upper and C. Having the
and flu are similar, and that
are all symptoms of the respiratory tract flu may induce a
makes them hard to common infections. Either moderate to high fever
differentiate. There are cold. There illness may cause and constant fatigue. It
are more than 100 a runny nose, sore is generally caught in
many viruses that cause
viruses responsible throat, cough, the winter months and
the common cold, and the for the common cold, headache, an can develop into more
influenza virus is caused which can be aching body, serious conditions
by three virus subtypes. caught at any shaking, and chills. such as pneumonia.
time of year.
Generally, the symptoms
of a cold are much milder
than those of the flu.

Nucleic acid
How a virus invades a cell Virus Virus (DNA or RNA)
Viruses need to invade healthy cells
to replicate. A virus tricks the cell
Nucleus of cell
into making copies of it. A cells Cell
nucleus is where instructions to The virus attaches Substances in the cell Nucleic acid from
make body proteins are stored. 1 itself to your cell and 2 begin to strip the 3 the virus is released,
Viruses are surrounded by a coat the cell engulfs the virus. viruss outer coat of protein. ready to be replicated.
of protein, and the virus can hijack
cells to make these viral proteins Nucleic acid Virus has
instead of normal body proteins. enters cell nucleus been replicated
Once they have replicated, the
Damaged
virus will then enter other cells in cell
your body and the cycle continues.
This process is the same for both The cell ignores its The virus is released
4 Your cell replicates the
5 own chemical needs
6 from the host cell.
the common cold and the flu. viral nucleic acid under
the false pretense that it is and switches to making new This can destroy the cell, and
your own DNA. viral nucleic acids, which the viruses go on to invade
become copies of the virus. other cells.
FIT AND HEALTHY
Colds and flu 182 183
A change in your mood HEADACHES

S
can be brought about It is thought the chemical cocktail released FEVER

NES
by the annoyance of during an immune response increases pain

ODI
having a runny nose sensitivity in the brain, causing headaches
and lack of sleep A rise in body temperature is

MO
Dilation (widening) of blood another way that our immune
vessels and mucus buildup in
the nose and sinuses leads to a
system combats infection. The
The inflammation of your congested feeling in the head bodys temperature regulation
sinuses stimulates mucus SIN system is reset to a higher level
production in your nasal USE to speed up immune reactions
cavity. The increased mucus S
forms a barrier against required to fight
incoming viral cells E infection. As long
OS as a fever is mild,
N
NY

there is no cause
RUN

for worry but


persistent fevers
The release of histamines should be
triggers sneezing, which
helps clear the viral cells
monitored.
out of your nose. However,
this also leads to the
spread of the virus
Immune response
The invasion of viral particles into
the epithelial cells found within the
mouth or nose triggers an immune
response. Symptoms of the common
cold or flu are a product of this
immune response. The affected
epithelial cells release a cocktail
of chemicals including histamines,
which causes an inflammation
of your sinuses, and cytokines,
SORE THROAT

which command cells involved in


your immune response.

A reflex to clear your


airways of mucus buildup,
coughing may be triggered by An inflammation of the
inflamed cells and some of the epithelial cells in the
chemicals released as part of throat is one of the first
the immune response symptoms of colds
and flu, so it is often
understood as a warning
COUGHING sign for when you are
coming down with
EXHAUSTION something
All of these symptoms will
interrupt your sleeping
pattern. Cytokines
exacerbate the
feeling of exhaustion, CHILLS
forcing your body Shivering raises your body
to slow down to temperature - rapid contractions
fight the virus. from your muscles generates heat,
helping to speed up immune reactions
that fight off infection.
Vaccine action
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread
of infectious disease is to prime the immune system through
vaccination. A vaccine trains the immune system to launch
a fast and furious attack on a pathogen.

Herd immunity
Vaccinating a significant portion (around 80 percent)
of a population can help provide immunity even to those Key
who have not been vaccinated. When the disease is
passed to vaccinated individuals, their primed immune
system destroys it, preventing it from spreading further.
This can help protect people who cant be vaccinated due Not immunized but Immunized and Not immunized,
to age or illness. Widespread vaccination can eliminate still healthy healthy sick and contagious
diseases entirely, such as smallpox.

Safety first
Contagious diseases can be contained
if a sufficient number of people are
vaccinated. Vaccination also helps
people who have an existing medical
condition that may be worsened by the
effects of the disease.

NO ONE IMMUNIZED CONTAGIOUS DISEASE SPREADS


TO VACCINATE OR NOT? THROUGH THE POPULATION

Controversy exists over the use of


vaccines. Fears over possible side
effects have led some parents to
refuse to have their children
vaccinated, which has resulted in
outbreaks of preventable diseases,
such as measles and pertussis.
If only a small portion of the
population is vaccinated, herd
immunity breaks down. SOME OF THE POPULATION CONTAGIOUS DISEASE SPREADS
GETS IMMUNIZED THROUGH SOME OF THE POPULATION

MOST OF THE POPULATION SPREAD OF CONTAGIOUS


GETS IMMUNIZED DISEASE IS CONTAINED
FIT AND HEALTHY
Vaccine action 184 185
Types of vaccines
Each vaccine is developed for a specific
pathogen and is designed to kickstart WHY DO VACCINES
the immune system. This is done by MAKE YOU FEEL ILL?
injecting a harmless version of the
pathogen that the immune system
Vaccinations stimulate an
will remember if attacked by the real immune response, which can
pathogen. This can be difficultkilling produce symptoms in some
the pathogen may make it safe, but the peoplebut it means the
vaccine may not produce an immune vaccine is doing what
response. There are also some diseases
its supposed to.
that progress too quickly for the immunes
memory system to respond in time, so
booster immunizations are given to keep Inactivated
reminding the immune system. The pathogen is killed using
heat, radiation, or chemicals.
Used for influenza, cholera,
and bubonic plague vaccines.

Related microbe Alive, but not dangerous


A pathogen that causes disease The pathogen is kept alive
in another species, but few or but the parts that make it
no symptoms in humans, is harmful are removed or
sometimes used. For example, disabled. Used for measles,
tuberculosis vaccine is made from rubella, and mumps
a bacterium that infects cattle. vaccines.

ORIGINAL DISEASE-
CAUSING PATHOGEN

DNA Pieces of pathogen


DNA from the pathogen is Fragments of the pathogen,
injected into the body, whose such as proteins on the surface
own cells take up this DNA and of the cell, are used instead
start to produce proteins from Tame toxins of the whole pathogen. Used
the pathogen, which triggers an Toxic compounds released by the for vaccines against hepatitis B
immune response. Used for pathogen, which are responsible and human papilloma
Japanese encephalitis vaccine. for the illness, are deactivated using virus (HPV).
heat, radiation, or chemicals. Used for
tetanus and diphtheria vaccines.
Immune problems
Sometimes the immune system is too reactive
ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK
launching attacks on things that arent harmful
and even attacking the bodys own cells. Allergies, Sometimes the immune system
hay fever, asthma, and eczema are all caused by launches an extreme panic attack
when it encounters an allergen
an oversensitive immune system. Alternatively, such as a sting or a nut. Symptoms
the immune system may not be reactive enough, include itchy eyes or face, followed
quickly by extreme swelling in the
leaving the body vulnerable to infection. face, hives, and difficulty swallowing
and breathing. This is a medical
emergency that needs to be
treated with an injection
of epinephrine,
ARE FOOD ALLERGIES which constricts
AN IMMUNE RESPONSE? blood vessels to
Cartilage erodes reduce swelling
Yes. Similar to hay fever, Macrophage and relax the
allergies to certain foods cause muscles around
an inflammatory response the airways.

from the mouth to the gut.


Severe allergies may result Rheumatoid arthritis
in anaphylaxis. If the immune system attacks cells around
a joint, causing an inflammatory response,
an autoimmune disease called rheumatoid
arthritis can result. The joint swells, gets
inflamed, and is very painful. Eventually,
there is permanent damage to the joints
and surrounding tissues.

JOINT B cell
Inflamed joint
Immunity overload Raised, itchy skin

Most immune problems are


Hair
a combination of genetic and Allergen
environmental factors. While immune
conditions are usually triggered by
Epithelium
exposure to environmental factors, such
SKIN
as pollen, foods, or irritants on the skin
or in the air, some people are genetically Mast cell releasing
histamine
more susceptible to developing them.
Even autoimmune diseases (when the
immune system attacks healthy body Eczema
The causes of eczema are unclear, but it is thought
tissue by mistake), such as rheumatoid to be a miscommunication between the immune
arthritis, can be made worse by irritants system and the skin. It is probably triggered by an
that cause inflammation elsewhere in the irritant (allergen) on the skin that stimulates the
immune system beneath to launch an inflammatory
body. People with a hypersensitive response, causing swelling and redness.
immune system may experience several
conditions; for example, many people
with asthma also suffer from allergies.
FIT AND HEALTHY
Immune problems 186 187
Allergies and our modern lifestyle
More people in developed countries suffer
from allergies, and incidences have been Allergen
rising since World War II. The specific
reasons are open to debate, but there is
agreement that it is likely to do with the Hayfever
immune system being exposed to fewer Many people have a
microbes during childhood. specific allergy to pollen
or dust called hayfever.
When allergens bind
to the membranes of
SINUS immune cells just below
the epithelium of the
eyes and nose, it triggers
these cells to release
histamines. This triggers
an inflammatory
response, including
itchy, watery eyes
and sneezing.
Epithelium
NASAL LINING
Mast cell
secretes histamines

Lining of
bronchus

Swollen bronchus
Allergen
Cytokines
released by
immune cell Cytokine
triggers
swelling

Constricted airway

Mucus
Immune cell

NORMAL IMMUNE ASTHMA


LUNG

RESPONSE ATTACK

Asthma
An attack of asthma is a
spasm in the bronchi of the WEAKENED IMMUNITY
lungs leading to wheezing,
coughing, and breathing When the immune system is weakened or absent, a
difficulties. It is brought on
by an allergic response in the person is said to be immunocompromised. This can
lungs to some irritant in the happen because of genetic defects, as a result of HIV
environment. There is some or AIDS, certain cancers and chronic diseases, and as
evidence that this condition a consequence of chemotherapy or having to take
can be inherited. immunosuppressant drugs after a transplant. People
with weakened immunity have to avoid even simple
infections, such as colds, because they cannot fight them
effectively. Even vaccines pose a risk of causing infection. BIOHAZARD
CHEMICAL
BALANCE
Chemical regulators SLEEP
Some of the organs of the endocrine system are Pineal gland
dedicated specifically to hormone production, HYPOTHALAMUS When light levels decrease,
the pineal gland releases
while others, such as the stomach and the melatonin, which makes
heart, have other more familiar functions PINEAL you sleepy. It works in
too. Each receives information from the GLAND close partnership with
the hypothalamus.
body and responds by secreting either
more or less of a certain hormone. The
hormones act as messengers, telling cells
to either keep the balance or giving
US SYS
instructions to bring about short-term RVO TE Hypothalamus
NE M
or long-term changes, such as puberty. The hypothalamus is a part
of the brain that links the
nervous system to the
Pituitary gland endocrine system. It sits
Despite being the size of a pea, PITUITARY above the pituitary gland
the pituitary is sometimes called GLAND and works with it closely.
the master gland. It controls Among other things, it
the growth and development of controls thirst, fatigue,
tissues as well as the function of and body temperature.
several other endocrine glands.

GROWTH ENERGY
Thyroid gland
The thyroid secretes
hormones that control
growth and metabolic
rate. It also secretes
PARATHYROIDS calcitonin, which
encourages calcium
storage in the bones.
THYROID

CALCIUM UN
IMM ITY
Parathyroid glands Thymus
Four tiny glands attached The thymus secretes the
to the thyroid regulate hormone that stimulates
calcium levels in the blood THYMUS the production of the
and bones. They release a pathogen-fighting T cells.
hormone that acts on the The gland is most active
kidneys, small intestine, in babies and adolescents,
and bones to increase and shrinks with the
blood calcium levels. onset of adulthood.
Heart
Tissues in the HEART
ACTION heart secrete
Adrenal glands hormones that
These produce hormones encourage the kidneys
that govern the fight or to expel water. This reduces
flight response, such as Stomach
blood volume, and thereby
epinephrine. They also When the stomach is full, cells
decreases blood pressure.
help regulate blood STOMACH in its lining secrete gastrin,
pressure and metabolism, a hormone that stimulates
and secrete a small amount N AL G neighboring cells to secrete
DRE
of testosterone and oestrogen. A gastric acid. This acid is needed
to break down food

L AND
(see pp.14243).

DIGESTION
Pancreas
As well as producing
digestive enzymes, KIDNEY KIDNEY
the pancreas makes
insulin and glucagon
hormones that control
blood glucose levels PANCREAS Testes
(see pp.15859). The testes secrete the male
hormone testosterone. This plays a
role in the physical development of
Kidneys boys, and maintains libido, muscle
When the kidneys strength, and bone density in men.
detect low oxygen levels in the
blood, they secrete a hormone that
stimulates the production of red SCULINITY
Hormone blood cells in the bone marrow.
MA

factories
Molecules known as hormones
travel throughout the body,
Hormone factories
CHEMICAL BALANCE

triggering changes in tissues that


regulate everything from sleep RY
OVA
Y

and reproduction to digestion,


IT

growth, and pregnancy. They are Ovaries TESTES


secreted into the bloodstream by The ovaries produce two
hormones that govern female
FEMININ

organs that are collectively known reproductive healthestrogen


and progesterone. These
190 191

as the endocrine system. regulate the menstrual cycle,


pregnancy, and birth.
How hormones work
Hormones are molecules that act as messengers
between the bodys organs and tissues. They are
released indiscriminately into the bloodstream,
so they travel throughout the body, Protein, produced
by the estrogen
but they can only affect cells trigger, in turn makes
oxytocin, which
that have receptors to pick prepares the body
them upand each for childbirth
PANCREAS
hormone has its own
particular receptor.
Some receptors float NUCLEUS ESTROGEN
in the cytoplasm TARGET CELL
of target cells,
Hormone receptor
others line the
cell membrane.
Estrogen passes through
the cell membrane
The receptor-hormone pair
floating in the cells nucleus, Estrogen binds
where it triggers a gene to to receptor
CE

make a specific protein


LL

EM
M

BR CYT ESTROGEN
AN OPL ASM MOLECULES
E
Straight to the nucleus
Some hormones can pass straight through the
outer membrane of a target cell. The receptors Estrogen
for these hormones lie in wait in the cytoplasm Estrogen is a hormone produced
by the ovaries. It targets most
of the cell. Once the hormone passes through body cells, binding to estrogen
the membrane, it binds to the receptor, and receptors, which then trigger
together they cross into the cell nucleus. Here genes that help and maintain
female reproductive organs.
the receptor-hormone pair binds to the DNA OVARY
and activates a specific gene.

Hormone triggers Triggered by blood Stimulus from


Some hormones are bloodstream
Endocrine glands secrete hormones in response
released when sensory cells
to some sort of trigger. These triggers can be of detect changes in the blood
three kinds; changes in the blood, nerve signals, or other body fluids. The
or instructions from other hormones. However, parathyroids, for example,
release the hormone
these triggers themselves are often responses to PTH in response to low PARATHYROIDS
messages from the outside world. When it gets calcium levels in the
dark, for example, the hormone melatonin is blood (see pp.19495).
released to help us go to sleep (see pp.19899).
Release of PTH
TARGET CELLS
CHEMICAL BALANCE
How hormones work 192 193
CAN HAVE BETWEEN
5,000 AND 100,000 WHAT IS
HORMONE RECEPTORS HORMONE THERAPY?
Hormones can be used to
E
trigger changes throughout
AN the body. Sex hormones, for
BR
M
example, can be manipulated
E
M
LL

Hormone to change individuals to


CE

receptor
the gender they
NUCLEUS identify with.
CYTOPLA

LIVER CELL

GLUCAGON A second messenger protein


SM

MOLECULES is made due to the glucagon


trigger. Its job is to stimulate
the liver to make glucose
Glucagon binds
to receptor
on cell surface

Receptor triggered

Messenger at the gate


Glucagon
Another class of hormones cant pass through
Glucagon, released by the pancreas,
targets liver cells, where it binds to the outer membrane of a cell. These hormones
receptors on the cell surface. This bind to receptors on the surface of the cell instead.
prompts the cells molecular machinery
This triggers the cell to produce a second
to start converting glycogen into
glucose (see pp.15657). messenger protein, which causes further
changes within the cell.

Stimulus
Triggered by nerves from nerve
Triggered by hormones
Many endocrine glands Hormones can also be
are stimulated by nerve released in response to
impulses. When we other hormones. The HYPOTHALAMUS
experience physical stress, Epinephrine hypothalamus, for example,
for example, an impulse is produces a hormone that Hormone
sent along nerves to the travels to the pituitary gland Growth stimulus
adrenal gland, causing it to and prompts it to release a hormone
secrete the fight-or-flight second hormonegrowth
hormone epinephrine hormonewhich in turn PITUITARY
(see pp.24041). stimulates growth and GLAND
ADRENAL GLAND metabolism.
THYROID

Hormone Low level of calcium


in the blood
PARATHYROID

balance
Hormones are released in response to
information circulating in the body.
This information-response pattern is called
!
a feedback loop, and it works in a similar iu
m

T H Y RO
l c
ca 1 Low calcium
way to a thermostat maintaining the ea
se D!

The parathyroid
e l
temperature of a house. glands in the neck detect

in
R

ID GL AN
m
low calcium levels in

ita
ev
the blood and release

Releas
parathyroid hormone

D
Bones release calcium (PTH) in response.
2 PTH stimulates specialized cells in
the bone known as osteoclasts, which
break down bone tissue, releasing
calcium into the bloodstream.

Kidneys activate vitamin D


3 PTH also stimulates the
kidneys to reabsorb calcium and to
Increasing levels of produce an enzyme that converts
calcium in the blood vitamin D into its active form.
!
um
c a lc i
s or b
Ab

Intestines absorb calcium


4 The activated vitamin D travels to the
intestine, where it stimulates the formation of
calcium-binding proteins. These proteins help
the gut absorb any calcium present in food.

Calcium balance
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the
body. It is important for most physiological
processes, including the forming of bones and
teeth. It is therefore vital to keep calcium
levels in the blood within a tight rangetoo
much or too little can cause serious problems.
Hormones help keep these levels in check.
CHEMICAL BALANCE
Hormone balance 194 195
THYROID

PARATHYROID High level of calcium


in the blood

Calcium regulation CALCITONIN REDUCES


PTH (hormone)
Calcium BONE LOSS, SO IT IS GIVEN
Calcitonin (hormone)
Vitamin D TO PEOPLE SUFFERING
FROM OSTEOPOROSIS

High calcium
1 The thyroid gland
detects high levels of calcium S
in the blood. In response, it to
re
produces the hormone ca
lc
Remove calcium!

calcitonin. At the same time, iu


Bones store calcium
the parathyroids stop 2
m

Osteoclasts are no longer stimulated


!

producing PTH.
by PTH to break down bone. Calcitonin
stimulates other cells in the bone, known
as osteoblasts, to build bone tissue using
calcium from the bloodstream.

Decreasing levels of
calcium in the blood

Kidneys expel calcium


3 Calcitonin also inhibits
the absorption of calcium in the
kidneys, so excess calcium starts
to get excreted in the urine (see
pp.15051). Less PTH also stops
the activation of vitamin D in the
kidneys, so calcium is retained.

Intestines stop absorbing


4 Without activated vitamin D, less
calcium-binding protein is madeso
less calcium is absorbed in the intestines.
Hormonal changes
Hormones often get blamed for our behavior when the body is Hormones and stress
undergoing significant changethe moods of a teenager, for Three hormones play a role
in a cycle of behaviour that
example. However, our daily behavior can also affect our leads to inactivity, anxiety.
and long-term stress.
hormones, and that in turn can have serious health implications.
Cortisol

Pituitary gland Insulin


releases ACTH,
stimulating the Melatonin
Anxiety
adrenal glands to People with sedentary lives are less
release cortisol
capable of dealing with stress. This
may be because they dont have
a physical outlet for cortisol and
other fight or flight hormones
that are produced in response to
the stresses of modern life.

Smoking affects the


function of all the Sleeplessness and fatigue
endocrine glands Exposure to bright displays such
as TVs and phones late at night
suppresses melatonin production.
This can affect sleep quality and the
bodys ability to control temperature,
blood pressure, and glucose levels.
Pancreas releases
copious amounts
of insulin
Suppressed immunity
Poor diet and lack of exercise can
lead to high cortisol. This hormone
is useful in reducing inflammation,
but over prolonged periods it can
suppress the immune system,
which decreases the bodys
Skin ability to fight infection.
Unhealthy amounts
of fat under the skin

High insulin levels


A sedentary life leads to
elevated insulin levels, which
Untoned keeps the body storing fat
muscle rather than burning it.

Unhealthy choices
Poor food choices and a sedentary life cause hormone
changes that perpetuate that same unhealthy HUGGING RELEASES THE
lifestyle. Lower activity levels lead to fewer feel HORMONE OXYTOCIN. THIS
good hormones. This can lead to poor food choices,
which affect hormones that regulate blood sugar,
REDUCES BLOOD PRESSURE SO
leading to weight gain and less exercise. THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE FALLS
CHEMICAL BALANCE
Hormonal changes 196 197

Healthy lifestyle
Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to trigger EXERCISE BUZZ
changes in hormones that lead to a healthier mind and body.
Some of the hormones that help equip us for physical activity Exercise increases the release of
neurotransmitters, which are the
by regulating temperature, maintaining water balance, and
chemical messengers of the nervous
adapting to increased oxygen demands are also so-called system. They transmit signals at
feel good hormones, which greatly improve mood. junctions between nerve cells,
called synapses. The increase
promotes the repair and
Pituitary gland releases maintenance of the brain.
growth hormone during
and after exercise Some neurotransmitters,
such as dopamine, also
provide a feeling
of happiness.

Strong bones Transmitting


nerve cell
Neurotransmitter
molecules
released

Bone density Receiving


Testosterone and growth nerve cell
hormone are released during
exercise in men and women. SYNAPSE BETWEEN
As well as promoting sex drive, TWO NERVE CELLS
testosterone improves bone Testosterone
density. Growth hormone also release during
promotes the laying down of exercise
bone and continues its work
in the night after exercise,
encouraging the body to Skin
recover and promoting
general maintenance.
Good musculature,
thanks to growth
Minimal fat hormone and
testosterone

Muscle mass
Testosterone stimulates the
building of lean muscle mass,
and increases our overall
metabolism. Growth hormone
Hormones and health promotes the growth of
Three hormones play a Lean muscle muscle tissue and helps
role in improving our health the body burn fat.
and our state of our mind. Healthy insulin levels
Insulin is inhibited during
Growth hormone exercise, forcing our cells to
burn fat as an energy source
Insulin instead of glucose. Insulin levels
remain suppressed for a long
Testosterone time after exercise, meaning we
burn fat even as we rest.
Daily rhythms
The body has a built-in time-keeping system that
drives our daily rhythmsparticularly those of eating
and sleeping. At the core of this is the daily chemical
conversion of the wakeful hormone serotonin into the sleep 3 Hunger hormones
Hunger hormones rise and
hormone melatonina process that takes about 24 hours. fall throughout the day. Levels of
ghrelin, the appetite increaser, rise
during fasting, increasing hunger in
the morning. Leptin, the appetite
The daily cycle suppressor, signals
Many hormones go through rhythmic fluctuations every when you are full.
day. These oscillations happen independently of any
external prompting. Even in a black room with no Stress-managing cortisol
windows, the body gets a serotonin surge in the 2 As you start the day, the
morning, which wakes it up. However, these body produces the steroid
hormone cortisol, which helps
rhythms are not hard-wiredthey are constantly the body deal with stress by 9A
readjusted and can be changed radically when increasing blood sugar levels M
we travel to a different time zone. and kick-starting metabolism.

8A
M
The circadian clock
Our bodies run on a (roughly) 24-hour hormone Wakeful serotonin
1 Light stimulates the
cycle, known as a circadian rhythm. The biological suprachiasmatic nucleus
processes that govern it are called the circadian to convert melatonin
into serotonina 6AM
clock, which is what governs all the bodys rhythms.
hormone that helps get
One of the main cogs in this clock is a very small the brain and body going
region of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic (especially the intestines).
nucleus (SCN). Located very near the optic nerves,
the SCN uses the amount of light entering the eye
to calibrate the circadian clock.
The SCN orders the secretion
Internal timepiece of melatonin or serotonin,
M
The SCN drives a two-way chemical conversion depending on the time of day 3A
between the hormone serotonin, which wakes
us up, and melatonin, which puts us to sleep.
Light rays of
varying intensity

CAN STRESS
MAKE YOU ILL?
Testosterone surge
10 Men experience a rise
Stress hormones prepare us Serotonin
in testosterone levels at night,
for fight or flight, but they also Melatonin regardless of whether or not they
are asleepa fact that might explain
take a toll on some of our other
WAKE!

SLEEP!

late-night fights at bars.


systems, particularly our Electrical signals
immune system. Chronic target the SCN

stress can therefore


lead to disease.
CHEMICAL BALANCE
Daily rhythms 198 199
Cortisol peaks
4 After the morning
surge of cortisol, the body JET LAG
gets another dose around noon.
From then on, cortisol plays Air travel transports us into new
a smaller role in the system. time zones faster than the body can
Melatonin is at its lowest level 5 Aldosterone surge
Midafternoon sees adjust. It takes time for the new
at this time.
a peak in the hormone rhythm of daylight to reset the body
Cortisol aldosterone. This helps clock. Some hormone cycles are
keep the blood pressure
steady by increasing water more flexible than otherscortisol
reabsorption in the kidneys. can take 510 days to adapt. While
our rhythms adjust, the body feels
hungry and sleepy at all the wrong
Melatonin
timesa phenomenon
called jet lag. Shift
12AM

workers experience
this regularly, and
the long-term
M health consequences
3P
are not yet fully
understood.

Sleepy melatonin
6 Decreasing light
levels prompt the
6PM conversion of serotonin
into melatonin. This slowly
prepares the body for
sleep and finally causes
Thyroid gland sleepiness itself.

8PM

9P Stimulating thyroid
M 7 In the evening, levels
of thyroid-stimulating
12PM

hormone abruptly increase.


Melatonin This stimulates growth and
repair, but also inhibits
Cortisol neuronal activity, possibly
preparing the body
for sleep.
Growth hormone
8 The first two hours of sleep
see a burst in growth hormone,
which helps children grow and
Melatonin peaks adults regenerate. Its also released
9 Melatonin levels in the blood in the day, but more is produced
are highest around midnight. This is
also when cortisol levels are at their
at night, when the body can
focus on repair. A BRISK WALK AT
lowest. This ensures that the body
rests completely overnight.
LUNCHTIME HELPS BOOST
SEROTONIN LEVELS
Diabetes
Insulin is the key that opens muscle and fat cells MANAGING DIABETES
to receive glucose, which the body needs for
energy. Without insulin, glucose remains in the Sugary foods and certain carbohydrates
cause fat to be laid down in the bodys
blood, and the cells dont get the energy they cells, and fat interferes with insulin. The
need, which has serious health consequences. If more fat present, therefore, the greater the
risk of type 2 diabetes. A healthy, balanced
insulin fails to work, the result is diabetes, a diet not only reduces this risk, it is also
disease that has two formstype 1 and type 2 a vital part of managing the disease once
it develops. Generally, diabetic diets aim
and currently affects 382 million people globally. at keeping blood glucose levels as normal
as possible, avoiding foods that cause
sharp rises and falls
in glucose. This also
helps in calculating
Muscle cell closed insulin dosages,
due to lack of insulin which may be a
Glucose unable
to enter closed part of treatment.
muscle cells

BLO Glucose on the rise


OD 1
STR During digestion, glucose is
EAM released into the bloodstream. The rise
in glucose levels triggers mechanisms
that will lower themincluding the
release of insulin from the pancreas
(see pp.15859).
Glucose but no insulin
in bloodstream

No entry for glucose


3 Without insulin, glucose cant enter the bodys cells.
Instead, it builds up in the blood, and the body reacts by
trying to get rid of it by other means, such as urination. Glucose molecule

Type 1 diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the bodys immune system attacks
the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, leaving the
pancreas unable to produce any insulin. The symptoms
No insulin available
PA

emerge over a matter of weeks but can be reversed once 2 However, in type 1 diabetes,
N CR E

treated with insulin. Although people can develop type 1 the insulin-producing cells of the
diabetes at any age, most are diagnosed before the age pancreas have been destroyed by
the bodys own immune cells. As a
of 40, particularly in childhood. Type 1 accounts for
AS

consequence, no insulin is released


10 percent of all diabetes cases. to counter the rising glucose levels.
CHEMICAL BALANCE
Diabetes 200 201
Always feeling thirsty,
hungry, and tired
The symptoms of diabetes Blurred vision caused by
The symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar. buildup of glucose in the lenses
The glucose that the kidneys cant get rid of starts to Bad breath caused by
ketones being burned
build up in the body, so the body tries to flush it out, so instead of glucose (see p.159)
thirst, water intake, and urination increase. Meanwhile, Hyperventilation caused
the bodys cells are being starved of glucose, which by lack of energy
causes fatigue throughout the body. Weight loss also Weight loss
occurs, due to the body burning fat instead of glucose. Nausea and vomiting
Frequent urination

Insulin molecule
opening muscle cell Glucose admitted by
insulin molecule
Buildup of fat
Glucose barred entry
3 Due to a buildup of fat in
the cells, insulin is prevented
from doing its job of opening
S TO the bodys cells. Since the
MA cells are then starved of
C glucose, they signal to
H

the liver to release more


glucose, leading to a
further increase in
blood glucose levels.
Muscle cell M
REA
ODST
BLO
Glucose in
1 During digestion,
glucose enters the
bloodstream as
normal.

Insulin overload
4 More and more insulin is
released in response to rising blood
glucose levels. This can cause the
pancreas to weaken and eventually
to stop functioning.

Type 2 diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, the body either isnt producing enough
Insulin molecule
insulin or its insulin isnt working properly. It occurs more
often in people with obesity, but it also occurs in people
Insulin out
2 On detecting the presence of healthy weight. The symptoms emerge more gradually,
of glucose in the bloodstream, the although some people may not show symptoms at all. In
pancreas releases insulin. fact, 175 million people globally are thought to be living
with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Type 2 accounts for
90 percent of all diabetes cases.
THE CIRCLE
OF LIFE
Sexual reproduction
You are driven by your genes to reproduce, so that your genes
continue to multiply in generations to come. Evolutionarily
speaking, this is why we have sex. Millions of sperm compete
against one another to find one egg and begin the process Seminal vesicle
adds fluid to sperm
of creating a new individual.
Bringing sperm and egg together
The main aim of sex is to bring genes from the male and Prostate gland adds
the female together. The male inserts millions of packets further fluid to sperm
to produce semen
of genes in the form of sperm into the female in an attempt
to fertilize one of her eggs. If successful, the males and
females genes mix, generating a new, unique combination Bulbourethral gland
of genes in the offspring. To achieve this, both male and neutralizes acidity of
urine in urethra to
female individuals become sexually aroused by one prevent harm
another, which causes some physical changes. Genital to sperm
organs in both genders enlarge due to increased blood WHY DO WOMEN
flow, the penis becomes erect, and the vagina secretes HAVE ORGASMS?
a lubricating fluid to aid the peniss entry.
Sensitive nerve endings in the
clitoris send pleasurable signals
SEMEN NORMALLY CONTAINS to the brain, causing the vagina
to contract tightly around the
18 BILLION SPERM PER FLUID penis, thus ensuring that the Sperm travels
OUNCE (140300 MILLION male ejaculates as much through penis
in the urethra
SPERM PER MILLILITER) sperm as possible.

HOW DO ERECTIONS WORK?


The penis contains two cylinders Closed veins prevent Artery
blood outflow transports
of spongelike tissue, called the blood
corpora cavernosa. When small
arteries at the base of the penis
dilate, or widen, blood flows into
the penis and the corpora cavernosa
expand to form rigid cylinders. This
Sperm matures
compresses small drainage veins so in epididymis
that blood cannot flow away and
the penis hardens. After ejaculation,
the pressure reduces and drainage
veins reopen, allowing blood to flow
FLACCID Corpora ERECT
out and the penis softens. cavernosa fill
with blood
THE CYCLE OF LIFE
Sexual reproduction 204 205
MA
LE The perilous journey of sperm
BL
AD During sex, the erect penis is inserted into the vagina. The penis
DE
R releases semen during orgasm and sperm start their journey to find
an egg. Millions of sperm, aided by whiplike movements of their tails,
swim up from the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus.
Sperm is carried in fluid currents caused by the movement of hairlike
cells lining the fallopian tubes. Only 150 or so sperm find their way to
the upper fallopian tubes, where fertilization usually occurs. The
remaining sperm are naturally flushed out of the vagina.
If sperm meets an egg, it FA
LL
is usually here in upper O
Vas deferens FEMALE B fallopian tube

PI
carries sperm from L

AN
testis to penis

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