Anatomy and Physiology! Two things that have fascinated me from my youth! Well…. to be honest, only in specific areas; as a young man I was very interested in the anatomy that all young men are interested in, and as an old man, I now spend way too much time contemplating my own physiology, with such examples of “Why can’t I do that anymore?”, “Why do I make that noise?” and “Why is my hair migrating downwards?”
Early anatomists studied the human body by cutting apart human cadavers and finding out what was inside. Apparently it was interesting enough for them to continue exploring, even after finding and naming the colon. Anatomy is at it’s basic level the identification of the parts of the body, while physiology is the explanation of how the body works. To put it simply, if I point at that big joint in the middle of your leg and say “That is the KNEE!”, I have identified a part of your anatomy. If I then kick you in the knee, the nerves in your knee send the sensory signals to your brain as “pain”. Your brain then sends electrical signals to your hands to “slap the taste out of my mouth” as a response. That’s physiology. Anatomy identifies the part. Physiology explains how it works.
While reading about the human body, I discovered that the Spleen is part of the Lymphatic system (page 10). I had never heard the term “Homeostasis” until I read about it (page 16), I was finally able to understand what the “Sagittal Plane” was (page 19), and although I knew what DNA and RNA were, I did not understand how they functioned (page 27). I must say, just that one assignment makes reading my medical records a bit more interesting.
And yes, that's actually what I submitted. I did get an "A" for the course.