The history of anatomy as a science extends from the earliest examinations of sacrificial victims to the sophisticated analyses of the body performed by modern scientists. It has been marked, over time, by a continually developing understanding of the functions of organs and structures in the body. Methods have also advanced drastically, advancing from examination of animals through dissection of cadavers to technologically complex techniques developed in the last century.

Ancient anatomy

begins at least as early as 1600 BC, the date of publication of an Egyptian anatomical papyrus that has survied to this day; this treatise identifies a number of organs and shows a basic knowledge of blood vessels.

The earliest medical scientist of whose works any great part survives today is Hippocrates, a Greek physician active in the late 5th and early 4th centuries BC (460-377 BC). His work demonstrates a basic understanding of musculoskeletal structure, and the beginnings of understanding of certain organs, such as the kidneys. Much of his work, however, and much of that of his students and followers later, relies on speculation rather than empirical observation of the body.

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle and several contemporaries produced a more empirically founded system, based on dissection of animals; works produced around this time are the first to identify the difference between arteries and veins, and the relations between organs are described more accurately than in previous works.

The first use of human cadavers for anatomical research occurred later in the 4th century BC, when Herophilos and Erasistratus performed dissections of cadavers in Alexandria under the auspices of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Herophilos in particular developed a body of anatomical knowledge much more informed by the actual structure of the human body than previous works had been.


The final major anatomist of ancient times was Galen, active in the 2nd century AD. He compiled much of the knowledge obtained by previous writers, and furthered the inquiry into the function of organs by performing vivisection on animals. His collection of drawings, based mostly on dog anatomy, would hold as a "Gray's Anatomy of the ancient world" for 1500 years. The original text is long gone, and his work was only known to the Rennaissance doctors through the careful custody of Arabic medicine, since the Church destroyed it as heresy. Hampered by the same religious restrictions as anatomists for centuries after him, Galen assumed that anatomical structures in dogs were the same as for humans.

Modern anatomy

Anatomical research in the past hundred years has taken advantage of technological developments and growing understanding of sciences such as evolutionary and molecular biology to create a thorough understanding of the body's organs and structures. While disciplines such as endocrinology have explained the purpose of glands that previous anatomists could not explain, medical devices such as MRI machines and CAT scanners have enabled researchers to study the organs of living people. Progress today in anatomy is centered in the field of molecular biology, as the macroscopic aspects of the field have now been catalogued and addressed.

History of anatomy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Anatomy first found wide acceptance as a

science in ancient Greece.

(a) Hippocrates is regarded as the father of medicine because of the sound principles of medical practice he


(b) The Greek philosophy of body humors dominated medical thought for over 2,000 years.

(c) Aristotle pursued a limited type of scientific method in obtaining data; his writings contain some basic anatomy.

6. Alexandria was a center of scientific learning from 300 to 30 B.C.

(a) Human dissections and vivisections were performed in Alexandria.

(b) Erasistratus is referred to as the father of physiology because of his interpretations of various body functions.

7. Theoretical data was deemphasized during the Roman era.

(a) Celsus’s eight-volume work was a compilation of medical data from the

Alexandrian school.

(b) Galen was an influential medical writer who made some important advances in anatomy; at the same time he introduced serious errors into the literature that went unchallenged for centuries.

(c) Science was suppressed for nearly

1,000 years during the Middle Ages, and dissections of human cadavers were prohibited.

(d) Anatomical writings were taken from Alexandria by Arab armies, and thus saved from destruction during the Dark Ages in Europe.

8. During the Renaissance, many great European universities were established.

(a) Andreas Vesalius and Leonardo da Vinci were renowned Renaissance men who produced monumental studies of the human form.

(b) De Humani Corporis Fabrica, written by Vesalius, had a tremendous impact on the advancement of human anatomy. Vesalius is regarded as the father of human anatomy.

9. Two major scientific contributions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were the explanation of blood flow and the development of the microscope.

(a) In 1628, William Harvey correctly described the circulation of blood.

(b) Shortly after the microscope had been perfected by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, many investigators added new discoveries to the rapidly changing specialty of microscopic anatomy.

10. The cell theory was formulated during the nineteenth century by Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, and cellular biology became established as a science separate from anatomy.

11. A trend toward simplification and standardization of anatomical nomenclature began in the twentieth century. In addition, many specialties within anatomy developed, including cytology, histology, embryology, electron microscopy, and radiology.


Danil Hammoudi.MD

Sinoe Medical Association


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To understand the abnormal you have to know the normal.


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Yes it is hard, yes you will not sleep, yes it is a lot of material for a short period of time, but A is possible.

Hello Students of PGC AND  LAUREL

In this site you will find all we talked about in Lab and more.

It will be updated after each Lab and before each lectures, question will be put on the site after each recitation for you to review.

Remember you will need to be ready before each lab and review after each lab.

The labs exercise and content can be downloaded at this address but it better to have your booklet.


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Anatomy Gifts Registry
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1. Human anatomy is the science concern with the structure of the human body.

2. The terms of anatomy are descriptive and are generally of Greek or Latin derivation.

3. The history of human anatomy parallels that of medicine and has also been greatly influenced by various religions.



lab schedule




1/ Generality and definition [txt]

2/ The cells [txt]

3/ The tissues [txt]

4/The integumentary System


5/ Bones and Skeletal Tissues [txt]

  •        6/ Nervous system introduction, histology

    1/Terminology of the body:

    2/Body Regions and Major Body Cavities


    4/Introduction to microscopy

    5/The skull

    6/Spine and Thorax

    7/pectoral girdle and arms


    8/Pelvis and lower extremities


    cns lab exercise

    10/Sheep brain

    11/ muscles table 1

    12/muscle tables 2

    13/muscle innervation


    1/ Epithelium and Connective Tissue


    3/Bone Generality

    4/ Bones Terminology

    5/ Neurosystem part 1

    6/Neurophysiology  [use your book CD]

    7/ Muscles Generality and histology

    8/ Head, torso,abdomen


    10/Inferior appendages

    11/ Musles Models

    12/ muscles models 2

    1. MUSCLES TABLE    1     2     Muscle innervation

    2. BONE  MODELS REVIEW  incomplete


    1./ Selected Pasive Transport Mechanisms

    2/ Neurophysiology



    All practical question are password protected now. due to abuse and copyright, my students only will have the pass

    Students essays

    1. Essay 1
    2. Essay 2
    3. Avoiding osteomalacia Syrina Jeter-McCray
    4. scoliosis Chioma Okechukwu
    5. Vitamin ‘D’ Does the Body Good Christine Sparks
    6. Bone and Growth how much is too much?Esmat Lakhani
    7. My Face…Sierra Smith
    8. Vitamin D Fact or Fiction-Sarah Balarabe
    9. VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY MYTH OR REALITY-Sarastina Amissah-tina
    11. charles junction

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    Muscle (from Latin musculus "little mouse" ) is contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Its function is to produce force and cause motion, either locomotion or movement within internal organs. Much of muscle contraction occurs without conscious thought and is necessary for survival, like the contraction of the heart, or peristalsis (which pushes food through the digestive system). Voluntary muscle contraction is used to move the body, and can be finely controlled, like movements of the finger or gross movements like the quadriceps muscle of the thigh. There are 2 types of muscle movement, slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch movements act for a long time but not very fast, whilst fast twitch movements act quickly, but not for a very long time.

    • Agonist A muscle that causes motion.
    • AntagonistA muscle that can move the joint opposite to the movement produced by the agonist.
    • Target The primary muscle intended for exercise.
    • Synergist A muscle that assists another muscle to accomplish a movement.
    • StabilizerA muscle that contracts with no significant movement


    • Origin (b): muscle attatchment that moves least, generally more proximal.
    • Insertion (a): muscle attatchment that moves most, generally more distal.
    • Abduction: Lateral movement away from the midline of the body
    • Adduction: Medial movement toward the midline of the body
    • Circumduction: circular movement (combining flexion, extension, adduction, and abduction) with no shaft rotation
    • Extension: Straightening the joint resulting in an increase of angle
    • Eversion: Moving sole of foot away from medial plane
    • Flexion: Bending the joint resulting in a decrease of angle
    • Hyperextension: extending the joint beyond anatomical position
    • Inversion: Moving sole of foot toward medial plane
    • Pronation: Internal rotation resulting in appendage facing downward
    • Protrusion: Moving anteriorly (eg: chin out)
    • Supination: External rotation resulting in appendage facing upward
    • Retrusion: Moving posteriorly (eg: chin in)
    • Rotation: Rotary movement around the longitudinal axis of the bone

    The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms, and is sometimes called the "building block of life."Some organisms, such as bacteria, are unicellular, consisting of a single cell. Other organisms, such as humans, are multicellular. (Humans have an estimated 100 trillion or 1014 cells; a typical cell size is 10 µm; a typical cell mass is 1 nanogram.) The largest known cell is an ostrich egg.

    The cell theory, first developed in 1839 by Schleiden and Schwann, states that all organisms are composed of one or more cells. All cells come from preexisting cells. Vital functions of an organism occur within cells, and all cells contain the hereditary information necessary for regulating cell functions and for transmitting information to the next generation of cells.

    The word cell comes from the Latin cellula, a small room. The name was chosen by Robert Hooke when he compared the cork cells he saw to the small rooms monks lived in.

    [ ]

    Skeletal muscle is made up of thousands of cylindrical muscle fibers often running all the way from origin to insertion. The fibers are bound together by connective tissue through which run blood vessels and nerves.

    Each muscle fibers contains:
    • an array of myofibrils that are stacked lengthwise and run the entire length of the fiber.
    • mitochondria
    • an extensive smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER)
    • many nuclei.

    The multiple nuclei arise from the fact that each muscle fiber develops from the fusion of many cells (called myoblasts).

    The number of fibers is probably fixed early in life. This is regulated by myostatin, a cytokine that is synthesized in muscle cells (and circulates as a hormone later in life). Myostatin suppresses skeletal muscle development. Cattle and mice with inactivating mutations in their myostatin genes develop much larger muscles. Some athletes and other remarkably strong people have been found to carry one mutant myostatin gene. These discoveries have already led to the growth of an illicit market in drugs supposedly able to suppress myostatin.

    In adults, increased strength and muscle mass comes about through an increase in the thickness of the individual fibers and increase in the amount of connective tissue. In the mouse, at least, fibers increase in size by attracting more myoblasts to fuse with them. The fibers attract more myoblasts by releasing the cytokine interleukin 4 (IL-4). Anything that lowers the level of myostatin also leads to an increase in fiber size.

    Because a muscle fiber is not a single cell, its parts are often given special names such as
    • sarcolemma for plasma membrane
    • sarcoplasmic reticulum for endoplasmic reticulum
    • sarcosome for mitochondrion
    • sarcoplasm for cytoplasm
    although this tends to obscure the essential similarity in structure and function of these structures and those found in other cells

    Secretory Mechanisms

    The secretory cells can release their secretory products by one of three mechanisms.

    Merocrine secretion
    corresponds to the process of exocytosis. Vesicles open onto the surface of the cell, and the secretory product is discharged from the cell without any further loss of cell substance.
    Apocrine secretion
    designates a mechanism in which part of the apical cytoplasm of the cells is lost together with the secretory product. The continuity of the plasma membrane is restored by the fusion of the broken edges of the membrane, and the cell is able to accumulate the secretory product anew. This mechanism is used by apocrine sweat glands, the mammary glands and the prostate.
    secretion designates the breakdown and discharge of the entire secretory cell. It is only seen in the sebaceous glands of the skin.

    Anatomy (ənăt'əmē) , branch of biology concerned with the study of body structure of various organisms, including humans.

    Comparative anatomy is concerned with the structural differences of plant and animal forms.

    Gunther von Hagens, the German anatomist who created "Body Worlds," poses with one of his displays. The exhibit puts real human specimens on show, such as this one in Dallas. (Media Credit: Associated Press)Christopher Placek

    The study of similarities and differences in anatomical structures forms the basis for classification of both plants and animals. Embryology (see embryo) deals with developing plants or animals until hatching or birth (or germination, in plants); cell biology covers the internal anatomy of the cell, while histology is concerned with the study of aggregates of similarly specialized cells, called tissues. Related to anatomy is morphology, which involves comparative study of the corresponding organs in humans and animals. There are four major types of tissue present in the human body: epithelial tissue (see epithelium), muscular tissue (see muscle), connective tissue, and nervous tissue (see nervous system).

    Human anatomy is often studied by considering the individual systems that are composed of groups of tissues and organs; such systems include the skeletal system (see skeleton), muscular system, cutaneous system (see skin), circulatory system (including the lymphatic system), respiratory system (see respiration), digestive system, reproductive system, urinary system, and endocrine system. Little was known about human anatomy in ancient times because dissection, even of corpses, was widely forbidden. In the 2d cent., Galen, largely on the basis of animal dissection, made valuable contributions to the field. His work remained authoritative until the 14th and 15th cent., when a limited number of cadavers were made available to the medical schools. A better understanding of the science was soon reflected in the discoveries of Vesalius, William Harvey, and John Hunter. Various modern technologies have significantly refined the study of anatomy: X rays, CAT scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are only several of the tools used today to obtain clear, accurate representations of the inner human anatomy. In 1994, for the first time, a detailed three-dimensional map of an entire human being (an executed prisoner who volunteered his body) was made available worldwide via the Internet using data from thousands of photographs, CAT scans, and MRIs of tiny cross sections of the body.[H. Gray, Gray's Anatomy (1987).]

    Longitudinal (interhemispheric) fissure Between the cerebral hemispheres. Its floor is the corpus callosum.
    Lateral sulcus (sylvian fissure) Separates temporal lobe from frontal and parietal lobes
    Insula Landmark for underlying lentiform nucleus
    Central sulcus Landmark for primary motor and somatic sensory areas
    Frontal lobe  
        Precentral gyrus Primary motor area
        Inferior frontal gyrus Includes Broca's expressive speech area
        Prefrontal cortex Complex functions involving foresight
        Anterior cingulate cortex Memory; movement
        Premotor area Control of movement
        Supplementary motor area Initiation of movements
        Frontal eye field Saccadic eye movements (not pursuit or vergence)
    Parietal lobe  
        Postcentral gyrus Primary somatosensory area
        Superior parietal cortex Somatosensory association area; lesions cause apraxia, neglect
        Inferior parietal cortex Higher order association areas for language, calculation; lesions cause receptive aphasia
        Posterior parietal cortex Higher order association area for vision; eye-field for pursuit movements
    Occipital lobe  
        Calcarine sulcus
        (and the adjacent gyri)
    Primary visual area
        Remainder of the occipital lobe Visual association cortex
    Temporal lobe  
        Inferior and inferolateral
    Highest order visual association area, including memories of complex scenes
        Superior temporal gyrus:  
            Anterior & middle part
            of superior surface
    Primary auditory area
            Middle and posterior parts Auditory association area; also called Wernicke's area; part of the association area for language
        Parahippocampal gyrus:  
            Uncus Primary olfactory cortex
            Entorhinal area Includes primary and association cortex for olfaction. Afferents from all sensory association areas. Efferents to the hippocampus.
        Fusiform gyrus (lateral
        to collateral sulcus)
    Includes visual association cortex for remembering people's faces
        Hippocampal formation
        (subiculum, hippocampus,
        dentate gyrus etc)
    Integration of sensory experiences and formation of memories
    Medial surface of hemisphere  
        The cingulate gyrus,
        cingulate sulcus and
        parieto-occipital sulcus
        are conspicuous landmarks.
    The corpus callosum interconnects symmetrical areas of cerebral cortex of the two cerebral hemispheres



    Material links review

    Atlas of Human Anatomy in Cross Section

    Mark J. Hubley, PhD

    1. Bones links

    • Bones tables generality and specific
    • Anatomy charts Review
    • Orthopedic surgery
      The Skull Practical

    • Brain Atlas excellent



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