10
HUMAN ANATOMY
As in design, a key concept in biology is “form
follows function”—this means that the physical
structures of your body reect their specic
tasks. Anatomy is the study of these body
structures and physiology is the study of their
functions, or how your body works.
BUILDING BLOCKS
Atoms are the building blocks of matter; cells are the
building blocks of biological life. Approximately 37
trillion body cells are vibrating in your body right
now. They create four basic tissue types and 11 organ
systems. All of these parts and pieces create an
integrated whole called the human body.
CELL TO
SYSTEM
Telomeres
Telomeres are like caps on
the tips of chromosomes.
With aging, telomeres tend
to shorten. Studies on the
cutting edge of molecular
biology have shown that a
yogic lifestyle (including
asanas, meditation, social
support, and a plant-based
diet) seems to increase
telomere length, which may
have an impact on increased
longevity and health.
Atom
These chemical building blocks contain
protons, neutrons, and electrons. They
bond together to make important
molecules, such as water (H
2
O).
Cell
Cells are the smallest unit of life.
Most cells contain a nucleus in the center,
cytoplasm, and an outer layer called the
cell membrane. Small functional units
inside the cell are called organelles.
Tissue
Cells come together to form tissues, which
are like unique fabrics. This specically
shaped tissue is located in the liver.
Blood vessels
Cell membrane
is semipermeable
outer layer
Protons and
neutrons are
in the nucleus
Liver cells are
called hepatocytes
Chromosome
consists of coiled
DNA strand
Telomeres on tips
of chromosome
Electrons
surround the
nucleus
CHROMOSOME
STRAND
OF DNA
A gene is a unit of DNA
in a cell nucleus—meditation
may prevent cellular aging
and harmful gene expression
DNA contains the
information a cell needs
to function and replicate
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11
Integumentary system
The integumentary system includes hair, nails, skin and associated
structures like sweat glands. Some claim that hot yoga causes you
to “sweat out toxins.” However, your liver is responsible for such
detoxication processes. What you are actually sweating out is water,
leading to dehydration. If you sweat a lot or practice hot yoga, make
sure you drink plenty of water to replenish your losses.
SKIN
The skin has two main
layers: the epidermis
on the surface and the
dermis below, which
contains sweat glands,
blood vessels, nerves,
and hair follicles.
Human body
Organ systems
come together to
form an organism.
As a human being,
you are made up of
all of this, functioning
as a dynamic,
living whole.
Arrector pili made
of muscle tissue
Tactile nerve
made of
nervous tissue
Hair
Organ
Tissues come together to form organs,
like your liver (shown below). This large
organ receives blood from all over your
body for processing and purication. It
also makes bile, which is used to break
down fats in the digestive process.
System
Organs come together to form organ
systems, including: integumentary,
skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine,
respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic,
digestive (shown above), urinary,
and reproductive.
Digestive system
absorbs nutrients
and eliminates
waste products
Liver forms part of
the digestive system
Liver has
two lobes
Sweat
gland
Blood
vessel
Nerve
Dermis made
of connective
tissue
Epidermis made
of epithelial tissue
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