Medically reviewed by college of Illinois — composed by Yvette Brazier — updated on November 29, 2020

Anatomy is the identification and description that the frameworks of life things. It is a branch that biology and medicine.

You are watching: Which word comes from the greek word meaning to dissect

The research of anatomy dates back more than 2,000 years, come the old Greeks. There space three wide areas:

human anatomyanimal anatomy — zootomyplant anatomy — phytotomy

Human anatomy is the examine of the frameworks of the human being body. An understanding of anatomy is crucial to the practice of medicine and also other areas of health.

The indigenous “anatomy” comes from the Greek indigenous “ana,” an interpretation “up,” and also “tome,” an interpretation “a cutting.” Traditionally, researches of anatomy have affiliated cutting up, or dissecting, organisms.

Now, however, imaging technology can show us much around how the inside of a body works, reducing the require for dissection.

Below, learn about the two key approaches: microscope anatomy and gross, or macroscopic, anatomy.

Gross anatomy

" class="css-1lwg88w"/>Share top top PinterestImage credit: BraunS/istock .
In medicine, gross, macro, or topographical anatomy refers to the study of the organic structures the the eye have the right to see. In various other words, a human does not require a microscope to watch these features.

The study of gross anatomy may involve dissection or noninvasive methods. The aim is to collection data around the bigger structures the organs and organ systems.

In dissection, a scientist cuts open an organism — a tree or the body of a person or another pet — and examines what they uncover inside.

Endoscopy is a device for diagnosing illness, but it can also play a duty in research. It involves a scientist or doctor inserting a long, slim tube with a camera at the end into various parts that the body. By passing it with the mouth or rectum, because that example, they deserve to examine the within of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are also less invasive techniques of investigation. For example, to study the blood ship of living pets or humans, a scientist or doctor may inject an opaque dye, then usage imaging technology, such as angiography, to view the vessels the contain the dye. This reveals just how the circulatory device is working and also whether there are any kind of blockages.

MRI scans, CT scans, pet scans, X-rays, ultrasounds, and other species of imaging can also show what is happening inside a life body.

Medical and dental students also perform dissection as part of their helpful work during their studies. They may dissect human being corpses.

Human body systems

Students of pistol anatomy learn about the significant systems that the body.

There space 11 organ systems in the person body:

the endocrine system, i m sorry regulates hormone productionthe urinary systemthe reproductive systemthe integumentary system, which consists of the skin, hair, and nails, among other areas

These systems all occupational together and also depend top top each various other to function.

Microscopic anatomy, likewise known as histology, is the examine of cells and also tissues the animals, humans, and plants. This subjects room too tiny to view without a microscope.

Through microscope anatomy, world can learn about the structure of cells and also how castle relate to every other.

For example, if a person has cancer, analyzing the organization under the microscopic lense will reveal just how the cancerous cells are acting and also how they affect healthy tissue.

A researcher may use histological techniques such together sectioning and staining come tissues and cells. They might then study them under one electron or irradiate microscope.

Sectioning entails cutting tissue into really thin slices because that close examination.

The target of staining tissues and cells is to include or improve color. This provides it less complicated to recognize the specific tissues under investigation.

Histology is an important for the knowledge and advance of medicine, veterinarian medicine, biology, and other facets of life science.

Scientists usage histology for:


In to teach labs, histology slides can assist students learn around the microstructures of organic tissues.


Doctors take organization samples, or biopsies, from world who may have actually cancer or various other illnesses and also send the samples come a lab, where a histologist have the right to analyze them.

Forensic investigations

If a human being dies unexpectedly, the microscopic examine of specific biological tissues can help experts find the cause.


As in forensic investigations, experts study tissues from deceased people and animals to know the reasons of death.


Biological samples native archeological web page can provide useful data around what was happening hundreds of years ago.

People who job-related in histology laboratories are dubbed histotechnicans, histotechnologists, or histology technicians. These civilization prepare the samples for analysis. Histopathologists, likewise known together pathologists, study and also analyze the samples.

The technician will use special skills to procedure samples of organic tissues. The tissues may come from:

patients search a diagnosis suspects in a crime, if it is a forensic labthe body of a human being who has actually died

The procedure involves:

trimming samples and applying remedies to preserve themremoving any type of water, replacing it with paraffin wax, and putting the sample in a wax block to make it simpler to sliceslicing the tissue thinly and also mounting the slices ~ above slidesapplying stains to make certain parts visible

Next, a histopathologist examines the cells and also tissues and also interprets what lock see. Others can use the histopathologist’s result to decide on the ideal course of therapy or assist determine exactly how a death, illness, or crime occurred.

To come to be a histotechnologist in the joined States, a person needs certification from the American society for Clinical Pathology. They deserve to start by taking a degree that includes math, biology, and also chemistry, then acquiring onsite experience. Or, a person have the right to attend one accredited histology program. Higher qualifications are additionally available.

See more: What Is The Mass Of 1 Mole Of Fluorine Gas, Question #2E4A2

To become a pathologist, a human being usually needs a degree from a clinical school, i m sorry takes 4 year to complete, add to 3–7 years of internship and residency programs.