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Human Anatomy

Explore the field of human anatomy, the study of the body’s structures. This discipline is broadly categorized into gross, or macroscopic, anatomy (the exploration of structures that can be seen with the naked eye) and microscopic anatomy (the learning of structures that must be seen with the aid of a microscope), the latter including histology (the research of the organization of tissues) and cytology (the research of cells).

The study of anatomy can be traced back thousands of years, at least to the Egyptians, but the science of anatomy as we know it today didn’t develop until much later. The development of the study of anatomy gradually built upon concepts that were understood during the time of the Greek physician Galen and slowly became a part of the traditional medical curriculum. Over time, anatomy has been characterized by a continually developing understanding of the functions of organs and structures in the body.

In the past, the study of anatomy has been accomplished through dissection, as indicated by the origins of the word “anatomy” from the Greek words “ana” (meaning up) and “tome” (meaning a cutting). In modern medicine, there are less invasive ways to research the body. Some of these include endoscopy, in which a tube with a camera is inserted through the mouth or rectum to investigate the gastrointestinal tract, or any one of several imaging technologies, including angiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or X-ray. As one of the most complex organs in the human body, the brain requires minimally invasive techniques like electroencephalogram (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Radiology is a branch of medicine that deals with diagnostic images of anatomic structures made through the use of electromagnetic radiation or sound waves and that treats disease through the use of radioactive compounds. Radiologic technologists make up the third-largest group of healthcare professionals—surpassed in number only by physicians and nurses.

Anatomists can examine a body and internal organs from a regional approach or a systemic approach. Regional anatomy is the research of the interrelationships of all the structures in a specific body region, such as the abdomen. Systemic anatomy, on the other hand, focuses on the anatomy of different organ systems; for example, a systemic study of the muscular system would examine all the skeletal muscles of the body.

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Health Issues Resources

Gale offers a product portfolio of digital products, including databases and eBooks, to support the study of human anatomy in your library or institution.

Human Anatomy Databases

Gale databases offer researchers, students, and faculty credible, up-to-date human anatomy articles, interactive diagrams, illustrations, and periodical content from a variety of human anatomy databases.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of human anatomy eBooks. Students and researchers at your library or institution can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content and reference materials.

  • A Visual Exploration of Science: A Visual Guide to Human Physiology, 1st Edition

    A Visual Exploration of Science: A Visual Guide to Human Physiology, 1st Edition

    Rosen Young Adult   | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781508186236

    Students and researchers will be fascinated by this vibrant, expansive book, available in print or eBook format, on the function of the human body and the interplay between its systems. They will learn how bones and muscles work together, how the senses function, how speech works, and so much more with the aid of full-color illustrations, diagrams, and infographics. From the basics of what makes up the human body to the complicated control center of the brain, this guide will engage readers and impart a richer understanding of their own physical forms. Perfect for students in medical school and researchers alike.

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  • Atlas of the Human Body: Central Nervous System and Vascularization, 1st Edition

    Atlas of the Human Body: Central Nervous System and Vascularization, 1st Edition

    Academic Press    | 2017 | ISBN-13: 9780128095010

    This book, available in print or eBook format, takes on a multidisciplinary approach to the technical coverage of anatomical structures and relationships. It contains surface and 3D dissection images, native and colored cross-sectional views made in different planes, MRI comparisons, demonstrations of cranial nerve origins, distribution of blood vessels by dissection, and systematic presentation of arterial distribution from the precapillary level using the methyl methacrylate injection and subsequent tissue digestion method.

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  • Comparative Anatomy and Histology: A Mouse, Rat, and Human Atlas, 2nd Edition

    Comparative Anatomy and Histology: A Mouse, Rat, and Human Atlas, 2nd Edition

    Academic Press    | 2018 | ISBN-13: 9780128138830

    This book, available in print or eBook format, is aimed at the new rodent investigator as well as medical and veterinary pathologists who need to expand their knowledge base into comparative anatomy and histology. It guides students and researchers through normal mouse and rat anatomy and histology using direct comparison to the human. The side-by-side comparison of mouse, rat, and human tissues highlights the unique biology of the rodents, which has great impact on the validation of rodent models of human disease.

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Resources to Boost Your Research

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