Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach 5th Ed. - Ch. 1

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16 May 2011
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Chapter 1 Notes
Physiology: study of the normal fning of a living organism & its component
parts, including all its chemical & physical processes
oIn contrast, anatomy is the study of STRUCTURE, w/ a lot less
emphasis on fn
o physiology and anatomy cant really be separated though, as fn of a
tissue or an organ is closely related to its structure, and the structure
presumably evolved to provide an efficient physical base for its fn
Physiological Systems
to understand the relationship b/w anatomy and physiology, we must first
look at the component parts of the human body
levels of organization of living organisms:
oAtoms Molecules Cells Tissues Organs Organ systems 
Organisms Pops of one species Ecosystem of diff species 
Biosphere
Atoms link to form molecules
Cell: smallest unit of structure capable of carrying out all life
processes
Cells are collections of molecules separated from the
external envir by a barrier called the cell (or plasma)
membrane
Simple organisms composed of only 1 cell
Complex organisms composed of many cells w/ diff
structural and fnal specializations
Tissues: collections of cells that carry out related fns
Tissues form structural and fnal units known as organs
Gps of organs integrate their fns to create organ systems
Integumentary sys: composed of the skin
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oSeparates the body’s internal environment from the
external environment (the outside world)
Musculoskeletal sys: provides support and body
movement
4 systems exchange materials b/w the internal and
external environments:
orespiratory sys: exchanges gases
odigestive sys: takes up nutrients and water and
gets rid of wastes
ourinary sys: removes excess water and waste
material
oreproductive sys: produces eggs or sperm
4 systems extend throughout the body:
ocirculatory sys: distributes materials by pumping
blood through vessels
onervous and endocrine systems: coordinate
body fns
oimmune sys: protects the internal environment
from foreign invaders
Function and Process
function and process = 2 related concepts in physiology:
ofunction of a physiological sys or event is the why’ of the sys or event
why does the sys exist & why does the event happen?
this way of thinking is known as the teleological approach
to science
ophysiological processes or mechanisms are the how of a sys
mechanistic approach to physiology examines process
Homeostasis
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How do animals survive in highly variable environments? Whats the fn that
aids in that survival?
Homeostasis: an ability that keeps internal environments relatively stable
w/ variable external environments
Extracellular fluid (ECF): the watery internal environment of multicellular
animals
oSurrounds the cells
oServes as transition b/w organisms external environment and the
intracellular fluid
oServes as a buffer zone b/w the outside world and most cells of the
body, thus its composition is kept relatively stable via complex
physiological processes
If this composition varies too much out of its normal range,
compensatory mechanisms return it to the normal state
IMORTANT CONCEPT OF HOMEOSTASIS: the body monitors its internal
state and takes action to correct disruptions that threaten its normal function
Environmental factors that affect cells:
oOsmolarity
oTemp
opH
Cells also need materials:
oNutrients
oWater
oNa
oCa
oOther inorganic ions
oO2
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