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Biology LibreTexts

10: Introduction to the Human Body

  • Page ID
    16780
  • This chapter outlines the organization of the human body and describes human cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and body cavities. It also explains how organ systems interact and how feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis in the body.

    • 10.1: Case Study: Getting to Know Your Body
      Looking at the photo of a football game above, you can see why it is so important that the players wear helmets. Football often involves forceful impact to the head as players tackle each other. This can cause damage to the brain - either temporarily as in the case of a concussion, or long-term and more severe types of damage. Helmets are critical to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), but they do not fully prevent them.
    • 10.2: Organization of the Body
      This six-legged robot was created for research, but it looks like it might be fun to play with. It's obviously a complex machine. Think about some other, more familiar machines, such as power drills, washing machines, and lawn mowers. Each machine consists of many parts, and each part does a specific job, yet all the parts work together to perform certain functions.
    • 10.3: Human Cells and Tissues
      This photo looks like a close-up of an old-fashioned dust mop, and the object it shows has a somewhat similar function. However, the object is greatly enlarged in the photo. Can you guess what it is? The answer may surprise you.
    • 10.4: Human Organs and Organ Systems
      An organ is a collection of tissues joined in a structural unit to serve a common function. Organs exist in most multicellular organisms, including not only humans and other animals but also plants. In single-celled organisms such as bacteria, the functional equivalent of an organ is an organelle.
    • 10.5: Human Body Cavities
      The human body, like that of many other multicellular organisms, is divided into a number of body cavities. A body cavity is a fluid-filled space inside the body that holds and protects internal organs. Human body cavities are separated by membranes and other structures. The two largest human body cavities are the ventral cavity and dorsal cavity. These two body cavities are subdivided into smaller body cavities.
    • 10.6: Interaction of Organ Systems
      Communication among organ systems is vital if they are to work together as a team. They must be able to respond to each other and change their responses as needed to keep the body in balance. Communication among organ systems is controlled mainly by the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system.
    • 10.7: Homeostasis and Feedback
      Homeostasis is the condition in which a system such as the human body is maintained in a more-or-less steady state. It is the job of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems throughout the body to maintain many different variables within narrow ranges that are compatible with life. Keeping a stable internal environment requires continually monitoring the internal environment and constantly making adjustments to keep things in balance.
    • 10.8: Case Study - Pressure Conclusion and Chapter Summary
      As you learned in this chapter, the human body consists of many complex systems that normally work together efficiently like a well-oiled machine to carry out life's functions.