human body

The human body is the entire structure of a human organism, and consists of a head, neck, torso, two arms and two legs. By the time the human reaches adulthood, the body consists of close to 100 trillion cells[1], the basic unit of life. These cells are organised biologically to eventually form the whole body.

Contents


Size, type and proportion

Constituents of the human body
In a normal man weighing 60 kg
Constituent Weight [2] Percent of atoms[2]
Oxygen 38.8 kg 25.5 %
Carbon 10.9 kg 9.5 %
Hydrogen 6.0 kg 63 %
Nitrogen 1.9 kg 1.4 %
Calcium 1.2 kg 0.3 %
Phosphorus 0.6 kg 0.2 %
Potassium 0.2 kg 0.06 %

The average height of an adult male human (in developed countries) is about 1.7–1.8 m (5'7" to 5'11") tall and the adult female about 1.6–1.7 m (5'2" to 5'7") tall.[citation needed] This size is firstly determined by genes and secondly by diet. Body type and body composition are influenced by postnatal factors such as diet and exercise.

Systems

The organ systems of the body include the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, endocrine system, integumentary system, urinary system, lymphatic system, immune system, respiratory system, nervous system and reproductive system.

Cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system comprises the heart, veins, arteries and capillaries. The primary function of the heart is to circulate the blood, and through the blood, oxygen and vital minerals to the tissues and organs that comprise the body. The left side of the main organ (left ventricle and left atrium) is responsible for pumping blood to all parts of the body, while the right side (right ventricle and right atrium) pumps only to the lungs for re-oxygenation of the blood.[3][4] The heart itself is divided into three layers called the endocardium, myocardium and epicardium, which vary in thickness and function.[5]

Digestive system

The digestive system provides the body's means of processing food and transforming nutrients into energy. The digestive system consists of the - buccal cavity, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine ending in the rectum and anus. These parts together are called the alimentary canal (digestive tract).

Integumentary system

The integumentary system is the largest organ system in the human body, and is responsible for protecting the body from most physical and environmental factors. The largest organ in the body, is the skin. The integument also includes appendages, primarily the sweat and sebaceous glands, hair, nails and arrectores pili (tiny muscles at the root of each hair that cause goose bumps).

Lymphatic system

The main function of the lymphatic system is to extract, transport and metabolise lymph, the fluid found in between cells. The lymphatic system is very similar to the circulatory system in terms of both its structure and its most basic function (to carry a body fluid).

Musculoskeletal system

The human musculoskeletal system consists of the human skeleton, made by bones attached to other bones with joints, and skeletal muscle attached to the skeleton by tendons.

Bones

An adult human has approximately 206 distinct bones:

Spine and vertebral column (26)
Cranium (8)
Face (14)
Hyoid bone, sternum and ribs (26)
Upper extremities (70)
Lower extremities (62)

Nervous system

The nervous system consists of cells that communicate information about an organism's surroundings and itself.

Reproductive system

Human reproduction takes place as internal fertilization by sexual intercourse. During this process, the erect penis of the male is inserted into the female's vagina until the male ejaculates semen, which contains sperm, into the female's vagina. The sperm then travels through the vagina and cervix into the uterus or fallopian tubes for fertilization of the ovum.

The human male reproductive system is a series of organs located outside the body and around the pelvic region of a male that contribute towards the reproductive process. The primary direct function of the male reproductive system is to provide the male gamete or spermatozoa for fertilization of the ovum.

The major reproductive organs of the male can be grouped into three categories. The first category is sperm production and storage. Production takes place in the testes which are housed in the temperature regulating scrotum, immature sperm then travel to the epididymis for development and storage. The second category are the ejaculatory fluid producing glands which include the seminal vesicles, prostate, and the vas deferens. The final category are those used for copulation, and deposition of the spermatozoa (sperm) within the female, these include the penis, urethra, vas deferens and Cowper's gland.

The human female reproductive system is a series of organs primarily located inside of the body and around the pelvic region of a female that contribute towards the reproductive process. The human female reproductive system contains three main parts: the vagina, which acts as the receptacle for the male's sperm, the uterus, which holds the developing fetus, and the ovaries, which produce the female's ova. The breasts are also an important reproductive organ during the parenting stage of reproduction.

The vagina meets the outside at the vulva, which also includes the labia, clitoris and urethra; during intercourse this area is lubricated by mucus secreted by the Bartholin's glands. The vagina is attached to the uterus through the cervix, while the uterus is attached to the ovaries via the fallopian tubes. At certain intervals, typically approximately every 28 days, the ovaries release an ovum, which passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus. The lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, and unfertilized ova are shed each cycle through a process known as menstruation.

References

  1. Page 21 Inside the human body: using scientific and exponential notation. Author: Greg Roza. Edition: Illustrated. Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2007. ISBN 1404233628, 9781404233621. Length: 32pages
  2. a b
  3. . U.S. National Cancer Institute. http://training.seer.cancer.gov/module_anatomy/unit7_1_cardvasc_intro.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16.  [dead link]
  4. . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. 1993. . 
  5. . SUNY Downstate Medical Center. 2008-03-08. http://ect.downstate.edu/courseware/histomanual/cardiovascular.html. Retrieved 2008-09-16.