Guide to the Human Body

Overview

A fully illustrated guide to human anatomy, physiology and medicine.

A greater understanding of the human body is an essential part of staying healthy. Learning basic anatomy and physiology is important, but technical medical texts are generally impenetrable.

Guide to the Human Body, fully illustrated and clearly written, is an ideal reference. This new edition has been thoroughly updated to include the latest scientific developments, including...

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Paperback (Second edition, revised and updated)
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Overview

A fully illustrated guide to human anatomy, physiology and medicine.

A greater understanding of the human body is an essential part of staying healthy. Learning basic anatomy and physiology is important, but technical medical texts are generally impenetrable.

Guide to the Human Body, fully illustrated and clearly written, is an ideal reference. This new edition has been thoroughly updated to include the latest scientific developments, including sections on the brain, the male and female reproductive systems, and genes and inheritance. A concise A-Z medical encyclopedia describes over 600 medical conditions, many of which have been added or revised to include current information on timely subjects, including:

  • Skeletal and muscular systems
  • Nervous system
  • Glands and hormones
  • Cardiovascular system, tissues and organs
  • Immune system
  • Respiratory system
  • Digestive and urinary system
  • Reproductive system.

Concise, clear, up-to-date and illustrated with more than 250 colorful diagrams, Guide to the Human Body is an outstanding pocket-sized reference.

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Editorial Reviews

E-Streams - April Brazill
A well-illustrated reference book... the text is written in clear, concise language and is accompanied by colorfully detailed illustrations.
The Midwest Book Review
Plenty of books have been written about the human body; but this offer far more visual detail than most... A solid pick for high school to general interest libraries who may have either less comprehensive or less exciting competitors already on hand.
American Reference Books Annual, Volume 36 - Laurel Grotzinger
This compact volume is a colorful, illustrated, and informative guide to the complex human body... remarkably lucid and interpretive. All in all, anyone who still builds a home library would find this more than reasonably priced book an attractive addition to his or her collection, or, at the very least, a good first step in developing a search strategy to locate more sophisticated information on the anatomy and physiology of the human body.
Science Books and Films - Howard S. Pitkow
Uniquely arranged handbook which serves as a fully illustrated guide to the human body... concise and generally well written.
VOYA
The books in the Firefly Guide series are characterized by their small size, small but clear typeface, splendid color illustrations, and densely informative text. They are generally written by distinguished authorities in the field. Their low cost and the high quality of the information and of the books themselves make them well worth considering for high school libraries. Guide to the Human Body is divided into twelve major body systems, with many beautifully clear and well-chosen illustrations. What follows is a seventy-page medical encyclopedia, almost a glossary, with short entries for a wide range of topics such as abortion, blood poisoning, and even prions, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE/mad cow disease), and its human counterpart, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD). In addition, the book has several well-illustrated pages describing the way that cells work and the overall organization of the body. Despite the indisputable merits of this up-to-date little book, most school libraries might already have a great deal of the same information in the health section. The series also includes guides to the human body, global hazards, gems, fossils, flags of the world, and space. (Firefly Guides).. VOYA Codes 5Q 3P S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003, Firefly, 192p.; Index. Illus. Photos., Trade pb. Ages 15 to Adult.
—Rayna Patton
Children's Literature
This small, dense book provides a guide to the human body, as well as an A-Z medical encyclopedia describing the most common medical conditions and elements of human biology. Beginning with the biological composition of the body and proceeding through body systems, a lot of ground is covered in 111 pages of small print. While ardent students of biology may find Richard Walker's complex book valuable as a resource, other students may have a problem finding some of this text comprehensible. In many cases, it is the colorful, clear illustrations and sidebars that clarify what is discussed. For example, in explaining the hip bones, "posteriorly, each ilium articulates with the sacrum at the sacroiliac joint through which the weight of the upper body is transmitted from the backbone to the pelvic girdle," gave this reviewer, who has interest in hip structure, pause. In this example, the illustrations were of marginal help understanding the description. There also appear to be several confusing statements, such as, "The head houses the brain and major sense organs. It is supported and protected by the brain, which also forms the framework of the face." That said, this A-Z encyclopedia is a very useful resource; although some may wonder about the choices, for instance, why scabies but not sinusitis? Nonetheless, the book has a place on the reference shelf. The diagrams of cells, the body and so forth will be of interest. Supplement this with a more basic presentation of the body to merge the biological aspects with the physical. A table of contents and an index are included. An author biography is not included, except to say Walker is an award-winning author on human biology. 2004, FireflyBooks, Ages 12 up.
—Elaine Wick
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Concise but thorough, these resources provide a wealth of information. Logically organized by subject, they are then subdivided many times so that a section will not overwhelm students. Outstanding color photographs, computer graphics, diagrams, and charts further clarify the texts by showing formation, movement, or cross-sections. The texts are readable and gradually move to more academic information within each section. Factual details are presented in easy-to-read charts. The first title includes hazards not always easily found in resources: droughts, landslides, avalanches, extinctions, and diseases, to name a few. Various aspects of pollution are included so that students may see what humans are doing to the environment. The second book opens with extensive introductory material including history, various properties, and lore. Then, each gem is presented with text and charts of specific chemical properties. While most gems are discussed on a single page, some that are well known have longer articles. Students will have to use the index to locate specific stones as they are organized by chemical composition. Each chemical group is identified by a different color stripe at the top of the page to unify the section. The last title opens with introductory material on cells, tissue, and organs before moving on to each body system. The final third is devoted to a glossary defining specific body parts, diseases, and medical procedures. These titles will be heavily used.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552978795
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/15/2008
  • Series: Firefly Pocket Series
  • Edition description: Second edition, revised and updated
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,393,313
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Walker is an award-winning author on human biology. A past winner of the Aventis Junior Prize for Science Books, he is the author of Encyclopedia of the Human Body and Microscopic Life.

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Read an Excerpt

Human Body

The Structure of the Body

The human body is a living structure of incredible complexity. The purpose of this book is to describe simply yet comprehensively the anatomy (structure), physiology (function), and interdependence of the body's component parts. Throughout the book, for ease of description, specific terms are used to describe different regions of the body, and the orientation and position of the body parts. This terminology, in common usage by doctors and scientists, is explained below.

Body regions

When viewed externally, the whole body is divided into regions and areas. The head houses the brain and major sense organs. It is supported and protected by the skull, which also forms the framework of the face. The head is held upright by the muscles and bones of the neck, which connects the head to the trunk. The trunk (or torso) forms the central part of the body and has two sections: the thorax forms the upper part of the trunk and extends from the neck to the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the thorax from the abdomen, the lower part of the trunk. The terms cephalic, cervical, thoracic, and abdominal describe items found respectively, in the head, neck, thorax, or abdomen. The two upper limbs (or extremities) are each divided into three regions: the arm, forearm, and hand; the hollow just beneath the junction between the upper extremity and trunk is the axilla (or armpit). The two lower limbs (or extremities) are divided into the thigh, leg, and foot. Most organs, such as the heart and stomach, are enclosed inside one of three closed cavities within the body. Females and males have the samebody regions, but their body shapes, and internal and external reproductive organs, differ.

Orientation and direction

The terminology that describes orientation and direction assumes that the body is upright, with arms at the side, and the palms facing forward. Some terms refer to an imaginary midline, or axis, that runs vertically down the center of the body and splits it in two.

Medial means at or near to the midline, or on the inner side of it; lateral means away from the midline, or on the outer side of it. For example, the backbone is medial to the kidneys; the left eye is lateral to the bridge of the nose.

Superior means above, or towards the head or upper parts of the body; inferior means below, or towards the lower part of the body. For example, the superior vena cava is a large vein that carries blood into the heart from the upper body; the inferior vena cava does the same from the lower body.

Anterior (ventral) means towards the front of the body; posterior (dorsal) means toward the back of the body. For example, the heart is anterior to the backbone; the sacrum is posterior to the urinary bladder.

Proximal refers to something that is nearer to the point of attachment of a body part; distal means further away. The proximal end of a digit in the hand is at the knuckle, while its distal end is at the fingertip.

Superficial is used to indicate something at or near the body's surface; deep means located away from the body's surface. For instance, the skin is superficial to the skeleton, while the brain is deep to the skull.

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Table of Contents

Human body

Cells

DNA and proteins

Body organization
• tissue, organs, systems

Integumentary system
• skin, hair, nails

Skeletal system
• skeleton
• bone
• skull
• backbone
• shoulder and arm
• hip and leg
• joints

Muscular system
• muscles
• muscles and movement
• muscle contraction

Nervous system
• neurons and synapses
• brain
• spinal cord
• nerves

• autonomic nervous system
• touch and pain
• taste and smell
• eyes and vision
• ears, hearing and balance

Endocrine system
• endocrine glands and hormones
• pituitary gland

Cardiovascular system
• circulation
• heart
• blood
• blood vessels

Lymphatic system
• lymph and organs

Immune system
• lymphocytes and antibodies

Respiratory system
• airways
• lungs and gas exchange
• breathing
• larynx and speech

Digestive system
• food and nutrition
• chewing and swallowing
• stomach
• small intestine and pancreas
• large intestine
• liver and metabolism
• kidneys

Urinary system
• bladder and urination

Reproductive system
• male
• female
• fertilization and implantation
• pregnancy
• childbirth
• growth and development
• genes and inheritance

Medical Encyclopedia
• Over 600 concise definitions of medical conditions and terminology

Index

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First Chapter

Human Body The Structure of the Body

The human body is a living structure of incredible complexity. The purpose of this book is to describe simply yet comprehensively the anatomy (structure), physiology (function), and interdependence of the body's component parts. Throughout the book, for ease of description, specific terms are used to describe different regions of the body, and the orientation and position of the body parts. This terminology, in common usage by doctors and scientists, is explained below.

Body regions

When viewed externally, the whole body is divided into regions and areas. The head houses the brain and major sense organs. It is supported and protected by the skull, which also forms the framework of the face. The head is held upright by the muscles and bones of the neck, which connects the head to the trunk. The trunk (or torso) forms the central part of the body and has two sections: the thorax forms the upper part of the trunk and extends from the neck to the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the thorax from the abdomen, the lower part of the trunk. The terms cephalic, cervical, thoracic, and abdominal describe items found respectively, in the head, neck, thorax, or abdomen. The two upper limbs (or extremities) are each divided into three regions: the arm, forearm, and hand; the hollow just beneath the junction between the upper extremity and trunk is the axilla (or armpit). The two lower limbs (or extremities) are divided into the thigh, leg, and foot. Most organs, such as the heart and stomach, are enclosed inside one of three closed cavities within the body. Females and males have the same body regions, but their body shapes, and internal and external reproductive organs, differ.

Orientation and direction

The terminology that describes orientation and direction assumes that the body is upright, with arms at the side, and the palms facing forward. Some terms refer to an imaginary midline, or axis, that runs vertically down the center of the body and splits it in two.

  • Medial means at or near to the midline, or on the inner side of it; lateral means away from the midline, or on the outer side of it. For example, the backbone is medial to the kidneys; the left eye is lateral to the bridge of the nose.
  • Superior means above, or towards the head or upper parts of the body; inferior means below, or towards the lower part of the body. For example, the superior vena cava is a large vein that carries blood into the heart from the upper body; the inferior vena cava does the same from the lower body.
  • Anterior (ventral) means towards the front of the body; posterior (dorsal) means toward the back of the body. For example, the heart is anterior to the backbone; the sacrum is posterior to the urinary bladder.
  • Proximal refers to something that is nearer to the point of attachment of a body part; distal means further away. The proximal end of a digit in the hand is at the knuckle, while its distal end is at the fingertip.
  • Superficial is used to indicate something at or near the body's surface; deep means located away from the body's surface. For instance, the skin is superficial to the skeleton, while the brain is deep to the skull.

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