Physiology at a Glance 3rd Edition PDF
110.9 MB PDF
Physiology is defined as ‘the scientific study of the bodily function of living organisms and their parts’. There is a natural symbiosis between function (physiology) and structure (anatomy) from which physiology emerged as a separate discipline in the late 19th century. A good understanding of anatomy and physiology is an essential prerequisite for understanding what happens when things go wrong – the structural abnormalities and pathophysiology of disease – and as such underpins all biomedical studies and medicine itself. Following a century of reductionism, where the focus of research has progressively narrowed down to the function of individual proteins and genes, there is now a resurgence in integrative physiology, as it has been realized that to make sense of developments such as the Human Genome Project we have to understand body function as an integrated whole. This is considerably more complex than just the sum of its parts because of the multiplicity of interactions involved. True understanding of the role of a single gene, for example, can only be gained when placed in the context of the whole animal, as reflected by the often unexpected effects of knock-out of single genes on the phenotype of mice.
This volume is designed as a concise guide and revision aid to core topics in physiology, and should be useful to all students following a first-year physiology course, whether they are studying single honours, biomedical sciences, nursing, medicine or dentistry. It should also be useful to those studying system-based curricula. The layout of Physiology at a Glance follows that of the other volumes in the At a Glance series, with a two-page spread for each topic (loosely corresponding to a lecture), comprising a large diagram on one page and concise explanatory text on the other. For this third edition we have extensively revised the text and figures, and some chapters have been completely replaced. The chapter on Blood has been split into two, so
that more space could be given to erythropoiesis and haemostasis, important but sometimes difficult to understand mechanisms. We have also corrected some embarrassing errors.
Physiology is a large subject, and in a book this size we cannot hope to cover anything but the core and basics. Physiology at a Glance should therefore be used primarily to assist basic understanding of key concepts and as an assistance to revision. Deeper knowledge should be gained by reference to full physiology and system textbooks, and in third-year honours programmes to original peer-reviewed papers. Students may find one or two sections of this book difficult, such as that on the physics of flow and diffusion, and such material may indeed not be included in some introductory physiology courses. However, understanding these concepts often assists in learning how body systems behave in the way they do.
In revising this third edition we have been helped immensely by constructive criticism and suggestions from our colleagues and students, and junior and senior reviewers of the last edition. We would particularly like to mention Professor Peter Jones and Dr James Bowe for kindly assisting us with revision of the endocrine and reproduction sections, and Dr Liz Andrew for assistance with the immunology. We thank all those who have given us such advice; any errors are ours and not theirs. We would also like to thank the team at Wiley-Blackwell who provided great encouragement and support throughout the project.
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