Showing posts from June, 2008

Medical Microbiology

What does it mean?

Microbiology refers to the study of organisms that are too tiny to be seen by the naked eye. Medical microbiology thus refers to the study of these organisms in relation to humans. Perhaps those who do not have science background may find it difficult to appreciate this concept.

Once upon a time, before the microscope was invented, mankind was not able to see or to understand the existence of these organisms. With the invention of the microscope, the eye was able to sight the innumerable microorganisms and thus man was able to study them.

A microbiologist (a graduate with a degree in microbiology) is one who specializes in microbiological science. A medical doctor usually consults the microbiologist in making treatment-related decisions when there is a suspected infection.

Therefore, a clinical microbiologist has two roles:
Identify the microorganism responsible for the patient's infection. Recommend the appropriate anti-microbial agents to alleviate the infecti…

Human Biochemistry

What does it mean?

Human biochemistry is the study of chemistry in the living human body.
Molecular biology refers to the study of molecular structures particularly the correlation of genes and the functional characteristics these produce.
The story of molecular biology:
Since the beginning of the 'Human Genome Project' (genome means the complete set of genetic material in a living thing i.e. human, in our context) to map out the entire sequence of the DNA (De-oxyribo-Nucleic-Acid) of mankind, this subject has been receiving a lot of publicity. Therefore, allow me to share with u some basic knowledge of this subject.
Our body is like a map of sorts. Each cell carries with it a 'master blueprint' containing the unique characteristics of every individual being. You could equate that with the 'operating system' or 'master software' of a computer. The 'blueprint' is encoded in a molecule called 'DNA'.
Sounds confusing? Don't worry. DN…

What is Human Pathology?

What does it mean?

Pathology is the study and analysis of 'diseases'. In layman's terms, these are ailments or health problems. Medically, disease refers to the alteration of 'structure' (anatomy) or/and function (physiology) of the human body. It is like a combination of changes in the human body caused by specific factors. This could simply mean an abnormal change e.g. growth or an abnormal function e.g. high blood pressure. The correlation of these is considered pathological and pathology is the study of these changes.
There's more to pathology than this. Check out the following!
Histo-pathology refers to changes seen under the microscope. Cytology refers to the study of individual cells in order to determine the abnormality. A disease is not just any disease. Look around you, read the papers. You may observe that there can be so many causes that bring about a certain condition or ailment:
Physical Trauma e.g.: motor vehicle accidents, radiation. Chemical ag…

What is Human Physiology?

What on earth does that mean?

"Physiology' is the study of the 'functions' of the human body. For easier comprehension, the body is usually categorized using the 'systems' approach again (as in article 1):
cardiovascular system gastrointestinal systemnervous system respiratory system endocrine system urino-genital system musculo-skeletal system hematological system
You have an overview of what and where these systems are in article 1, now you will need to know the functions (why, when and how) of each of these systems.

This will be quite useful in understanding the breadth and depth of medicine. For something, which is as complicated as the human body, it is easier to divide the body (figuratively) into various parts or systems in order to understand it better.

That's like having a big cake and cutting it into pieces before we can eat it. For example an automobile has a suspension system, engine system, air-conditioning system, car-stereo system, cooling sys…

What is Human Anatomy?

"Human Anatomy" refers to the study of the human structure. Knowing the physical structure of the human body inside out is essential, especially for a surgeon.
In order to know 'where' to cut and 'what' not to cut, the poor surgeon has to know not only the external structure but also the internal structure and most importantly the relationship of one part to another. That's not easy, if you know what I mean. One needs to know as well, the meaning of specific terms. Such understanding is essential before we move on to other topics later.
Let us begin with the most basic structure of the body, the 'cells'. Since the microscope was first invented, cell studies were made possible. Simple life forms e.g. the amoeba, is a one-cell life form.
With the invention of more powerful tools, we can now studying human cells at the molecular level. Every human cell contains DNA, which is like the 'master software' of a computer system. Not only are we…


Show more