How Structure Determines Function | Anatomy & Physiology
The relationship between structure and function is one of the major themes of biology the structure of a biological component provides insight into its function . Clarification: You would post here examples of structure-function relationships in living organisms. How specific molecules, organelles, cells. Shmoop Biology theme of Structure and Function in Cells. See how The name for these relationships are, uh, structure-function relationships. To really.
Microscopic anatomy includes cytology, the study of cells, and histology, the study of tissues.
Structure & function — Science Leadership Academy @ Center City
As the technology of microscopes has advanced, anatomists have been able to observe smaller and smaller structures of the body, from slices of large structures like the heart, to the three-dimensional structures of large molecules in the body.
This is a micrograph of nerve cells from the brain.
Regional anatomy is the study of the interrelationships of all of the structures in a specific body region, such as the abdomen. Studying regional anatomy helps us appreciate the interrelationships of body structures, such as how muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and other structures work together to serve a particular body region.
In contrast, systemic anatomy is the study of the structures that make up a discrete body system—that is, a group of structures that work together to perform a unique body function. For example, a systemic anatomical study of the muscular system would consider all of the skeletal muscles of the body.
Whereas anatomy is about structure, physiology is about function. Human physiology is the scientific study of the chemistry and physics of the structures of the body and the ways in which they work together to support the functions of life.
Homeostasis is the state of steady internal conditions maintained by living things. The study of physiology certainly includes observation, both with the naked eye and with microscopes, as well as manipulations and measurements. Current advances in physiology usually depend on carefully designed laboratory experiments that reveal the functions of the many structures and chemical compounds that make up the human body.
Like anatomists, physiologists typically specialize in a particular branch of physiology. For example, neurophysiology is the study of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves and how these work together to perform functions as complex and diverse as vision, movement, and thinking.
Physiologists may work from the organ level exploring, for example, what different parts of the brain does to the molecular level such as exploring how an electrochemical signal travels along nerves.
Form is closely related to function in all living things. For example, the thin flap of your eyelid can snap down to clear away dust particles and almost instantaneously slide back up to allow you to see again. At the microscopic level, the arrangement and function of the nerves and muscles that serve the eyelid allow for its quick action and retreat.
At a smaller level of analysis, the function of these nerves and muscles likewise relies on the interactions of specific molecules and ions. Even the three-dimensional structure of certain molecules is essential to their function. Your study of anatomy and physiology will make more sense if you continually relate the form of the structures you are studying to their function. In fact, it can be somewhat frustrating to attempt to study anatomy without an understanding of the physiology that a body structure supports.
Membranes contain large amounts of lipids, which are notoriously hydrophobic water and oil don't mix. The membrane-spanning regions of membrane proteins are typically alpha helices, made of hydrophobic amino acids.
These hydrophobic regions interact favorably with the hydrophobic lipids in the membrane, forming stable membrane structures. Hemoglobin is a soluble protein - found in the cytoplasm of red blood cells as single molecules - which bind oxygen and carry it to the tissues.
In sickle cell anemia, a mutation in the beta-globin protein of the red blood cell increases its hydrophobicity and causes the mutant protein molecules to stick to each other, avoiding the aqueous environment. Chains of hemoglobin change the shape of the red blood cell from round to a sickle shape, which causes the cells to collect in narrow blood vessels. Active site The folding of a protein allows for interactions between amino acids that may be distant from each other in the primary sequence of the protein.
In enzymes, some of these amino acids form a site in the structure that catalyzes the enzymatic reaction. This site, called the active site of the enzyme, has amino acids that bind specifically to the substrate molecule, also called a ligand Fig.
In a similar manner, certain sites in cell receptor proteins bind to specific ligand molecules that the receptor recognizes.