The Human Body: a multi-cellular organism

The human body is a multi-cellular organism which is a miraculous arrangement of complex, interactive systems. And completely unique to each and every one of us.

The first graphic documentation of the nature of cells was published in 1665 by an experimental scientist named Robert Hooke.  Micrographia is an exquisitely illustrated account of Hooke’s discovery of cells under the compound microscope which he himself designed and built. There was still so much to learn about the Life Sciences, and they were not as popular at that time as Astronomy or Physics.  But Hooke’s interpretations of what he saw through his lens would go onto change our understanding of the elementary nature of the natural world.

 

Cells: the atoms of Biology

Hooke’s remarkable illustrations give us an instant sense of the symbiotic relationship between cells. Most cells within in a multi-cellular organism are specialised. Cells, or groups of cells, are responsible for carrying out specific functions. Like specialists everywhere, they certainly have some incredible skills in one area, yet experience deficits in others. They can’t be great at everything! Therefore, the cells of multi-cellular organisms must depend on other cells in the organism for their survival.

This symbiosis is what keeps us alive, and it repeats itself throughout all levels of the human body, from the microscopic cellular level through to the macro level of our body’s organ systems.  We are truly the sum of our parts.

Introduction to Cells by Frank Gregorio

As you journey through the various rotations at the Young Scholars Project Immersive Day, you will gain a richer understanding of the complexity of the interaction between the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems. When you return to school to progress through your Biology studies, draw on your personal experiences from the Immersive day, as well as the resources housed within this site. How will you apply this newfound knowledge to study, to your life and the lives of those around you?

 References

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