In unicellular organisms, all vital processes occur in a single cell. As the evolution of multicellular organisms has progressed, various cell groups organized into tissues and organs have taken over particular functions. In humans and other vertebrate animals, the specialized cell groups include a gastrointestinal system to digest and absorb food; a respiratory system to take up O2 and eliminate CO2; a urinary system to remove wastes; a cardiovascular system to distribute nutrients, O2, and the products of metabolism; a reproductive system to perpetuate the species; and nervous and endocrine systems to coordinate and integrate the functions of the other systems.
This book is concerned with the way these systems function and the way each contributes to the functions of the body as a whole.
In this section, general concepts and biophysical and biochemical principles that are basic to the function of all the systems are presented. In the first chapter, the focus is on review of basic biophysical and biochemical principles and the introduction of the molecular building blocks that contribute to cellular physiology. In the second chapter, a review of basic cellular morphology and physiology is presented.
In the third chapter, the process of immunity and inflammation, and their link to physiology, are considered.