Laboratory 1: Organization of the Body, Microscopy and Cells

Exercises: 1 – 4



There are a number of objectives in this lab. The materials in this lab are fundamental to your understanding of materials considered later in the semester. Of particular importance: anatomical terminology (Exercise 1) and microscopy skills (Exercise 3). Exercise 2 serves as an introduction to organ systems. These concepts will be considered in depth later in the semester. Exercise 4 introduces cellular anatomy and function. Although these topics are not generally included in human anatomy and physiology, understanding higher levels of organization (e.g., tissues, organs, and organ systems) assumes an understanding of the working of individual cells.


Exercise 1: Anatomical Terms

You are responsible for all materials covered in Exercise 1. These materials focus on anatomical terms.

A.        Key Concepts

1.         Distinction between biped and quadruped terminology

2.         Three-dimensional organization (i.e., body planes)


Exercise 2: Organ Systems

Exercise 2 familiarizes you with the body’s floorplan and the layout of organs and organ systems. Organs and organ systems will be examined on our human torso model (aka, Pat).


Exercise 3: Microscopy

During the semester you will be examining and studying the tissues of the body (i.e., histology). To master histology, you must first have good microscopy skills. Like any other skill, practice will be required to become proficient.

A.        Key Concepts

1.         Learn the parts of the microscope

2.         Functional properties of light microscopy (

a.         Magnification—power of the lens multiplied by the power of the objective lens

b.         Orientation—reversed (newsprint letter)

c.         Movement of the stage—objects moved away from you appear to move towards you

d.         Size of the field—field size decreases with increasing magnification (graph paper exercise)

e.         Depth perception—tissue has three-dimensions; fine adjustments of focus will permit resolution of structures at varying depths within you sample (colored thread)


Exercise 4: Anatomy of the Cell

A.        Objectives

1.         Identify and know the functions of the structures of a generalized cell including the nucleus, cytoplasm and plasma membrane as well as the organelles identified in Figure 1.

2.         Examine different types of specialized cells  (

3.         Learn the structures and mechanisms of cell replication and identify the mitotic stages under the microscope (