histology


histology
histological /his'tl oj"i keuhl/, histologic, adj.histologically, adv.
/hi stol"euh jee/, n.
1. the branch of biology dealing with the study of tissues.
2. the structure, esp. the microscopic structure, of organic tissues.
[1840-50; HISTO- + -LOGY]

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Branch of biology concerned with the composition and structure of plant and animal tissues in relation to their specialized functions.

Its aim is to determine how tissues are organized at all structural levels, from cells and intercellular substances to organs. Histologists examine extremely thin slices of human tissue under microscopes, using dye to increase the contrast between cellular components.

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      branch of biology concerned with the composition and structure of plant and animal tissues (tissue) in relation to their specialized functions. The terms histology and microscopic anatomy are sometimes used interchangeably, but a fine distinction can be drawn between the two studies. The fundamental aim of histology is to determine how tissues are organized at all structural levels, from cells and intercellular substances to organs. Microscopic anatomy, on the other hand, deals only with tissues as they are arranged in larger entities such as organs and organ systems (e.g., circulatory and reproductive systems).

      In their investigations, histologists mainly examine quantities of tissue that have been removed from the living body; these tissues are cut into very thin, almost transparent slices using a special cutting instrument known as a microtome. These thin sections, as they are called, may then be stained with various dyes to increase the contrast between their various cellular components so that the latter can be more easily resolved using an optical microscope. Details of tissue organization that are beyond the resolving power of optical microscopes can be revealed by the electron microscope. Tissues can also be kept alive after their removal from the body by placing them in a suitable culture medium. This method is useful for cultivating (and later examining) certain types of cells and for studying embryonic organ rudiments as they continue to grow and differentiate. A special branch of histology, histochemistry, involves the chemical identification of the various substances in tissues.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Histology — His*tol o*gy, n. [Gr. isto s tissue + logy.] That branch of biological science, which treats of the minute (microscopic) structure of animal and vegetable tissues; called also {histiology}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • histology — study of organic tissues, 1847, from HISTO (Cf. histo ) + OLOGY (Cf. ology) …   Etymology dictionary

  • histology — [his täl′ə jē] n. [ HISTO + LOGY] 1. the branch of biology concerned with the microscopic study of the structure of tissues 2. the tissue structure of an organism or part, as revealed by microscopic study histologic [his΄tə läj′ik] adj.… …   English World dictionary

  • Histology — Not to be confused with Historiography. A stained histologic specimen, sandwiched between a glass microscope slide and coverslip, mounted on the stage of a light microscope …   Wikipedia

  • Histology — The study of the form of structures seen under the microscope. Also called microscopic anatomy, as opposed to gross anatomy which involves structures that can be observed with the naked eye. Traditionally, both gross anatomy and histology… …   Medical dictionary

  • histology — histologija statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Mokslas, tiriantis daugialąsčių gyvūnų audinių sandarą ir funkcijas. atitikmenys: angl. histology rus. гистология …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • histology — noun (plural gies) Etymology: French histologie, from hist + logie logy Date: circa 1847 1. a branch of anatomy that deals with the minute structure of animal and plant tissues as discernible with the microscope 2. tissue structure or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • histology — the study of tissues …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • histology — n. [Gr. histos, tissue; logos, discourse] The microscopic study of the detailed structure of the organs and tissues of organisms …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • histology — noun The study of the microscopic structure, chemical composition and function of the tissue or tissue systems of plants and animals …   Wiktionary


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