Judith Litvin, PhD, Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine
Biology is the science of living things and one of its major sub-divisions is Zoology (the study of animals). Anatomy is the aspect of Zoology that deals with the structure of animals. Histology is the branch of Anatomy which deals with the microscopic and ultramicroscopic structure of the cells and tissues of animals.
The primary instruments used in obtaining histological information are the light and electron microscopes. Advanced research methods include use of organic dyes to stain selected structures, histochemistry, autoradiography, and immunofluorescence. Little serious biological research or clinical practice can be conducted without recourse, at some point, to information derived from histological technique, and most medical theory is based upon premises formulated by histologists or physicians acting as histologists.
The science of histology explains the anatomical basis of other important biomedical sciences, such as biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and medicine. In addition, the study of histology teaches and sharpens the arts of observation coupled with the retention and recognition of complex biological patterns. With this in mind, this entire histology course is planned with the objective of training the student to become skilled in the linkage of visual data seen in the laboratory with intellectual knowledge gained in the lecture hall. This linkage is the foundation of that semi-mystical art called diagnosis, the cornerstone of medical practice.