The Internal Compartments of the Human Body

Lesson 1, Topic 3
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The Internal Compartments of the Human Body

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Directions: Before you start, listen to part of a talk in an anatomy class.

*Vocabulary is sometimes provided in written form when it may be unfamiliar to the student but essential for understanding the lecture

the intestinal tract
cell membrane

The Internal Compartments of the Human Body - Transcript

A human body consists of trillions of cells organized in a way that maintains distinct internal compartments. These compartments keep body cells separated from external environmental threats and keep the cells moist and nourished. They also separate internal body fluids from the countless microorganisms that grow on body surfaces, including the lining of certain tracts, or passageways. The intestinal tract, for example, is home to even more bacteria cells than the total of all human cells in the body, yet these bacteria are outside the body and cannot be allowed to circulate freely inside the body.

Cells, for example, have a cell membrane (also referred to as the plasma membrane) that keeps the intracellular environment — the fluids and organelles — separate from the extracellular environment. Blood vessels keep blood inside a closed circulatory system, and nerves and muscles are wrapped in connective tissue sheaths that separate them from surrounding structures. In the chest and abdomen, a variety of internal membranes keep major organs such as the lungs, heart, and kidneys separate from others.