If we study and visualize the organization of any living system, the pattern goes on to be:
Cell → tissues → organs → System
Hence, cells in the body acts like the pillar stone for building of the entire organism. Cell when combines together forms tissue that makes different parts of the body. So, histology is the detailed study on these tissues. In scientific terms, Histology can be defined as the learning conducted on biological tissues.
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Tissues are an important part of any organism, whether its animals, plants or human beings. So, it is very important to find about the condition of tissues if any unusual changes is noticed in the body. Since, we cannot see tissue with our naked eyes and locate any of the layers; hence use of scientific instruments like simple microscope or compound microscope becomes a necessity. But only having instruments by the side and the section of tissue can never work until an individual holds proper knowledge on the inner system of the body. So, it is necessary to have good grip on this subject to understand the working and function of the tissue. Some of the major fields where the histological knowledge is used are:
Forensic science: The examinations done under forensic science are used as an evidence for any crime. So, in this process, if there is any body under examination it becomes important to see for the condition of tissues in the affected area.
Research field: Histologist works on different section of plants, animals or human tissue to locate for any possible changes or any disease that can hamper the normal life. Once, they conduct this study; the result thus obtained helps in designing all possible treatment to cure the prevalent diseases.
Archeology: When the tissue from archeological site is kept under investigation; it helps to find out about the past and compare with the changes that have taken place.
Laboratory: In medical lab, diagnosis of tissue helps to locate disease and provide possible treatment to the patient.
Educational Institute: Histology slides help students to learn about the interior structure of the body.
Beside these fields, knowledge on histology can serve in many more of the other areas that involve medicine and research.
Though a living system look well organized in simple and planned way, but once the depth study is conducted the actual complexity gets revealed. Tissues been the interior of the system have many layers that are hard to visualize without the proper knowledge on histology. Hence, people who work to prepare the biological slide or examine the tissue are called histologist.
Preparation of slide is not at all an easy procedure. Beside the practical knowledge; focus and precision are important to prepare a clear and visible slide from the obtained sample. Some of the steps involved in this process are:
Fixing: This is done in order to preserve the slide form any kind of decay.
Processing: It is the process that is done after fixing and before embedding, to dehydrate the tissue sample and clear it using the paraffin wax.
Embedding: To organization of the samples in proper block for sectioning.
Sectioning: Here microtome; a scientific instrument, is used to make the thin section of the prepared block.
Staining: Finally, the prepared sections are kept in the slide and stained properly; so that all the structures can be clearly seen under the microscope. Histological staining requires some of the important dyes like hematoxylin or eosin.
These are some of the steps used by histologist in preparation of perfect slide so that it can be easily read and diagnosed whenever required.
Though histologist have central function of making biologically important slides, but the subject is important for all the students pursuing science. The lack of knowledge on different tissue and the layers can make it difficult for students to locate different parts in given slide. In fact, whether its researchers, teachers, pathologist or doctors, apparent knowledge on this subject is equally necessary to work with the well processed sample.
Histologist serves in various fields that include teaching, histopathologist, laboratory assistant, anatomical pathologist, biomedical scientist and so on. All these area requires the participation of histologist. Though students need to struggle a little to excel in this field, but if they keep up their interest and remain stick to their goal, they can surely come up to have a successful career.
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Important topics in Histology