Physiology7 uses the methods of experimental science discussed later. It has many subdisciplines such as neurophysiology (physiology of the nervous system), endocrinology (physiology of hormones), and pathophys-iology (mechanisms of disease). Partly because of limitations on experimentation with humans, much of what we know about bodily function has been gained through comparative physiology, the study of how different species have solved problems of life such as water balance, respiration, and reproduction. Comparative physiology is also the basis for the development of new drugs and medical procedures. For example, a cardiac surgeon cannot practice on humans without first succeeding in animal surgery, and a vaccine cannot be used on human subjects until it has been demonstrated through animal research that it confers significant benefits without unacceptable risks.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.