Histology, microscopy, anatomy and disease
Histology, microscopy, anatomy and disease

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Histology, microscopy, anatomy and disease

Week 1: Histology


Welcome to this Open University course on histology. This course is designed for students studying human biology at school or university, medical laboratory scientists and anyone interested in biomedical science.

Histology is the study of tissues and their structure, and histopathology labs are found in most hospitals. In the course you will see a histology department in action and discover how histological slides are produced.

Watch the following video in which David Male describes what you’ll be learning about over the next four weeks.

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Hello, I'm David Male and welcome to this course on histology and histopathology, the study of tissues and diseases underneath the microscope. In the first part of the course, we are going to introduce you to microscopy and teach you how to use a microscope. A lot of what we will do is taught through a virtual microscope which emulates many of the functions of a real microscope.
We have a very large collection of tissue sections, which we've obtained from different universities and hospital departments, showing both normal structures and disease structures. We'll be showing you what happens in histopathology department in a hospital, as well. Then we'll be showing you how to calibrate a microscope and obtain images from it.
Later on, we'll show you how to examine blood smears and to do a differential leukocyte count. Leukocytes are white blood cells and they're involved in protection and combating infection in the body.
By the end of the week, you should be confident in using a microscope, knowing how the controls work, and be able to recognise the different types of cell in a blood smear, and whether they are normal or abnormal.
End transcript
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David has been a Professor of Biology at the OU since 1999, and has a particular interest in the use of technology for teaching science. You will have a chance to experience one such approach during the course, by using a virtual microscope to examine a number of biomedical samples, just as scientists and medical professionals would explore such samples in a lab.

Before you start, The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. Your input will help to further improve the online learning experience. If you’d like to help, and if you haven't done so already, please fill in this optional survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .


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