Process and Produce

Processing Function

The Common Vein copyright 2007


The specialized function of a biological unit is what makes it useful to the larger biological whole.  Thus a single smooth muscle cell in the muscularis of the colon is born to contract and relax and this is its processing function.  It has to receive and process signals on its cell membrane, it has to process metabolic products in order to survive and function, and  it has to have protective mechanisms to protect it from injury and foreign invasion but it stands out in its ability to contract and relax.  And thus it goes for all biological units.  They have a specialized processing function but they have to function like any other biological unit exhibiting all functional and structural properties.  We will briefly introduce the processing aspect or specialized function of the systems in the body.

Nervous System


Among the many processing functions of the brain we have chosen an image to represent thought.  The afferent system delivers a variety of stimuli from the environment to to the individual including single events like an odor or a sound but it also delivers a progressive and cumulative message of experience that is exemplified by education for example, which becomes banked in “memory” and is brought to bear when a thought process a decsion and an an action is contemplated.

Thought before Action
A young girl caught in a pensive moment in the streets of Washington DC Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD.

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Cardiovascular System


The most unique processing function of the cardiovascular system is its function as a powerful transport system.  Within this function it has a specialised pump and specialised transporting tubes.

Wigger’ss Diagram – Isovolumetric Phase – A Pause to Build Up Volume
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Respiratory System

Gas Exchange

The most unique processing function of the respiratory system is its function to deliver oxygen to and remove carbon dioxide from the body.  Within this function it has a specialised bellows system to move the air and specialised transporting tubes that allow the air to be moved to the deepest part of the system in one brief shallow inspiration and then to clear the air in a similarly short and quiet expiration..

 Alveolus as  Filter
This drawing shows the inside of the alveolus and the relationship of the lumen to the wall. In addition the direction of exchange of gases is noted with the carbon dioxide crossing into the alveolus from the pulmonary arteriole side, and the oxygen entering the blood into the pulmonary venous side of the capillary Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD 32165 code RS pulmonary lung alveolus arteriole venule epithelium drawing gas exchange anatomy physiology histology

Gastrointestinal System

Food Processing

The most outstanding processing function of the gastrointestinal system is its ability to deliver and process food to the body and  and remove unwanted metabolic waste from the body.   Within this function it has a specialized transport system that moves the food, and a complex digestive system that enables the food to be broken down into raw materials that the body can use.

Food Processor
A collage of food from the farming to the picking packaging and the eating – Who knows what is finally in the final multifaceted complex product that has so much affect on our health – “We are what we eat!” Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD. 10376c

The food taken in is subsequently broken down into component parts and some is used for building blocks and some is used to create chemical energy exemplified by the kreb’s cycle below.

Reference Think Quest

Genitourinary System

Water and Waste

The most outstanding processing function of the urinary system is its ability to process water and nitrogenous waste.   The genital system is responsible for reproduction.

The Initial Filter – Bowman’s Capsule –  and then

Countercurrent Mechanism in the Tubes of Henle to Generate a Gradient to Recapture

Water and Excrete and Secrete Uriniferous Waste

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Reticuloendothelial System

The most outstanding processing function of the reticuloendothelial system is its ability to protect the body from unwanted pathogens and foreign material.   The blood which is a tissue that is grouped for the paracticality with the reticuloendothelial system is a medium for the transport of many of the products created by the organs and is also helpful in removing waste products.

The Spleen – Filtering Function

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Spleen Processing Aged Red Cells – Recycling the Bilirubin

71681.800 spleen red cells recycling breakdown indirect bilirubin RBC time age degenerated function process physiology splenic function da Vinci drawing modified Davidoff MD

Carbon and Metastatic Disease in Regional Lymph Nodes

This is a post mortem specimen of a lung in a patient who had primary lung carcinoma with metastatic liver disease, portal vein thrombosis, and a pulmonary infarct in the LUL. Note the white metastatic nodules in the hilar lymph nodes, which are carbon filled. Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD. a87-462 32192 code lungs pulmonary hilum lymph nodes nodule metastasis metastases primary lung grosspathology

Musculoskeletal System

The most outstanding processing function of the musculoskeletal system is its ability to transport the body which is the means with which the body interacts and connects with its environment.  It also helps the body move away from danger and hence it has protective function.

The Process of Muscle Contraction

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Processingg of Calcium Phosphate to form New Bone

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