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Histology and Biotechnology

Histology (histos – tissue; logos –study or knowledge) is the study of cells of any organisms and their internal structure in microscopic details. Although histology was developed initially for the study of the cell structure but this became more important in the area of physiology of basic structural development from a cell into differentiated structures and organs and their functions and so on. It has become very important direct microscopic diagnostic tool in biology, pathological diagnostics and medicine. Biotechnology is the understanding molecular aspects of all life process and their applications for human benefit.

Particularly important are the contributions of biotechnology in area of human health and diseases due to deeper understanding of the underlying reasons for a pathological condition and development of appropriate drugs for the same. Histology interests me because it is a really a painting in miniature. Different dyes can be used to color different structures in a cell or a tissue. In general histological allow the development of accumulation ot disappearances of biochemical molecules in tissues which are differentiating into different discreet structures.

Such details are particularly crucial in organs which are infected with a disease. Resources Review and Discussion 1. Histology applications in solving diverse problems in this field Histology certainly got a beginning with the invention of compound microscope, F or the first in 1665 time Robert Hooke saw in his microscope that cork slices were made up of many cells. In 1906, Golgi and Cajal even were awarde the prize for their discovery of a structure in the cells later called as the Golgi Apparatus in the cells.

Thus microscope and microscopic investigations in histology and anatomy were dominant subjects of innumerable researches in all organisms. With more and more researches, many biochemical, chemical and physical principles got into this area and many more subjects with new terms such as histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation, fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy, photomicroscopy, and many others emerged. The developments in technologies related to histology are still continuing actively to improve efficiency, accuracy and resolution of the images and recording and storing them in digitized form and so on.

Histology has therefore proliferated into study of many structures and functions of many organisms. The impact is best seen in human diseases and their diagnostics. For example in cancer diagnosis is incomplete without the histological tests. The structure of cancer cells and internal parts, particularly the nuclei are distinctly different from their normal counterparts. Histology has perfectly blended with biotechnology in the area of plants and animals, particularly when organs are distorted in structures and functions due to pathogenic infections or other metabolic disorders.

In plants histology has contributed directly to the understanding of development right from zygote to mature seeds through different stages of embryos. And also how different organs such as shoots, roots, flowers, fruits, leaves are formed from a small group of similar looking cells. It has also aided in revealing how these processes are affected due to nutritional deficiencies of toxicities, or due to other plant protections chemicals and/or due to infections by pathogens.

Similarly in humans and animals also description of how histology has been used to understand and solve diverse structural and functional problems associated specifically with any disease has been amply demonstrated . Some recent example case studies or a general description a. Histology has been used in the basic classification of different kinds of tissues in animals and plants (Raven et al. , 1986) b. Using a combination of muscle cells in culture and genetic mouse models, bone experts are opening up possibilities of cell – based therapies for bone repairs (www.

chw. edu. au/research/groups/orthopaedics. htm) c. According to WHO, the most common cancer is that of lungs. A study recently confirms the significance of histology in the treatment of ‘non-small cell lung cancer’ (www. bio-medicine. org.. 2008). d. In sudden cardiac death histology has been employed for the causes (Corrado et al. , 2001) Specific kinds of techniques and brief description In a histological study, essentially there are two ways of handling a tissue – fresh or fixed.

In a fixed material the tissue to be studied is brought to a preservative such as a mixture of acetic acid, alcohol and formalin. In this solution the tissue the tissue has been found to retain its original structure until it is further processed. In order to avoid any distortions during fixations, and further time consuming processing, the tissues may also be frozen. The tissue is then impregnated with a harder material such as paraffin wax, or a resin in certain moulds, depending upon whether the material is to be used for light microscopy or electron microscopy.

These impregnated blocks are removed from the moulds and fixed to a microtome or an ultratome for cutting them micron thin or ultrathin sections for light microscopy or electron microscopy. Frozen tissues are sectioned on a cryotome. The sections are then treated for the removal of the embedding material and stained appropriately for light microscopy or electron microscopy. In general light microscopy and its modifications are routinely used in a pathological situation.

Immunohistochemistry is a modification of histology in which an antibody is used in a similar way as it is used in anormal immunological reaction. Specific proteins and sometimes other molecules are visualized in this process. Another modification is the use of biochemical related fluorescent stain. In such a process the slides are exposed to ultraviolet wavelengths to emit flurescence. Magnetic resonance imaging is another new area which is offering many more insights than the conventional techniques for digitizing, recording the data and time saving. Summary and Conclusion

In the survey of literature, it was found that in biotechnology, particularly related to human diseases, histological studies not only complement and supplement the bioscemical and physical methods of diagnoses, but also sometime provide confirmations on the absence or presence of a disease due to variations in structural details at the cellular level. It was also found that histology has been modified to suit a situation. There is therefore vast scope in this area in terms of a professional growth and satisfaction. References 1. Bulte,J. W. W. M. , van Zijl, P. C. C. M and Mori, S. 2002

Magnetic resonance microscopy and histology of the CNS A Trends Guide to Imaging Technologies ( available online). 2. Burns, E. R. , Donald, M. D. 2006. Rapid Review Histology and Cell Biology: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access (Rapid Review), Mosby. Pp. 336 3. Corrado D. , Basso C. , Thiene G. 2001. Sudden cardiac death in young people with apparently normal heart. Cardiovasc. Res. 50: 399 – 408. 4. Raven, Peter H. , Evert, Ray F. , & Eichhorn, Susan E. (1986). Biology of Plants (4th ed. ). New York: Worth Publishers. 5. www. bio-medicine. org.. 2008 6. www. chw. edu. au/research/groups/orthopaedics. ht

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