What is histology?

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Histology is the microscopic study of cells and tissues of plants and animals including human beings. The term histology is taken from two Greek words “histos” and “logia”. Histos refers to tissue while logia is the Greek word for knowledge. In histology, the microscopic structure of tissues and cells are being studied and documented along with the specific function of various parts. People who want to practice histology are referred to as histologists. Being part of biology, some people also specialize in this field to help study cells and tissues at their microscopic level.

Using microscopes, the structures, parts, and functions of various tissues can be studied in the field of histology. Cells and tissues are often very small at the microscopic level and so some coloring agents or dyes are often used when studying them using powerful microscopes. These dyes help scientists have a more vivid and clear view of the cell or tissue’s structure and function. Some part of the tissues for example will be highlighted with the dyes creating some kind of contrast between different parts of the tissues and/or cells. Standard templates of tissues and cells are also kept for research and documentation purposes. Most of the time, only a section of a tissue is being studied and it will be considered a representation of its other parts.

Histology involves studying the normal structures and functions of the different parts of animal or plant tissue and cells. When there are abnormalities found in any part on a microscopic level, the study now becomes histopathology. At the tissue level, manifestations and characteristics of various abnormalities and diseases may be studied and examined. In many cases, the study in histopathology can be used in making a clear diagnosis of a medical illness or disease involving animals and human beings for example. It is also through histology and histopathology that diseases and abnormalities involving plant tissue may be discovered.

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