Fundamental Biology for UPSC PPT & PDF


Fundamental Biology for UPSC

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  • Biology, the study of life in all its intricacies, opens a gateway to understanding the complex systems that keep our bodies functioning. In this comprehensive exploration, we embark on a journey through various aspects of human biology, from the vital components of blood to the wonders of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory systems, and the lymphatic system.

Fundamental Biology for UPSC IAS Prelims – (PPT Lec 2)


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An In-Depth Exploration of Human Biology: Blood, Digestive & Absorption, Circulatory, and Respiratory Systems

The study of biology delves into the intricate mechanisms that govern the human body, covering a vast array of systems and functions. In this comprehensive article, we will explore key aspects of human biology, including the functions and components of blood, the digestive and absorption processes, the circulatory system with a focus on the heart and associated disorders, and the intricacies of the respiratory system. Additionally, we will delve into the lymphatic system and the fascinating development of the liver in a fetus.

I. Human Blood:

  • A. Functions of Blood: Blood serves a myriad of vital functions in the human body, including oxygen transport, nutrient delivery, waste removal, and immune system support.
  • B. Components of Blood: Human blood comprises three main components: erythrocytes (red blood cells), leucocytes (white blood cells), and thrombocytes (blood platelets).
  • C. Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells): Erythrocytes play a crucial role in oxygen transport, and their production, known as erythropoiesis, occurs in the bone marrow.
  • D. Leucocytes (White Blood Cells): White blood cells are essential for the immune system, defending the body against infections and foreign invaders.
  • E. Thrombocytes (Blood Platelets): Platelets contribute to blood clotting, preventing excessive bleeding when injuries occur.
  • F. Blood Group: Blood groups, classified based on the presence or absence of specific antigens, determine compatibility for blood transfusions.
  • G. Types of Blood Grouping: Blood groups are classified into A, B, AB, and O, with positive or negative Rh factors.
  • H. Erythroblastosis Foetalis: This condition, also known as hemolytic disease of the newborn, arises when a mother’s immune system attacks her baby’s red blood cells during pregnancy.

I. Sickle Cell Disease: An inherited blood disorder characterized by abnormal hemoglobin, leading to distorted red blood cells and potential health complications.

II. Digestive & Absorption:

  • A. Complete Process of Nutrition: The process begins with ingestion, followed by digestion in the stomach and duodenum, secretion of bile from the liver, and the role of pancreatic secretions.
  • B. Digestion in Small Intestine: The small intestine plays a critical role in digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • C. Absorption: Nutrient absorption occurs in the small intestine, facilitated by specialized structures called villi.
  • D. Contribution of Large Intestine: The large intestine primarily absorbs water and electrolytes, contributing to the formation of feces.
  • E. Function of Liver and Gall Bladder: The liver produces bile, while the gall bladder stores and releases bile to aid in fat digestion.
  • F. Functions of the Pancreas: The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes and hormones, regulating blood sugar levels.

III. Circulatory System: A. Heart: The heart is the central organ of the circulatory system, pumping blood throughout the body.

B. Disorders of the Circulatory System:

  1. Atherosclerosis: A condition characterized by the buildup of plaque in arterial walls, leading to reduced blood flow.
  2. Angina Pectoris: Chest pain resulting from reduced blood flow to the heart muscle.

IV. Respiratory System:

  • A. Human Respiratory System: The respiratory system facilitates the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, involving the lungs as the primary organs.
  • B. Transport of Oxygen & Carbon Dioxide: Oxygen is transported from the lungs to tissues via red blood cells, while carbon dioxide is transported back to the lungs for exhalation.

V. Lymphatic System:

A. Function of Lymph: Lymph, a colorless fluid, plays a crucial role in immune response, transporting white blood cells and nutrients.

B. Lymphatic System:

  1. Lymph Nodes: Small, bean-shaped structures filtering lymph and trapping pathogens.
  2. Tonsils: Lymphatic tissue preventing infections in the throat.
  3. Thymus Gland: Essential for T-cell maturation, crucial for immune function.

VI. Liver of a Fetus: The fetal liver plays a pivotal role in hematopoiesis, producing blood cells until the bone marrow takes over this function after birth.


  • Understanding the complexities of human biology is crucial for appreciating the intricacies of life. From the circulatory system’s heart to the respiratory system’s lungs and the role of lymph in immune response, each component contributes to the harmonious functioning of the human body. This article provides a comprehensive overview, shedding light on the fascinating and interconnected systems that sustain life.

Biology Unveiled: A Comprehensive Exploration of Human Anatomy and Physiology

Here’s a table :

Category Subcategory Specific Topic
Human Blood Functions of Blood Oxygen transport, nutrient delivery, immune support, waste removal
Components of Blood Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells), Leucocytes (White Blood Cells), Thrombocytes (Blood Platelets)
Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells) Transport oxygen, carbon dioxide exchange
Erythropoiesis Production of red blood cells in the bone marrow
Function of Erythrocytes Oxygen transport and gas exchange
Leucocytes (White Blood Cells) Immune system defense against infections
Thrombocytes (Blood Platelets) Blood clotting to prevent excessive bleeding
Functions of Platelets Hemostasis, clotting process
Blood Group Determined by antigens, A, B, AB, O, Rh+/-
Types of Blood Grouping A, B, AB, O, Rh positive or negative
Rh Grouping Rh factor presence or absence
Erythroblastosis Foetalis Maternal immune response against fetal red blood cells
Sickle Cell Disease Inherited disorder, abnormal hemoglobin
Digestive & Absorption Complete Process of Nutrition Ingestion, Digestion, Absorption
Ingestion Intake of food and fluids
Digestion Breakdown of food molecules
Digestion in Stomach Acidic environment, initial food breakdown
Digestion in Duodenum First part of small intestine, further breakdown
Secretion from Liver – Bile Juice Aids in fat digestion
Role of Pancreatic Secretions Enzymes for further digestion
Digestion in Small Intestine Nutrient absorption, villi structure
Absorption Uptake of nutrients in the small intestine
Contribution of Large Intestine Water and electrolyte absorption, feces formation
Function of Liver and Gall Bladder Bile production, storage, and release
Functions of the Pancreas Enzyme and hormone secretion
Circulatory System Heart Central organ, blood pumping
Disorders of Circulatory System Atherosclerosis, Angina Pectoris
Atherosclerosis Plaque buildup in arterial walls
Angina Pectoris Chest pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart
Respiratory System Human Respiratory System Oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange
Lungs Primary organs of the respiratory system
Transport of Oxygen & Carbon Dioxide Red blood cells transport oxygen, return carbon dioxide to lungs
Lymphatic System Function of Lymph Immune response, nutrient transport
Lymphatic System Network of vessels carrying lymph
Lymph Nodes Filter and trap pathogens in lymph
Tonsils Lymphatic tissue preventing throat infections
Thymus Gland Essential for T-cell maturation in immune system
Liver of a Fetus Fetal liver’s role in hematopoiesis

This table provides a structured overview of the key topics in human biology, organized by categories and subcategories.

Human Respiratory System

Here’s a table summarizing key aspects of the Human Respiratory System:

Category Subcategory Specific Topic
Human Respiratory System Lungs Primary Organs of the Respiratory System
Transport of Oxygen & Carbon Dioxide Red Blood Cells’ Role in Gas Exchange
Function of Lungs Oxygenation of Blood, Carbon Dioxide Removal
Respiratory Tract Nasal Passages, Pharynx, Larynx, Trachea, Bronchi, Bronchioles, Alveoli
Breathing Mechanism Inhalation and Exhalation Processes
Diaphragm Muscle for Breathing Control
Respiratory Control Centers Brainstem Regulation of Breathing
Gas Exchange in Alveoli Oxygen Diffusion into Blood, Carbon Dioxide Diffusion into Alveoli
Respiratory Diseases Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Pneumonia
Respiratory System Development Fetal Development, Changes in Childhood and Adulthood

This table provides a structured overview of various components and functions within the Human Respiratory System.

Types of Blood Grouping

Here’s a table summarizing the Types of Blood Grouping:

Blood Group Type Antigens Present Antibodies Present Compatible Blood Types for Transfusion
A A antigens Anti-B antibodies A, O
B B antigens Anti-A antibodies B, O
AB A and B antigens No antibodies A, B, AB, O
O No antigens Anti-A and Anti-B antibodies O only
Rh Factor Rh Antigen Present Rh Antibodies Present Compatible Rh Factors for Transfusion
Rh-positive Rh antigen present No Rh antibodies Rh-positive, Rh-negative
Rh-negative No Rh antigen Anti-Rh antibodies Rh-negative

This table outlines the major blood group types based on the presence or absence of A and B antigens, the corresponding antibodies, and the compatibility of blood types for transfusion. It also includes information on the Rh factor, which further refines blood compatibility.


Components of Blood

Here’s a table summarizing the Components of Blood:

Blood Component Description Function
Erythrocytes Red blood cells containing hemoglobin Oxygen transport, carbon dioxide removal
Leucocytes White blood cells with immune functions Defense against infections, immune system response
Thrombocytes Small cell fragments (platelets) Blood clotting, prevention of excessive bleeding
Plasma Yellowish fluid, mostly water, proteins, and ions Transport of nutrients, hormones, waste, and heat
Serum Plasma without clotting factors Contains antibodies, electrolytes, and hormones
Albumins Most abundant plasma proteins Maintains osmotic pressure, transports substances
Globulins Include antibodies and transport proteins Immune system support, transport of lipids and hormones
Fibrinogen Essential for blood clotting Forms fibrin, aiding in clot formation
Nutrients Glucose, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals Energy production, tissue growth and repair
Gases Oxygen (O2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Oxygenation of tissues, removal of carbon dioxide
Electrolytes Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate Maintenance of cell function, nerve conduction
Waste Products Urea, creatinine, bilirubin, ammonia Removal of metabolic waste from the body
Hormones Chemical messengers produced by endocrine glands Regulation of various physiological processes

This table provides an overview of the key components of blood, their descriptions, and their respective functions within the human body.

The function of the Liver and Gall Bladder

Here’s a table summarizing the Functions of the Liver and Gallbladder:

Organ Function Specific Role
Liver Metabolic Functions: – Carbohydrate metabolism: Converts glucose to glycogen for storage and vice versa.
– Lipid metabolism: Synthesizes and processes lipids.
– Protein metabolism: Converts amino acids, synthesizes and stores proteins.
Detoxification: – Breaks down and removes toxins and drugs from the blood.
Storage: – Stores glycogen, vitamins, and minerals.
Synthesis: – Produces blood-clotting proteins like fibrinogen.
– Synthesizes albumin, a plasma protein that helps maintain osmotic pressure.
Gallbladder Bile Storage: – Stores bile produced by the liver.
Bile Release: – Releases bile into the small intestine to aid in fat digestion and absorption.
Concentration: – Concentrates bile by removing water and electrolytes, making it more effective in digestion.
Regulation of Bile Release: – Controlled release of bile in response to the presence of fatty foods in the small intestine.
Assists in Digestion: – Emulsifies fats, breaking them into smaller particles for better digestion by enzymes.

This table provides an overview of the functions of the liver and gallbladder, highlighting their roles in metabolism, detoxification, storage, synthesis, and digestion.


Here’s a comprehensive table summarizing key aspects of the heart:

Heart Description
Location In the thoracic cavity, between the lungs, behind the sternum
Size Approximately the size of a closed fist
Structure Composed of four chambers: two atria and two ventricles
Pericardium The double-layered membrane surrounding the heart
Function Acts as a muscular pump for circulating blood throughout the body
Blood Circulation Pulmonary Circulation: Blood to and from the lungs for oxygenation
Systemic Circulation: Blood to and from the rest of the body for nutrient and oxygen supply
Atria (Upper Chambers) Receive blood returning to the heart
Ventricles (Lower Chambers) Pump blood out of the heart
Atrioventricular (AV) Valves Tricuspid (right side) and Bicuspid or Mitral (left side) valves
Prevent backflow of blood from the ventricles to the atria
Semilunar Valves Pulmonary (between right ventricle and pulmonary artery)
Aortic (between left ventricle and aorta)
Prevent backflow of blood from the arteries to the ventricles
Heartbeat Controlled by electrical impulses generated by the sinoatrial (SA) node
Initiates contraction, followed by the atrioventricular (AV) node
Blood Supply to the Heart Coronary arteries supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle
Cardiac Cycle The sequence of events in one complete heartbeat
Includes systole (contraction) and diastole (relaxation) phases
Heart Sounds Lub-dub sound caused by valve closure during the cardiac cycle
First sound (lub) – closing of AV valves
Second sound (dub) – closing of semilunar valves
Heart Rate Number of heartbeats per minute
Cardiac Output The volume of blood pumped by the heart per minute
Blood Pressure Force exerted by blood against the walls of the arteries
Measured in systolic (during contraction) and diastolic (during relaxation) phases
Regulation of Heart Rate Autonomic nervous system, hormones (e.g., adrenaline)
Baroreceptors and chemoreceptors play a role in maintaining homeostasis
Heart Disorders Coronary artery disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, valve disorders, etc.

This table provides a comprehensive overview of the heart, covering its anatomy, function, circulation, valves, cardiac cycle, and various factors influencing its activity.

How to do a blood test

Here’s a table summarizing the key steps involved in conducting a blood test:

Blood Test Procedure Description
1. Patient Preparation – Inform the patient about the test and its purpose
– Check if fasting is required for specific tests
– Verify any medications the patient is currently taking
2. Collection of Patient Information – Gather relevant medical history, including allergies and recent illnesses
– Record patient demographics such as age, sex, and weight
3. Informed Consent – Obtain the patient’s consent for the blood test
4. Selection of Blood Collection Site – Typically, a vein in the arm (commonly the median cubital vein) is chosen
– For specific tests, other sites such as finger or heel may be used
5. Hand Hygiene and Gloves – Wash hands thoroughly and put on disposable gloves
6. Tourniquet Application – Use a tourniquet to make the veins more visible and accessible
7. Vein Palpation – Identify a suitable vein for blood collection
– Avoid veins that are fragile, bruised, or overused
8. Disinfection of Collection Site – Clean the collection site with an antiseptic solution
9. Needle Insertion – Insert a sterile needle into the vein to draw blood
– If using a butterfly needle, attach it to a collection tube
10. Blood Collection – Allow blood to flow into the collection tube(s)
– Collect the required volume of blood for each test
11. Removal of Tourniquet – Release the tourniquet before withdrawing the needle
12. Needle Removal – Withdraw the needle gently and apply pressure to the site
– Dispose of the needle in a sharps container
13. Bandage Application – Place a sterile bandage or cotton ball on the puncture site
– Instruct the patient to apply pressure to reduce bleeding
14. Labeling of Blood Samples – Label each blood collection tube with patient details and test information
15. Sample Handling and Transport – Ensure proper handling to maintain sample integrity
– Transport samples promptly to the laboratory
16. Post-Collection Care – Monitor the patient for any adverse reactions or complications
– Provide aftercare instructions, such as avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous activities

This table outlines the systematic process of conducting a blood test, emphasizing proper patient preparation, blood collection techniques, and post-collection care to ensure accurate and reliable results.

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