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Brits are clueless when it comes to basic biology – with more than half unable pinpoint the correct location of their heart, it has emerged. A study of 2,000 Brits found we aren’t too sharp when it comes to knowing how much blood we have, how many teeth are in our mouths or what roles our vital organs perform.
Many were unable to say what our correct body temperature should be, while nearly one in ten were unsure of the number of kidneys we have.
Additionally the study found six in ten people couldn’t even name their own blood type.
“It seems we have a depressing lack of anatomical awareness. Perhaps we have a tendency to rely on medical authorities to do all they can for us without really understanding the way that we work.
“We are reassured by expertise and don’t take the time to understand the basics of how our own bodies function or are structured.
“The Museum of London’s new exhibition, Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men explores the extreme lengths nineteenth century medical pioneers went to to increase anatomical understanding. Surgeons faced a torturous dilemma: learn their skills on stolen corpses or practice on a living patient.
“And so began a gruesome trade. Body-snatchers stalked the city’s graveyards to supply fresh corpses for medical dissection. It is therefore sobering to consider our less than exemplary knowledge of basic biology.”
The study found just half of those polled could correctly identify the heart’s location in the left-centre of the chest, while three quarters were stumped when it came to guessing how many bones are in the adult human body (206).
Nearly half were unsure as to how many teeth we have (32) while four in ten haven’t a clue where their kidney is located.
More than half couldn’t tell you where their gallbladder can be found and one in thirteen people didn’t know how many kidneys we have.
Worryingly, six in ten Brits didn’t even know their own blood type.
A third of people could correctly state that the average adult has between five and six litres of blood, while nearly a fifth of Brits (18%) thought a ‘visor’ was a type of tooth.
Three quarters of the study didn’t know that the liver is our biggest internal organ, with four in ten thinking a single lung was of greater size.
Nearly half the study couldn’t get anywhere near to guessing the healthy temperature of the human body (37C).
Jelena Bekvalac added:
“Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men will provide a fascinating insight into a crucial period in our medical and social history.
“It may also help those who are a little confused by their own anatomy.”