Embryology refers to the full developmental biology throughout the full life spectrum – from “pre-womb to tomb”. It offers us specific insight into the physiological development of the human body, and the links between various organs, systems and functions.

And because there are many epigenetic factors that influence our development, by understanding our specific physiology we can better understand how much our phenotype can be influenced and which epigenetic factors may be most influential.


Endocrinology studies the physiology and pathology of endocrine glands. Endocrine glands produce hormones that sustain metabolism, control sexual secondary characteristics, regulate temperature, influence behaviour, personality and mood, and many other physiological functions. Amongst most organs in the body, endocrine glands are probably the most important in relation to body shape and the quality of tissues.

For example a low function of the thyroid during development, due to lack of oligo elements or essential nutrients could influence the phenotype by changing its expression independently from the genetic makeup.


Anthropometry can be said to have started in mid-1800s when doctors were still very much in contact with ancient medicines whilst new paradigms they needed to understand were emerging. Aquilla di Giovanni, a doctor teaching at university of Bologna, created the first way of classifying people according to specific morphology. Since the 1600s, the idea of measuring and putting data together had been at the fore but it wasn’t until the 1800s that the classification of phrases, types, and evidence to back up findings came about.

In 1890 di Giovanni published the text “The Morphology of Human Body” where he explained all the correlations between the structures of the body, body shapes and certain diseases.