Maintaining a balance notes biology

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Maintaining a balance notes biology

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Alfred Wekelo Living cells can function only within a narrow range of such conditions as temperature, pHion concentrations, and nutrient availability, yet living organisms must survive in an environment where these and other conditions vary from hour to hour, day to day, and season to season.

Organisms therefore require mechanisms for maintaining internal stability in spite of environmental change. American physiologist Walter Cannon — named this ability homeostasis homeo means "the same" and stasis means "standing or staying". Homeostasis has become one of the most important concepts of physiology, physiological ecology, and medicine.

Most bodily functions are aimed at maintaining homeostasis, and an inability to maintain it leads to disease and often death. The human body, for example, maintains blood pH within the very narrow range of 7. A pH below this range is called acidosis and a pH above this range is alkalosis.

Either condition can be life-threatening. One can live only a few hours with a blood pH below 7.

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Yet the body's metabolism constantly produces a variety of acidic waste products that challenge its ability to maintain pH in a safe range. Body temperature also requires careful homeostatic control. On a spring or fall day in a temperate climate, the outdoor Fahrenheit temperature may range from the thirties or forties at night to the eighties in the afternoon a range of perhaps 4 to 27 degrees Celsius.

In spite of this environmental fluctuation, our core body temperature is normally Indeed, if core body temperatures goes below 33 degrees Celsius 91 degrees Fahrenheit a person is likely to die of hypothermiaand if it goes above 42 degrees Celsius degrees Fahrenheitdeath from hyperthermia is likely.

Internal conditions are not absolutely stable but fluctuate within a narrow range around an average called the set point. The set point for core body temperature, for example, is about Thus, it is more accurate to say the body maintains an internal dynamic equilibrium than to say it maintains absolute stability.

Negative Feedback and Stability The usual means of maintaining homeostasis is a general mechanism called a negative feedback loop.

Maintaining a balance notes biology

The body senses an internal change and activates mechanisms that reverse, or negate, that change. An example of negative feedback is body temperature regulation. If blood temperature rises too high, this is sensed by specialized neurons in the hypothalamus of the brain.

They signal other nerve centers, which in turn send signals to the blood vessels of the skin. As these blood vessels dilate, more blood flows close to the body surface and excess heat radiates from the body. If this is not enough to cool the body back to its set point, the brain activates sweating.

Evaporation of sweat from the skin has a strong cooling effect, as we feel when we are sweaty and stand in front of a fan. If the blood temperature falls too low, on the other hand, this is also sensed by the hypothalamus and signals are sent to the cutaneous arteries those supplying the skin to constrict them.

Warm blood is then retained deeper in the body and less heat is lost from the surface.Nerves, hormones and homeostasis State that the nervous system consists of the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nerves, and is composed of cells called neurons that can carry rapid electrical impulses.

All the notes you’ll need to study for the Maintaining. § Implementation of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science, High School.

IB Biology Notes - Nerves, hormones and homeostasis

(a) The provisions of this subchapter shall be implemented by school districts. Topic Homeostasis The Importance of homeostasis. You should be able to explain that homeostasis is the regulation of the internal conditions of a cell or organism to maintain optimum conditions for function in response to internal and external changes.

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