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With reference to specific examples and mechanisms assess the significance of homeostasis to the human body.

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  • Essay length: 1754 words
  • Submitted: 22/12/2003
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AS and A Level Exchange, Transport & Reproduction

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WITH REFERENCE TO SPECIFIC EXAMPLES AND MECHANISMS ASSESS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HOMEOSTASIS TO THE HUMAN BODY

What is homeostasis?

According to the 'Oxford Colour Medical Dictionary, Third Edition' homeostasis is the "the physiological process by which the internal systems of the body (e.g. blood pressure, body temperature, acid-base balance) are maintained at equilibrium, despite variations in the external conditions"

Homeostasis is the maintenance of a stable internal environment within tolerance limits, this is the restricted range of conditions where cellular operations effectively work at a consistent rate and maintain life.

These conditions include temperature, blood glucose levels, pupil diameter control and many more.

Homeostasis actually means 'unchanging', but that is not a true description of biological systems. DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM is a more accurate description. (1)

"An amoeba, a single celled organism, needs to be able to take in oxygen, food and nutrients and to excrete waste products. It needs a constant state of hydration and a controlled temperature for a happy life. Man is complex and multicellular but each cell has the same needs as the amoeba and we have developed complex mechanisms to provide each cell with all that it needs"

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