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The biological importance of water

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The biological importance of water Sepha Brook A17 Water is a simple molecule, yet it is fundamental to life. In active living cells, two-thirds, or often more, of the area is occupied by water, and two-thirds of the globe is covered in water. Water is therefore extremely abundant, and in biological terms it has great importance both inside cells, and externally, for example as a habitat. Every chemical reaction in the human body, and any other living thing require water. We use water to dilute poisonous waste and excrete as urine (toxins). Humans could survive a month without food but only a few days without water. Water can be referred to as the 'universal solvent' as more substances can be dissolved into it than any other. Often we need substances to be in a solution for our bodies to use, water makes this possible. ...read more.


Plants version of this is their sap. Both these mediums for transport of nutrients and such consists of mainly water and the products dissolved within. Blood allows oxygen to be transported to tissues and hormones to various organs to control them. Many reactions occur in organisms catalysed by enzymes. Water being an excellent solvent lets these reactions occur as they often need ionising. However water does not always just provide a place for reactions to take place and can itself be a reactant in a reaction, for example photosynthesis. Substances can only be absorbed in the gut when they are in a solution. Without water this would not be able to take place. When large macro-molecules of starch are broken down into simple sugars such as glucose it uses a process called condensation were water is a released product of the reaction. ...read more.


Water is essential in fertilisation, when the male sperm is released, it is carried in semen to aid its journey to the ovum to fuse and form a zygote. Sweating is an important bodily function to keep our body temperatures consistent, like it is important for plants to transpire so the roots can carry out more active uptake. The high water content of cells gives them insulation, and protects them from rapid temperature changes, thus helping to keep cells at a fairly constant optimum temperature So although water is the most abundant molecule in cells, whole organisms and on earth it is the most important to every living organism. Lack of water causes illness, weakness, poor health and slow collapse of organs, and none causes death. It is absolutely essential to any organism in the world and without water there would be nothing, it is as vital, if not more, than the sun. ...read more.

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