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The Biological Significance of Water.

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Introduction Water is the basis of life, without it life would not have started and would not exist. There are so many reasons for which water is of paramount importance in biology. Water is vital for many processes that are essential for life; it acts as a solvent and as a medium for living organisms. Water is essential for all organisms because it acts as a solvent and medium in diffusion, a reagent for hydrolysis. It is a support for aquatic organisms; life was first created in the sea so this is very important. Importance in all organisms Water is important in temperature regulation in most organisms. It has a high specific heat capacity so it requires a lot of energy to increase its temperature and it retains heat relatively well. This is so that the body temperature does not vary that much; this also means that the temperature of water that aquatic organisms live in will stay at a suitable level. ...read more.


Importance in plants Water is essential in osmosis, as it requires the movement of water from a region of lower concentration to a region of lower concentration of water molecules. The weak hydrogen bonds mean that the water molecules can move relatively easily. One of the reasons that this is important is for water to enter cells by osmosis causing the cytoplasm and that it is needed for turgidity of cells to support the plant. The cohesive forces between water molecules mean that it is not easily compressed so it is a great medium for support. Water is required (it is the reagent) in the photosynthesis reaction, which is also essential as it is the way it produced energy needed to live. Hydroskeletons are a type of skeleton found in many soft-bodied invertebrates, which consists of water-filled body cavities controlled by muscles. Hydroskeletons are found in echinoderms (starfish, sea urchins), annelids (earthworms), nematodes, and a number of other wormlike invertebrate phyla. ...read more.


Tears contain water, which is protection against bacteria by killing it and as does mucus by trapping it. Water can help in lubrication in: - Mucus: lubricates passage of food, colon - easy passage for faeces, penis and vagina during intercourse, used externally in some animals such as snails and earthworms to aid movement - Synovial fluid: lubricates vertebrate joints - Pleural fluid: minimizes friction between lungs and ribs during breathing - Perivisceral fluid: lubricates movement of internal organs, e.g. in peristalsis - Pericardial fluid: lubricates movement in heart Water is in amniotic fluid, which protects and supports the fetus of mammals. Water is important in secretions, most secretions include substances in aqueous solutions such as tears, digestive juices and snake venoms. The humours of the eye, both aqueous and vitreous are made up of mostly water; it helps maintain the shape of the eye because it is not easily compressed which makes it useful in supporting. Winston Wong ...read more.

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