Homeostasis is an essential property that allows organisms to maintain their essential everyday fu

Homeostasis is an essential property that allows organisms to maintain their essential everyday fu

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Homeostasis is an essential property that allows organisms to carry out their essential, everyday functions. Homeostasis is properly defined as the regulation of the internal environment to maintain a stable/constant condition. This condition is not really constant, but rather, an equilibrium exists such that chemicals can move in or out of cells in equivalent amounts. If this does not occur, many disorders can occur which include acidosis, which is `n unsafe drop in the pH of the body (<7.4).For example, if one ingested something that was quite basic or acidic, our bodies would adjust to that change with a buffer, which is a solution that minimizes the effects of an acidic/basic species. The most important buffer mechanism (equilibrium reaction) in our body is shown below: H + (aq) + HCO 3 - (aq) <=> H 2 CO 3 (aq) <=> CO 2 (g) + H 2 O(l) . In this reaction, the
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Unformatted text preview: bicarbonate ion reacts with H+ to create is conjugate acid and water. In our bodies, exercise increases the concentration of H+ and CO 2 and this mechanism above is utilized when we exercise (blood cells exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide and protons in the muscles). These mechanisms will try to stabilize the pH to normal by lowering it as quickly as possible. However, a high heart rate (which comes along with exercise) does not benefit us for it hinders CO 2 removal and keeps our bodies at unsafe pH levels. To cope with stress, the body uses the lungs to remove excess CO 2 and the kidneys remove excess HCO 3-. In summation, our body has been evolutionally tweaked for millions of years so that systems such as homeostasis and buffers are refined and improved so that they work for us as flawlessly as possible....
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course CHEM 14BL taught by Professor Pang during the Spring '07 term at UCLA.

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