Homeostasis Homeostasis refers to the ability of all life to maintain a stable internal environment. Although we often think about homeostasis as "staying the same", the reality is that the conditions of the body normally fluctuate around a "set point ". Thus, homeostasis is the ability of an individual to return to the appropriate "set point". The major process that enables an organism to do this is negative feedback . In order to maintain homeostasis, the body needs to be able to sense that a condition has changed, know that the change is outside the allowed values, and work to bring the condition back within the allowed values. An inability to maintain homeostasis for any reason , results in illness or even death. This is because when an organism can not maintain the proper parameters , proteins begin to change shape in ways that can alter the functioning of the protein. Since proteins "do the work of the cell", this can result in altered cellular and/or organ functioning -- clearly not the best thing for an organism. In order to maintain homeostasis and perform negative feedback three primary "structures" are
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.