Homeostasis

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  • Homeostasis
    • What is homeostasis?
      • Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment in organisms.
      • It involves maintaining the chemical make-up, volume and other features of blood and tissue fluid within restricted levels.
      • Homeostasis ensures that the cells of the body are in an environment that meets their needs and allows them to function normally despite any external changes.
    • The importance of homeostasis
      • Enzymes in the body are sensitive to changes in temperature and pH, changes in these factors reduces their efficiency or may prevent them working all together.
      • Changes to the water potential of the blood and tissue fluids may cause cells to shrink and expand meaning the cells cannot operate normally.
      • Organisms with the ability to maintain a constant internal environment are more independent of the external environment.
    • Control Mechanisms
      • The set point which is the desired level at which the system operates
      • The set point is monitored by the receptor which detects any deviation from the set point, this informs the controller
      • The controller which coordinates information from various receptors and sends instructions to an appropriate effector.
      • The effector brings about the changes needed to return the system to the set point, this return normally creates a feedback loop.
      • Feedback loop informs the receptor of the changes of the system brought about by the effector.
    • Coordination of control mechanisms
      • Systems usually have many receptors and effectors. It is important to ensure that the information is analysed by the control center before an action occurs.
      • Receiving information from a number of sources allows a better degree of control.
  • It involves maintaining the chemical make-up, volume and other features of blood and tissue fluid within restricted levels.

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