Importance of water in living organisms

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  • Importance of water in living organisms
    • Osmosis
      • Maintains and changes water potentials for example in the kidney nephron
      • Reabsorption of tissue fluid
    • Homeostasis
      • Sweating decreases temperature due to high latent heat of vaporisation
      • Water allows transport of hormones to increase uptake of water and ions in the kidneys
    • Maintaining environments
      • High specific heat capacity, so acts as a temperature buffer in environments
      • Ice has a lower density than water, allowing insulation of aquatic environments
    • Photo-synthesis
      • Needed for photolysis to replace electrons for transport chain
      • Provides a medium (stroma) in which the light-independent reaction occurs
      • Transparent so allows light to penetrate into palisade cells
    • Solvent
      • Dissolves many monomers and inorganic ions
      • Allows transport
    • Transport
      • Needed for blood and tissue fluid
      • Cohesion-tension in the xylem due to hydrogen bonding
    • Gas exchange
      • Counter-current flow mechanism allows fish to live in water
      • Allows water potential difference in insects so more air is forced in due to lactate production
      • Alveoli moist, and blood contains water to transport oxygen and CO2
    • Low viscosity
      • Allows fish to swim in aquatic environments
      • Easier for animals to move in and drink
      • Less friction so increased rate of transport

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