AQA Biology Unit B3: The Kidneys

Everything you need to know about the kidneys and kidney disease, including treatments for kidney disease for AQA B3; Triple Science.

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Biology B3: The Kidneys
Most humans have 2 kidneys ­ you only need one but the other one is there for in case the
first packs up
The kidneys have an important role in homeostasis
The three main functions of the kidneys:
o Ultrafiltration (when a high pressure is built up, squeezing water, urea, ions and sugar
into the Bowman's capsule)
o Reabsorption (when all the sugar and sufficient ions and water are reabsorbed into
the kidney. Active transport is needed for the reabsorption of ions)
o Release of Wastes (when urea and other waste substances filter through the
nephron and into the bladder, where they are released as urine. PROTEIN
MOLECULES ARE TOO LARGE TO FIT THROUGH THE MEMBRANE)
Each kidney receives blood from the aorta
The artery branches out into millions of tiny capillaries inside the kidney
Each kidney also contains about 1 million microscopic tubules which responsible for forming
urine
Transplant Dialysis
Advantages Advantages
Cost Fairly normal life
No restricted diet Readily available
Fairly normal life No risk of rejection
No restrictions that come with dialysis No immunosuppressant drugs
Disadvantages Disadvantages
Risk of Rejection Length of Dialysis sessions
Lack of donor drugs ­ amount of time you have Diet needs to be carefully controlled
to wait
Immunosuppressant Drugs
Kidneys don't last forever

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