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Biology: What is homeostasis?

The word homeostasis come from the ancient Greek, and it’s the union of the two words homeo and stasis. Homois means “similar”, and stasis means “staying still”, which gives the idea of “staying the same”. The human body consists of millions of cells working together to maintain the whole organism, and whereas the cells have different functions they all require the same metabolic requirements. To ensure the survival of the cells in the human body, oxygen, glucose, minerals, and waste removals are necessary; as well as maintaining a constant internal environment, in order to ensure the well-being of the single cells and the entire body (BBC, 2011). Homeostasis like the etymology suggest is the process by which the systems in the body regulates its internal environment. Homeostasis is the attempt from the human body to maintain a constant and stable internal environment, and in order to do so it needs a constant monitoring and adjustments as a condition changes. Homeostasis is very important because processes like osmosis or diffusion needs a stable and controlled environment, in order to be successful, whereas is the wrong condition of the internal environment, even a simple process can go wrong (My Tutor, 2017). The human body relies on a series of negative feedbacks, in order to adjust, limit fluctuations, and maintain a good internal environment. Negative feedback is the action of reversing the direction of a change, with the intent of maintaining stability, reason why it’s used in homeostasis. An example of negative feedback occurs in thermoregulation. When the temperature of the body increases, the skin receptors senses the change, together with the hypothalamus, and trigger a command from the brain. This command will correct the change, by telling the sweat glands to decrease the body temperature level by sweating. This adjustment made by each single system constantly, it’s called homeostasis regulation. This regulation is mainly formed by three mechanism: receptor, control centre, and effector. The receptor senses the change in the environment, whereas the control centre process the information received by the receptor. Finally the effector carries out the information received from the control centre, by decreasing or increasing the stimulus. In the example of the thermoregulation in the human body, the temperature receptors in the skin are the receptors, the hypothalamus and the brain in general are the control centre, and the blood vessels together with the sweat gland are the effectors.

Homeostasis is the process in which all the systems in the human body, even seemingly unrelated, work together to maintain balance, stability, and a good internal environment. The circulatory system, is a good example of how the systems work together for constantly. The hearth in the circulatory system, pumps blood through the blood vessels to the entire body, delivering nutrient collected from the digestive system, oxygen from collected the respiratory system, and hormones collected from the endocrine system. Seemingly it collects the waste products produced by each single cell of the body, and deliver it to the exocrine system or the excretory system. The brain and the nervous system constantly receive fresh oxygen from the circulatory system, and in exchange they make the hearth beat, regulate the heath rate, and the blood pressure. The respiratory system relay on the blood vessels to collect and deliver the oxygen inhaled, meanwhile the muscles of the hearth relay on the lungs to provide oxygen in order to function. The excretory system is expected to remove the waste product from the body, that’s why it’s constantly provided with oxygen-rich blood (Revere Health, 2016).

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