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Each person must constantly adjust his internal physiology to the changing conditions of his immediate environment in order to remain alive. He acquires energy from his food and loses energy in radiated heat, muscular effort, metabolic processes, excretion, growth, and in other ways.
Regulatory mechanisms within the body operate to maintain the body temperature at its optimum level. Other physiological mechanisms regulate the concentration within the body tissues of water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, sodium chloride, sugar, and all the other chemicals which are essential for life. The sense organs, nervous system, and locomotor apparatus enable each individual to secure food, avoid enemies, find friends, and reach or remain in situations which are suitable for his survival. A dynamic equilibrium is thus maintained between the internal physiology of every individual and the conditions of his habitat.
Of all foodstuffs, carbohydrates are used the most for energy sources by organisms. Glucose is perhaps the most important of all carbohydrates. Sucrose is found in all photosynthetic plants, and is probably the chief low-molecular weight carbohydrate in the natural diet of animals. Lactose occurs in the milk of mammals. Starches occur abundantly in many plant tissues.
In the mammal, glucose must be considered as the form in which carbohydrate is transported through the blood, from one part of the body to another. The liver is the site of regulation of blood glucose levels, and can either remove excess glucose or add glucose, from or to the blood.
The neurophysiological doctrine proposes that the neurons of the nervous system are discontinuous and made up of discrete cellular units. The electron microscope enabled us to observe the synapse (of 10 to the minus eight power of a metre) between nerve cells.
In gradient theory, there is a gradient in carbohydrate and protein metabolisms, with carbohydrate being greater at the animal, and protein greater at the vegetal regions. The animal pole is electronegative to, and more alkaline than the vegetal pole. Differences in rate of cell division, permeability, susceptibility to certain poisons and yolk distribution, etc., all contribute to (or are the result of) the phenomenon of polarity. The animal (apical) region possesses greater physiological activity and is able to dominate or control regions of less activity which grade away from it. (Note: Gradient theory was originally based upon echinoderm research).
Molecular diffusion, in a solution, is the movement of molecules from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration: This will occur until the entropy of the system is at a maximum. Dispersion and diffusion phenomena are invariably direct or indirect manifestations of the second law of thermodynamics ... that is, the law of entropy.
Chromosomes consist, chemically, of two kinds of nucleic acids ... that is, deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid, together with two main types of proteins, histones or protomines and a tryptophane rich protein. Chromosomes float in the cell's nuclear sap, surrounded by the nuclear membrane, which separates the nucleus from the rest of the cell, or cytoplasm.
The endocrine system is a system of chemical regulators, which is interconnected with the nervous system. The endocrine system includes, inter alia, the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the parathyroid glands, the Langerhans pancreatic islets, portions of the gastrointestinal mucosa, the adrenal glands, the gonads, and the placenta.
Enzymes are proteins which have catalytic properties, due to their powers of specific activation. They determine the particular chemical reactions which make up the complex metabolic pattern of a living organism.
The hormone thyroxin, produced by the thyroid gland, is the effective factor in the initiation of the metamorphic process. Iodine is essential to the synthesis of thyroxin and treatment with this substance alone can induce precocious metamorphosis in tadpoles. Metamorphosis will fail to occur in the absence of sufficient iodine. The processes of metamorphosis are under the control of a pituitary-thyroid axis.
Proteins are the principal nitrogenous components of all plant and animal tissues. They constitute the essential chemical features of both the protoplasm and the nucleus of cells and, furthermore, they constitute enzymes, certain hormones, and antibodies; they are also important for maintaining osmotic relations between intracellular and extracellular fluids and for the actual stabilisation of serum.
The proteins are large, complex organic molecules which consist of amino-acids linked together in peptide bonds. During digestion, these large molecules are enzymatically reduced to their amino-acid components ... and these smaller components are then absorbed into the circulation.
The germination of a viable seed will occur provided there are present water, oxygen, a suitable temperature (about 25-30 degrees C, usually) and light, although this last is not required by many seeds.
Autotrophic bacteria can acquire energy from the oxidation of simple inorganic compounds (for instance, some can obtain energy by oxidation by molecular hydrogen ... and others can obtain their energy by oxidising hydrogen sulphide, sulphur, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite or ferrous salts). All such micro-organisms have in common a series of oxidative-reductive reactions, for the generation of energy-rich phosphate bonds.
Plankton comprises the bulk of all aquatic living matter, and the plants (phytoplankton) are the producers and animals (zooplankton) are the consumers. Directly or indirectly, all high seas animal life is dependent on phytoplankton productivity in the upper layer which is reached and affected by sunlight.
As to carbon-dating, carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by the bombardment of nitrogen-14 with neutrons derived from primary cosmic radiation. The radioactive carbon produced in this reaction is quickly converted to carbon dioxide and enters the biosphere by the uptake of carbon dioxide by photo-synthetic organisms. Animals in turn incorporate radiocarbon into their tissues by eating the plants. When organisms die, there is no further exchange with atmospheric radiocarbon. In approximately 5568 years, only half of the carbon-14 originally present in the tissues will remain, and after another 5568 years, this will again be reduced by one half, to one quarter, and so on.
All of creation is biological: All of creation is alive. Some bacteria are as much inorganic as organic, and the distinction between inorganic and organic matter becomes indefinable at the micro-interface.
Primate grooming was soothing and tended to relieve or abate tension. Soothing and titillating language is probably a partial substitute for grooming, in modern times. Music performs a similar function, but lacks tactile contact. Other grooming substitutes include hugging; kissing; close dancing; having one's hair dressed; having a massage; being towelled after a sauna or bath ... and any friendly hands-on, tactile contact with others. Dreams, involving tactile contact, may also be perceived as grooming substitutes. Grooming substitutes probably increase the happiness of those experiencing them.
INDEX to the Network Propositions
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