MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

290 views

Explain what is meant by 'homeostasis' and give an example of this process in the human body.

Homeostasis is the process of maintaining a constant internal environment in the body.

An example of this is maintaining the temperature of the body. Human body temperature must be maintained at 37ºC as this is the optimum temperature for human enzymes to work. High temperatures can cause dehydration and eventually death and low temperatures can cause hypothermia and lead to death therefore body temperature must be maintained constant.

The temperature of the body is regulated by the brain. The part of the brain that is involved is called the hypothalamus. It can sense the temperature of the body and then send nerve impulses down to the skin and muscles to increase or decrease heat loss.

There are a few mechanisms that the hypothalamus uses to regulate body temperature:

Firstly, if your body is too hot, sweat glands in the skin secrete sweat onto the surface of the skin. The sweat then evaporates to cause heat loss.

Secondly, the hairs on the body can be moved upright or flat by small muscles in the skin. When upright, the hairs trap warm air to warm the body up and when flat they increase heat loss.

Thirdly, there are blood vessels inside the skin which can swell (dilate) to allow more warm blood to flow nearer the skin surface. This way, heat can be transferred through the skin and away from the body to increase heat loss. Also, the blood vessels can become smaller (constrict) so that less heat is lost if the body is cold.

Lastly, your muscles also receive messages from the brain to tell them to move when cold. This causes shivering which warms the body up.

Through these mechanisms, the body temperature is kept constant, an example of homeostasis.

Oli W. A Level Biology tutor, GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Maths tutor...

6 months ago

Answered by Oli, a GCSE Biology tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

253 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Emma W.

Degree: Natural Sciences (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:Biology, Physics+ 2 more

Biology
Physics
Maths
Chemistry

“Hi! I'm Emma and I'm a second year Natural Sciences student from Durham University, which means I've studied biology, physics and maths at university level. I have a very friendly tutoring style as I believe students are most able to ...”

£18 /hr

Samantha D.

Degree: Veterinary Science (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered:Biology, Maths+ 3 more

Biology
Maths
Chemistry
.BMAT (BioMedical Admissions)
-Personal Statements-

“About Me Hello! I study Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bristol and have always loved science – even in Year 6! I have had plenty of experience; teaching Chemistry, Biology and Maths to all age groups at school having been ch...”

£24 /hr

Osama H.

Degree: Medicine (MBBS/BSc) (Bachelors) - Imperial College London University

Subjects offered:Biology, Geography+ 4 more

Biology
Geography
Chemistry
.UKCAT.
.BMAT (BioMedical Admissions)
-Personal Statements-

“Hi I'm Osama, a medical student at Imperial College London. I'm happy to help with core subjects at GCSE, and Biology and Chemistry and A-level. I am also happy to help you get that coveted place at medical school!”

About the author

Oli W.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered:Biology, Physics+ 2 more

Biology
Physics
Maths
-Medical School Preparation-

“Hi! My name is Oli and I'm currently studying medicine at the University of Birmingham. Having been keen on sciences all throughout school, I'd love to share my passion through tutoring! After carrying on all of the sciences through ...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other GCSE Biology questions

How are different species formed?

What is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic respiration?

what is the difference between mitosis and meiosis

What is the difference between breathing and respiration?

View GCSE Biology tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok