What is Cell Homeostasis ?

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Offline bethmccaffrey

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What is Cell Homeostasis ?
« on: 29/04/2003 21:49:36 »
Why is homeostasis important to the cell!!?? How does it effect the different cell organelles? HELP!!!![?]


Offline NakedScientist

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Re: What is Cell Homeostasis ?
« Reply #1 on: 29/04/2003 23:04:36 »
You can best answer this question by defining what homeostasis means which is, quite literally, staying the same. Cells are essentially factories which strictly maintain their intracellular environment so that conditions remain optimal for the manufacturing and processing tasks that take place within. Many cellular enzymes require a specific pH in order to function correctly - any departure from the ideal leads to a loss of activity with potentially harmful effects.

For example, muscle cells carefully regulate the levels of calcium in the cell because this is used to trigger a contraction. In the same way cells keep sodium ions (Na+) out of the cell and potassium ions (K+) in to maintain a net negative intracellular charge. Altering this 'membrane potential' transiently allows nerve cells to convey information very rapidly, in the form of action potentials, along their axons at speeds of up to 120 metres per second.

At a structural level nerve cells are designed to connect one part of the nervous system to the other and to carry out complex processing, calculating and memory tasks by forming very specific connections with other cells. Maintaining the integrity of connections like these is critical to the survival of your long-term memories.