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Medicine LibreTexts

1: Introduction to Physiology

  • Page ID
    9540
    • 1.1: What is Physiology?
      Physiology is a study of how animal form or structure and function sustain life and shape responses to environmental conditions. The multicellular bodies of animals consist of tissues that make up more complex organs and organ systems. The organ systems of an animal maintain homeostasis within the multicellular body.
    • 1.2: Limits of Life
      Life on Earth exists in nearly every niche on our planet. However, life forms are not equally successful in all conditions on Earth, and one challenge is to find under which conditions life can be sustained. Certainly, life on Earth is very adaptable, which has led to an immense biomass and an incredible biodiversity. Therefore, it is a challenge to find where the limits to this adaptability are.
    • 1.3: Homeostasis
      Homeostasis refers to the relatively stable state inside the body of an animal. Animal organs and organ systems constantly adjust to internal and external changes in order to maintain this steady state. The goal of homeostasis is the maintenance of equilibrium around a specific value of some aspect of the body or its cells called a set point. While there are normal fluctuations from the set point, the body’s systems will usually attempt to go back to this point.