For an explanation, see the main splats page
The principles of respiration
- The word 'respiration' is used in two conflicting senses: to mean the breathing in of air, but also a controlled biochemical process of 'burning' fuel.
- Respiration is the process living things use to release chemical energy as they break down complex molecules in a series of controlled steps.
- In 1780 Antoine Lavoisier and Pierre-Simon de Laplace published their memoir on heat, in which they concluded that respiration is a form of combustion.
- Aerobic respiration involves the Krebs cycle, a series of carefully managed biochemical steps with standard products at each step, all controlled by enzymes.
- Respiration can be both aerobic respiration, where oxygen is brought into the reactions and anaerobic respiration, where oxygen is not involved.
- Of the two, aerobic respiration is more efficient than anaerobic respiration, because it produces more ATP from a given amount of starting material.
- While both aerobic and anaerobic respiration produce adenosine triphosphate as the energy product, the two processes generate different end products.
- Animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide and that is a by-product of aerobic respiration. Water is also produced and absorbed.
- Respiration is controlled by enzymes which are protein catalysts produced under the control of genes: if these fail to operate correctly, the organism dies.
- Respiration has standard forms in all living things, with only minor differences, because the controlling enzymes have been conserved throughout evolution.
- Most of the energy generated by both aerobic and anaerobic respiration is used to convert adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
- Animals use force to move and to live, and muscles are used to provide the forces needed to catch, swallow and digest food, to breathe and maintain blood flow.
- Muscles require energy from respiration, and that means they require a good blood supply: exercise ensures the development of blood supply to muscles.
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