Change in position of the body or of a body part; motion of an internal organ


Breakdown of food substances into simpler forms that can be absorbed and used


Reaction to a change taking place inside or outside the body


Passage of substances through membranes and into body fluids


Increase in body size without change in shape


Movement of substances from place to place in body fluids


Production of new organisms and new cells


Changing of absorbed substances into chemically different forms


Obtaining oxygen, using oxygen in releasing energy from foods, and removing carbon dioxide


Removal of wastes produced by metabolic reactions

these physical and chemical events or reactions that release and utilize energy constitute metabolism (me-tabco-lism). Table 1.1 summarizes the characteristics of life.

At the accident scene and throughout Judith R.'s hospitalization, health care workers repeatedly monitored her vital signs — observable body functions that reflect metabolic activities essential for life. Vital signs indicate that a person is alive. Assessment of vital signs includes measuring body temperature and blood pressure and monitoring rates and types of pulse and breathing movements. Absence of vital signs signifies death. A person who has died displays no spontaneous muscular movements (including those of the breathing muscles and beating heart), does not respond to stimuli (even the most painful that can be ethically applied), exhibits no reflexes (such as the knee-jerk reflex and pupillary reflexes of the eye), and generates no brain waves (demonstrated by a flat electroencephalogram, which reflects a lack of brain activity).

What are the characteristics of life?

What physical and chemical events constitute metabolism?

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