Home Science & Technology What is homeostasis? | Living science

What is homeostasis? | Living science


Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a relatively stable internal state that persists despite changes in the external world. All living organisms, from plants to puppies to humans, must regulate their internal environment in order to process energy and ultimately survive. If your blood pressure skyrockets or the body temperature for example, your organ systems may struggle to do their jobs and eventually fail.

Why is homeostasis important?

Physiologist Walter Cannon coined the term homeostasis in the 1920s, expanding on earlier work by the late physiologist Claude Bernard. In the 1870s, Bernard described how complex organisms must maintain equilibrium in their internal environment, or “internal milieu.”, to lead a “free and independent life” in the world abroad. Cannon honed the concept and introduced homeostasis to a popular audience through his book The Wisdom of the Body (British Medical Journal, 1932).

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