Breathing vs. Respiration
- Respiration is the process of gaseous exchange in an organism.
- Respiration at a cellular level, however, refers to the burning of food to obtain energy.
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- Breathing is the process of taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide by the organism.
- Every organism has their own methods to breath.
- In humans, it is done by the lungs.
- In organisms like fishes, it is done by gills.
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Process of respiration
- The oxygen in the lungs is taken up by the blood.
- This oxygen is then transported to all parts of the body.
- Blood gives up oxygen to the cells and takes up carbon dioxide, which is sent back to the lungs.
- Diffusion is the process of movement of molecules from the area of its lower concentration to the area of its higher concentration without any application of energy.
- Diffusion is what happens when you put a drop of ink in water and it slowly mixes with the water uniformly.
- The same principle is used for the exchange of gases (breathing) in the animals.
- When the cells obtain oxygen from blood, they use up this oxygen to burn the food.
- Burning of food releases energy which is stored in the form of ATP.
- Thus respiration at the cellular level is burning of food using oxygen to get energy.
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Aerobic vs. Anaerobic
The type of respiration in which organisms use oxygen for burning food inside the cell is called aerobic respiration.
Respiration in a cell in the absence of oxygen is called anaerobic respiration.
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How Do We Breathe?
Components of the respiratory system in humans
The respiratory system of the humans have several parts; Nasal chamber, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, diaphragm.
The process of respiration in humans
- Respiration in humans starts with the breathing of air through the nose leading to the oxygen to be transferred into the bloodstream by the lungs.
- This oxygen is delivered to all the cells, which uses them to burn glucose and generate energy.
Respiration in other organisms
- Respiration in other organisms is carried out by special organs.
- Frogs and earthworm use their moist skin, fishes use gills and insects have spiracles.
Gaseous exchange in plants
- Gaseous exchange in plants occurs through stomata in leaves and through root hair in roots.
- The woody stems of plants have lenticels too for the exchange of respiratory gases.