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CO 2  + H 2 O H 2 CO 3 (carbonic acid)   HCO 3  + H + (bicarbonate)  

The benefit of the bicarbonate buffer system is that carbon dioxide is “soaked up” into the blood with little change to the pH of the system. This is important because it takes only a small change in the overall pH of the body for severe injury or death to result. The presence of this bicarbonate buffer system also allows for people to travel and live at high altitudes: When the partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide change at high altitudes, the bicarbonate buffer system adjusts to regulate carbon dioxide while maintaining the correct pH in the body.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

While carbon dioxide can readily associate and dissociate from hemoglobin, other molecules such as carbon monoxide (CO) cannot. Carbon monoxide has a greater affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen. Therefore, when carbon monoxide is present, it binds to hemoglobin preferentially over oxygen. As a result, oxygen cannot bind to hemoglobin, so very little oxygen is transported through the body ( [link] ). Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas and is therefore difficult to detect. It is produced by gas-powered vehicles and tools. Carbon monoxide can cause headaches, confusion, and nausea; long-term exposure can cause brain damage or death. Administering 100 percent (pure) oxygen is the usual treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning. Administration of pure oxygen speeds up the separation of carbon monoxide from hemoglobin.

 Percent oxygen saturation of hemoglobin at an oxygen pressure of 100 millimeters of mercury decreases as percent carbon monoxide increases. In the absence of carbon monoxide, hemoglobin is 98 percent saturated with oxygen. At twenty percent carbon monoxide, hemoglobin is 77 percent  saturated with oxygen.  At forty percent carbon monoxide, hemoglobin is 68 percent saturated with oxygen. At sixty percent carbon monoxide, hemoglobin is 40 percent saturated with oxygen. At eighty percent carbon monoxide, hemoglobin is 20 percent saturated with oxygen.
As percent CO increases, the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin decreases.

Section summary

Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that is comprised of two alpha and two beta subunits that surround an iron-containing heme group. Oxygen readily binds this heme group. The ability of oxygen to bind increases as more oxygen molecules are bound to heme. Disease states and altered conditions in the body can affect the binding ability of oxygen, and increase or decrease its ability to dissociate from hemoglobin.

Carbon dioxide can be transported through the blood via three methods. It is dissolved directly in the blood, bound to plasma proteins or hemoglobin, or converted into bicarbonate. The majority of carbon dioxide is transported as part of the bicarbonate system. Carbon dioxide diffuses into red blood cells. Inside, carbonic anhydrase converts carbon dioxide into carbonic acid (H 2 CO 3 ), which is subsequently hydrolyzed into bicarbonate (HCO 3 ) and H + . The H + ion binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells, and bicarbonate is transported out of the red blood cells in exchange for a chloride ion. This is called the chloride shift. Bicarbonate leaves the red blood cells and enters the blood plasma. In the lungs, bicarbonate is transported back into the red blood cells in exchange for chloride. The H + dissociates from hemoglobin and combines with bicarbonate to form carbonic acid with the help of carbonic anhydrase, which further catalyzes the reaction to convert carbonic acid back into carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide is then expelled from the lungs.

Art connections

[link] The kidneys are responsible for removing excess H+ ions from the blood. If the kidneys fail, what would happen to blood pH and to hemoglobin affinity for oxygen?

[link] The blood pH will drop and hemoglobin affinity for oxygen will decrease.

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Questions & Answers

general equation for photosynthesis
Ojasope Reply
6CO2 + 6H2O + solar energy= C6H1206+ 6O2
meaning of amino Acids
An aminoacid is a base unit molecule for proteins. It s formed by a central Carbon, to which are attached: an amminic Group, a carbossilic Group, an H hydrogen, and an R group ( which varies for each different aminoacid). Glycin is the only aminoacid to have for an R group a simple H hydrogen.
H NH2-C-COOH R this is the not ionized form but usually they are ionized, with NH+ and COO-
The R group, the lateral Chain, is responsible for the characteristics of the aminoacid.
* NH2+
a diagram of an adult mosquito
mubarak Reply
what are white blood cells
Mlungisi Reply
white blood cell is part of the immune system. that help fight the infection.
what about tissue celss
Cells with a similar function, form a tissue. For example the nervous tissue is composed by cells:neurons and glia cells. Muscle tissue, is composed by different cells.
I need further explanation coz celewi anything guys,,,
Calvin Reply
hey guys
on what?
Please define mitosis for me
mitosis is a process where a single cell divides into two identical daughter cells(cell division)
What about meiosis
Meiosis is a process that produces gametes. From a single cell, 4 daughter cells (gametes) are formed.
What is a tissue respiration
is air homogenous or hetrogenous
damiane Reply
why saying homogenous?
explain if oxygen is necessary for photosynthesis
Allice Reply
explain if oxygen is necessary for photosynthesis
Allice Reply
Yes, the plant does need oxygen. The plant uses oxygen, water, light, and produced food. The plant use process called photosynthesis.
By using the energy of sunlight, plants convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen by photosynthesis. This happens during the day and sunlight is needed.
no. it s a product of the process
yet still is it needed?
no. The reaction is: 6CO2+6H20+ solar energy =C6H12O6(glucose)+602. The plant requires Carbon dioxyde, light, and water Only, and produces glucose and oxygen( which is a waste).
what was the question
the specific one
the study of non and living organism is called.
Is call biology
what Is ecology
Musonda Reply
what is a cell
Emmanuel Reply
A cell is a basic structure and functional unit of life
what is biolgy
Hawwi Reply
is the study of living and non living organisms
may u draw the female organ
i dont understand
me too
anabolism and catabolism
Sani Reply
Anabolism refers to the process in methabolism in which complex molecules are formed "built" and requires energy to happen. Catabolism is the opposite process: complex molecules are deconstructed releasing energy, such as during glicolysis.
Explain briefly independent assortment gene .
Otu Reply
hi I'm Anatalia
what do you mean by pituitary gland

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