MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: Human cells have water in them, right? Will this water get replaced?

Date: Tue Feb 7 22:06:58 2006
Posted By: Ralph Johnson, Staff, Agricultural Quarantine, US Customs and Border Protection
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1138082002.Cb

Actually, the human cell does participate in actions involving the uptake 
and secretion of water. However, this is done to help regulate cell volume 
(Regulating cell volume is actually the necessary process of maintaining 
salt levels in and around the cell). Cells don't actually use water for 
nourishment just to be excreted as a waste product. More accurately, water 
is allowed into a cell, and excess water is removed from the cell due to a 
process called osmosis. What is this process? When higher concentrations 
of salt exist inside of a cell or decreased salt concentrations exists 
outside of the cell - Water is caused to enter into the cell. Excess water 
and salt are removed from the cell through channels that are activated by 
the cell. This regulation of salt is essential for the cells' optimal 
performance. Were it not for this process (collectively known as 
OSMOREGULATION)cells would shrink or bust. Thus, in answer to the other 
part of your question, the water that is initially taken in is not 
necessarily the same water that is present at cellular death.

For additional information on the newest info on osmosis please see

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