Homeostasis

Definition

noun, plural: homeostases

The tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, so as to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions


adjective: homeostatic

Of, pertaining to, or relating to homeostasis


Supplement

Homeostasis refers to the ability of the body or a cell to seek and maintain a condition of equilibrium or stability within its internal environment when dealing with external changes. It is involved in the maintenance of the constant internal environment which includes the function of kidney, liver, skin, etc.

In humans, homeostasis happens when the body regulates body temperature in an effort to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. For example, we sweat to cool off during the hot summer days, and we shiver to produce heat during the cold winter season.

The concept of homeostasis was first described in 1865 by Claude Bernard, a French physiologist. However, the term was coined later in 1962 by the American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon.


Word origin: from the Greek: homeo, meaning unchanging + stasis, meaning standing.


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