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October, 2006
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Air Sacs: Thin-walled sacs or spaces which function as a part of the respiratory system in birds, fishes, insects, and mammals.


JoVE 10882

The process of breathing, inhaling and exhaling, involves the coordinated movement of the chest wall, the lungs, and the muscles that move them. Two muscle groups with important roles in breathing are the diaphragm, located directly below the lungs, and the intercostal muscles, which lie between the ribs. When the diaphragm contracts, it moves downward, increasing the volume of the thoracic cavity and creating more room for the lungs to expand. When the intercostal muscles contract, the ribs move upward and the rib cage expands, similarly expanding the thoracic cavity. Each lung is surrounded by two membranes called plurae, which are separated by fluid. This fluid creates an adhesive force that causes the lungs to stretch as the thoracic cavity expands. The increased volume in the lungs reduces the pressure. When the pressure drops below atmospheric pressure, this produces a pressure gradient that moves air from the higher-pressure atmosphere into the lower-pressure lungs. When the diaphragm and intercostal muscles relax, the volume of the lungs decreases, increasing the pressure in the lungs. As pressure increases beyond atmospheric pressure, the resulting pressure gradient pushes air out of the body. In this way, the cycle of inhaling and exhaling is maintained. Boyle’s law states that, at a given temperature in a closed space, the press

 Core: Biology


JoVE 10700

Diffusion is the passive movement of substances down their concentration gradients—requiring no expenditure of cellular energy. Substances, such as molecules or ions, diffuse from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration in the cytosol or across membranes. Eventually, the concentration will even out, with the substance moving randomly but causing no net change in concentration. Such a state is called dynamic equilibrium, which is essential for maintaining overall homeostasis in living organisms. Diffusion plays an integral role in biological processes such as respiration, the process by which organisms exchange gases with their environment. After breathing in air, the concentration of oxygen in the alveoli, air sacs of the human lung, is higher than the oxygen concentration in the blood. Consequently, oxygen diffuses down its concentration gradient into the blood. In order to get into body tissue, oxygen and other nutrients carried in the blood must diffuse into tissues down their concentration gradients. Metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide diffuses from tissues into capillaries where the carbon dioxide concentration is less than that inside body tissues. Blood carrying carbon dioxide is then pumped to the lungs where carbon dioxide readily diffuses into alveoli that have a lower concentration of the gas than blood. Carbon dioxide

 Core: Biology

Physiology of the Circulatory System- Concept

JoVE 10625


Conditions in the external environment of an organism can change rapidly and drastically. To survive, organisms must maintain a fairly constant internal environment, which involves continuous regulation of temperature, pH, and other factors. This balanced state is known as homeostasis, which describes the processes by which organisms maintain their optimal internal…

 Lab Bio

Respiratory Exam I: Inspection and Palpation

JoVE 10028

Source: Suneel Dhand, MD, Attending Physician, Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Disorders of the respiratory system with a chief complaint of shortness of breath are among the most common reasons for both outpatient and inpatient evaluation. The most obvious visible clue to a respiratory problem will be whether the…

 Physical Examinations I
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