What is Physiology: Definition and 57 Discussions

Physiology (; from Ancient Greek φύσις (physis) 'nature, origin', and -λογία (-logia) 'study of') is the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system. As a sub-discipline of biology, physiology focuses on how organisms, organ systems, individual organs, cells, and biomolecules carry out the chemical and physical functions in a living system. According to the classes of organisms, the field can be divided into medical physiology, animal physiology, plant physiology, cell physiology, and comparative physiology.Central to physiological functioning are biophysical and biochemical processes, homeostatic control mechanisms, and communication between cells. Physiological state is the condition of normal function, while pathological state refers to abnormal conditions, including human diseases.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for exceptional scientific achievements in physiology related to the field of medicine.

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  1. R

    Final velocity of the barbell dropped after a dead lift

    Eddie Hall is the current world record holder in the deadlift, a powerlifting maneuver in which a weighted barbell is lifted from the ground to waist height, then dropped. The figure below shows a side view of the initial and final positions of the deadlift. A side view of the initial position...
  2. red65

    Medical Why do we say basolateral membrane and not basal?

    Hello everyone, I am studying the physiology of the kidneys and in all of the textbooks they say basolateral membrane referring to the basal membrane, does anyone know why we don't just say basal membrane?
  3. BillTre

    Svante Pääbo wins Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Paleogenomics

    Svante Pääbo won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his foundational work in paleogenimcs. Among other things, he was involved in determining the genomic sequence of Neaderthals, showing they interbred with modern humans before they disappeared, discovering Denisovans (similar...
  4. Astronuc

    2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    Two American scientists have won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of how the body senses temperature and touch. https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/two-americans-win-nobel-medicine-prize-for-body-sensory-findings/6256678.html...
  5. mktsgm

    What are the mechanisms of immune response after Covid vaccination?

    As the Covid vaccines become more prevalent worldwide, the hospitalization and mortality rates are coming down hearteningly. Actually, what happens after vaccination? 1) Vaccination causes the production of antibodies. So when later infection happens, the antibodies are up and ready to bind...
  6. F

    How do atheletes sustain high power output, physiologically?

    I am ~180lbs and have been lifting weights for about 12 years straight. I have also been running 3-4 times per week for the last 8 ish years. I have recently gotten into cycling, and noticed at the gym on the Schwinn "spin" bike, I will have peaks of around 400-500 watts, but it's definitely...
  7. Wrichik Basu

    Nobel Prize 2020 in Physiology or Medicine

    The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this year has been awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.” https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2020/summary/
  8. H

    [Physiology] Intuition behind the Nerst equation

    The equation: V(x) = 61*mV*(1/z)*(log[X(o)/X(i)]) Where: z = valence (charge of ion) [X(o)] = reference concentration (outside the cell) [X(i)] = concentration of species inside the cell I want to understand the intuition behind why the mV decrease as the charge increases. From what I...
  9. C

    Anti-viral Activity of Anise Extract

    Anise extracts contain Lignin-Carbohydrate complexes (LCs), which have been found to have anti-viral effects according to this article (DOI: 10.1271/bbb.100645 ). However, from what I understood by going quickly through the article, the scientists applied the extract directly onto the cell...
  10. Ygggdrasil

    2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    Today, the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists who study how cells sense and respond to changes in oxygen levels: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/ These three scientists were previously awarded the Lasker Prize for Basic Medical Research in...
  11. BillTre

    New System Generates Speech from Brain Physiology

    Scientists described using information from brain recordings to generate understandable speech in a proof of principle study. Invasive recordings of brain activity normally involved in the production of speech sounds, at the level of controlling muscle movement, have been associated with the...
  12. mktsgm

    Medical Exploring the Physiology of Hunger: Hormones, Neurons, and Energy Levels

    I have been studying about the physiology of hunger. I have studied about the hormones that are involved in the process of hunger, like ghrelin, leptin, pancreatic polypeptide, cholecystokinin, cholecystokinin (CCK) and the neurons like AgRP, POMC and neuropeptide Y (NPY) etc. I understand...
  13. Asmaa Mohammad

    Characteristics of different types of hypoxia

    Hello, My book illustrates characteristics of different types of hypoxia in this table Arrows directed upwards indicate an increase and vice versa. I know what each type of hypoxia is, but I find a difficulty understand the change in venous PO2, O2 content and saturation of hemoglobin in...
  14. C

    Other Need an in-depth book on pig anatomy and physiology

    By Summer I hope to dissect a fetal pig I'm ordering from the north Carolina biological supply company, I'm looking for a few books, one in depth on pig biology and a Atlas of the pig including the brain. Another book I'm looking for is a microscope usage and selection guide including oil...
  15. mktsgm

    Medical Physiology of Massage: Benefits, Why & How We Enjoy It

    We normally enjoy a thorough body massage session. What happens during a massage? Why and how do we feel pleasure during a body massage? Can some one explain the complete physiology of massage?
  16. Asmaa Mohammad

    Understanding the Role of Erythropoietin in Red Blood Cell Production

    Hi, I don't actually get the function of erythropoitin hormone in erythropoiesis, what is written in my textbook is that erythropoietin accelerates all steps of erythropoiesis as it stimulates mRNA synthysis, and also, it shortens the maturation time of RBCs in the bone marrow. I would like a...
  17. Asmaa Mohammad

    Physiology of the muscles: The T Tubules

    Hi all, My textbook says that the T tubules, which form an extensive network of transverse tubules that surround myofibrils, can carry the wave of action potential from the surface of the muscle fiber to the cell interior. Could you help me understand the sentence in bold because I'm not sure...
  18. Asmaa Mohammad

    Medical The preganglionic fibers which supply the thoracic viscera

    Hello, In my textbook, I read that the preganglionic fibers which supply the thoracic viscera originate in the lateral horn of the upper 4 thoracic segments. I read too that the the preganglionic fibers which supply the head and neck originate in the lateral horn of the first and second...
  19. Ygggdrasil

    2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    This morning, the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2017/press.html
  20. N

    I Quantum Physics in Biology & Medicine: Research & Advances

    Is there any research being conducted on how quantum physics can be used in biology? Has quantum physics, in any anyway, helped in the advancement of the medical field?
  21. Asmaa Mohammad

    Medical The power of the human eye's lens

    Hello, I read in my physiology book that when the ciliary muscle relaxes, the power of the eye lens decreases, hence we get the ability to see far objects. I am new to physiology, and when I googled "the power of the eye lens" I didn't find articles explain the sentence above simply. So I...
  22. Asmaa Mohammad

    Medical What is the function of glycocalyx in cell attachment?

    Hello, In my physiology book it is said that the glycocalyx helps attach the cells together. I know that glycocalyx is carbohydrates + proteins or lipids, but I don't understand the mechanism by which the glycocalyx attach cells together, and google searches don't help. So I would appreciate...
  23. harini07

    What enzyme is responsible for the initial step in milk digestion in humans?

    Homework Statement The intial step in the digestion of milk in Humans is carried out by which of the following enzymes? A) lipase B) trypsin C) rennin (No, not renin) D) pepsin Homework Equations Casein is converted to Paracasein by rennin and then paracasein along with calcium is acted upon...
  24. caters

    Writing: Input Wanted Is it useful to have 2 stomachs?

    Here I will talk about the digestive system of my Kepler Bb humanoids. Mouth The teeth are much stronger than bone(Strong enough that they can eat bones no problem). Other than that and all time tooth formation(so a loose adult tooth is no problem for them since another will grow in its...
  25. Aafia

    How is the functioning of body organs determined?

    I wonder how were historically functions of the body organs determined? I mean how they dermined working of circulatory system , Nervous system, Excretory system etc?
  26. CMATT

    Choose each of the following statements that would be true regarding the brain

    Homework Statement Choose each of the following statements that would be true regarding the brain or special senses. There could be multiple answers. a) Properly using the captive bolt should result in pupils that constrict in response to a bright light b) The part of the brain that releases...
  27. S

    Help with Respiratory Physiology calculations

    Hi, I have recently conducted a Respiratory physiology practical, where i measured the lung v0olumes and capacities, using the technique of spirometry. I therefore recorded the FEV1, FVC, FER AND PEF values from the spirometry. However, i also had to collect and analyze the expired air; using a...
  28. Rickswan

    Realistic demon physiology and weapons against them

    This thread is also my introduction to the forum, so hello. So the basic setup of my story is the hordes of hell invade New York City. I'm agnostic, so it's more "beings from another dimension enter ours" than a religious thing - it's like the DOOM game series. Let's say that a certain amount...
  29. E

    Medical Why do we enjoy listening to music?

    I've been researching this subject for a little while. I'd like to hear your ideas, because the topic is widely discussed. So here is some part of my research which makes my opinion quite clear: "Sometimes we say , that one is moved by music. Of course, it does not mean for him/her to be...
  30. J

    Cell physiology vs Molecular biology vs Cell Biology?

    What exactly is the concrete difference between those three?
  31. A

    Deeper learning in Physiology?

    I have no idea where to post this, but I figured this is the most relevant place. I'm sorry if it's in the wrong section. I am a Pharmacology and Toxicology major at a large state school. I was only required to take physics I and II. (algebra based) At first I thought that was fine, but I...
  32. A

    Physics - Human Tolerance to g-forces, acceleration limits, physiology

    Hi all, Does anyone know what physics limits human tolerance to extreme g-forces? I know the average human can take g-forces 5-7 g, and a fighter pilot, with training and a G-suit can maybe get up to 12 g. And people can survive g-forces higher than this for a very short time. I know all the...
  33. W

    Physiology: What does it Take to do the Cossack Dance?

    Hi, just curious, I think this is a question on physiology. What does it take to be able to do the Cossack dance , in the first 8 seconds or so of: It seems impossible for me to even move when I am in that position, in my knees, let alone being able to jump around while stretching out my...
  34. T

    Conservation of Energy from human physiology

    From the wiki page on Hermann von Helmholtz: "an 1847 physics treatise on the conservation of energy was written in the context of his medical studies and philosophical background. He discovered the principle of conservation of energy while studying muscle metabolism. He tried to demonstrate...
  35. J

    Physical Physiology / Biology Text Book

    I came across a blog post or some internet page (probably a year ago now) saying that since the 1970s biological systems could be described purely in terms of physics. I tried searching for a decent text that describes biology and chemistry in terms of rudimentary physics but couldn't find...
  36. L

    Good advanced textbook on physiology?

    I was wondering what is the best textbook for advanced physiology? I have read Guyton, but something more comprehensive would be nice. Any suggestions?
  37. K

    Physiology Cardiovascular Dynamics

    Need help with this question: Would parasympathetic stimulation of the heart affect the Starling relationship between end diastolic volume (EDV) and stroke volume (SV)? In other words, what would be expected to happen to the Starling Curve if you increased or decreased parasympathetic...
  38. D

    Relation between physiology and accent (linguistics)?

    Do you believe genetics can cause one to have a particular accent in a given language? Or are accents only related to post-birth personal development? Are there ethnicities having anatomically distinct voice boxes, that have more difficulty in emulating specific accents? I tend to...
  39. C

    Renal physiology clearance problem

    Homework Statement A patient with a renal disease had a plasma creatinine of 2mg/dl 6 months ago. Now, his plasma creatinine is 4mg/dl. Assuming steady state conditions and no changes in electrolyte intake or metabolism. Does the below increase(percent), decrease (percent), or remain the same...
  40. S

    Galilean Transformations and Relativistic Physiology

    Hey, I have two separate questions: 1) If one is moving in a car and throws a ball straight up, say out the sun roof, the ball will have zero velocity relative to an observer in the car. Conversely, it will have the velocity of the car to a stationary observer. How does one account for drag...
  41. C

    Medical West's zone 2 starling resistor respiratory physiology

    I posted this question in the physics forum with no luck, the concept has to do with physics but it's applications is within the body. It is found in the lung and also in venous return curves, when central venous pressure drops below 0. Basically, I am asking how the concept of zone 2 in the...
  42. Pythagorean

    Medical What is the role of the spinal cord in placebo analgesia?

  43. maverick_starstrider

    Why do hang-overs cause different symptoms for different people?

    I drink a fair bit (probably too much) but I always find that when I wake up the next morning I always have a hang-over (even if I didn't drink a whole lot) and, for me, it's always in the stomach. In movies/TV you always see people "needing a cup of coffee" or "an advil". To me those are...
  44. B

    Solving pH Questions for Anatomy & Physiology I Student

    I'm a first year student Anatomy & Physiology and this really got to. I have been in Chemistry for about two weeks now and really need some help with this one. Questions is: Which of these is the pH of an acid solution? A. pH 7.1 B. pH 7.0 C. pH 12.4 D. pH 6.9 E. pH 8.3 No...
  45. B

    Medical Physiology: Effect on Membrane Potential

    Hello all. I just had a few conceptual problems if someone wouldn't mind explaining to me. When looking at a simple cell membrane, potassium ions tend to move out of the cell along their concentration gradient until its electrical gradient is strong enough to counterbalance it, thus...
  46. U

    Seed Germination & Growth: 2 Environmental Events

    Homework Statement List 2 enviromental events that might have triggered seed germination and growth into wild flowers The Attempt at a Solution I thought smoke from wild fires was a cue however I was told it has to do with the weather The wild flower part is throwing me off, how...
  47. M

    I'm losing my mind trying to get my Physiology Degree

    I'm new here and I am dumb as rocks in physics. I need a couple of semesters of physics for my degree. By the way my name is Jon. I am extremely happy I found this site! I never had a Physics course before last semester! Guess what happened? I failed it! It was only introductory physics...
  48. robphy

    Medical Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2007

    nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2007/ "for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells" Mario R. Capecchi Sir Martin J. Evans Oliver Smithies
  49. cronxeh

    Good Human Anatomy and Physiology textbooks

    Can anyone recommend a good textbook on A&P? I've seen a few on amazon but it did not quite have a feel to it. Also the Schaum's outline of Human A&P 2nd edition is over 10 years old This one https://www.amazon.com/dp/0805359095/?tag=pfamazon01-20 looks promising. Anyone have anything...
  50. D

    Physiology experiment: Rats treated with ACTH and Dexamethasone

    Point of experiment was to see physiological role and influence of ACTH and Dexamethasone on adrenal gland via cholesterol extracted from gland. And we invested glucose level in blood after treatment. Cholesterol results were as expected, Dex treated animals had the highest amount of...