Question 13

Compare the functioning of alveoli in the lungs and nephrons in the kidneys with respect to their structure and functioning.




Alveoli are the tiny air sacs made up of squamous epithelium, which are present in the lungs for the exchange of gases.

Nephron is the structural and the functional unit in the kidney and has elongated tubule like structure helps in the excretion process.

It has thin wall for the exchange of gases – carbon dioxide and the oxygen.

It is composed of Bowman’s capsule, distal and proximal convoluted tubule and the Loop of Henle for the excretion process by crossing the collecting duct and ejection of waste material occurs through the urethra.

Numerous alveoli in the lungs show the maximum area for the exchange of gases between the air in the alveoli and into the blood in their surrounding capillaries and diffusion of oxygen occurs through this way.

Nephron regulates the fluid balance or the water balance by eliminating the excess water from the blood by converting them into the urine. So, balancing of fluid regulates the blood pressure.

Alveoli balance the carbon dioxide and the oxygen ratio. Oxygen goes from the lungs to the bloodstream and carbon dioxide gets eliminated from the bloodstream to the lungs through the capillaries which are located in the wall of the alveoli.

By eliminating the acidic substances, excess water, minerals and salts and the nitrogenous waste from the blood; this maintain the volume, composition, pH and the osmotic pressure of the body fluids known as fluid homeostasis. 

Gaseous exchange in the alveoli is a passive diffusion process across the surface.

Excretion is also a passive process primarily and secretion is an active process.

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