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Flat Earth Academy- Science

Biology: The Great Challenges: Assimilation

This is a work in progress... please bear with me, come back and watch it grow? Send constructive suggestions?

What you see below might be seen as an outline for what will eventually be spread across multiple pages.

If you start with the idea that assimilation is taken care of by humans by eating, you will have made a good start. Assimilation is getting the chemicals the body needs into the body.

What about plants? Do they "eat"? Not in the sense that humans do. Not even Venus fly traps.

Anyway... before we turn to plants, we need to finish with humans. What assimilation does a human do, besides eating food?

Think about it before.....

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.... for the answerS. Had you thought of two quite different bits of "getting chemicals" that humans do, which we wouldn't usually call "eating"? No? Well think some more, then scroll.

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Did you get them both? Humans eat to get food... and they drink to get water, and inhale to get oxygen from the air.

So. Back to plants. They need food, too, and I'm not talking about the "food" that gardeners give their plants.

Plants make their own food. But before they can do that, they need water and carbon dioxide. The latter is a gas. Some of the carbon dioxide they need comes from "burning" food they made earlier... pretty neat recycling, if you ask me... but they also need to take some in from the air around them. There isn't very much carbon dioxide in the air (about 0.04% of the air... 4 parts in 10,000 is carbon dioxide...) but it's enough. Whew.

Other nutrients

While all living things need to large amounts of oxygen (or, in a very few cases, an alternative), and food... or, in the case of plants, the chemicals to make the food, that is not all they need.

All living things need a lot of water. Most living things are continually losing water, and thus need to take more in. A few organisms are very "thrifty" with their water, in which case the assimilation of water isn't happening on such a scale... but in those cases, the assimilation of the relatively small amounts taken in is all the more critical.

Besides those chemicals which are needed in large amounts, all living things need relatively small amounts of many other chemicals. Think of mammals, given that they are pretty well known to you. Where do you think bones come from? While you could "live" on air, sugar and water, as far as your energy needs are concerned, you wouldn't be able to make bones without some calcium compounds in your diet.

If the Flat Earth Academy proves of interest to enough people, I will write more about these other things which need to be assimilated.

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