Q:

Why is diffusion important?

A:

Quick Answer

Diffusion is important as it allows cells to get oxygen and nutrients for survival. In addition, it plays a role in cell signaling, which mediates organism life processes.

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Full Answer

Diffusion is important for several reasons:

  • It promotes cellular respiration - In order for cells to survive, they need oxygen. Oxygen moves from areas of high concentration to low concentration, allowing the cell to respirate.
  • Nutrients pass through to cells - Cells need nutrients, such as glucose, to survive. Diffusion allows these nutrients to pass through to cells according to their needs.
  • It makes taking medication simpler - When people take medication in the form of a capsule, diffusion encourages the substance to move from the capsule and into the digestive system. Once there, diffusion allows it to move into the bloodstream. Without diffusion, people would have to rely on inconvenient methods of medication, like IVs. It also allows for innovative ways to medicate, like transdermal patches.
  • Diffusion in the form of active transport encourages cell signaling - In order for cells to function, they need signaling proteins. Not all proteins can move across the cell membrane via passive diffusion, but they can via active diffusion. When adenosine triphosphate donates a phosphate group to this practice, proteins can enter the cell.
  • It makes the nervous system work - Without diffusion in the form of the sodium-potassium pump, nerve cells would not innovate.
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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is diffusion in science?

    A:

    Diffusion is the action of molecules moving from an area of high concentration to an area of lower concentration. It is caused by kinetic energy.

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  • Q:

    How does diffusion work?

    A:

    Diffusion is the result of the random thermal movement of molecules, and it involves molecules spreading from regions of high concentration into regions of low concentration. The three types of diffusion are simple, channel and facilitated diffusion. The factors that influence the diffusion rate include the concentration gradient, molecule size, distance the molecule must travel, molecule solubility, temperature and surface area of the membrane.

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  • Q:

    How is osmosis different from diffusion?

    A:

    Diffusion is the spontaneous movement of any type of particle or molecule from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration, while osmosis is the diffusion of water across a semi-permeable membrane. Osmosis only occurs in liquid. Diffusion mainly occurs in a gaseous state, though it also occurs in liquids.

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  • Q:

    How does facilitated diffusion differ from simple diffusion?

    A:

    Facilitated diffusion differs from simple diffusion in that it crosses a membrane with the aid of passive transport proteins embedded in the membrane. Both types of diffusion are the movement of particles in solution from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. This type of passive transport is used by cells to acquire or lose solutes that cannot penetrate their cell membranes.

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