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Thread: Respiration Questions

  1. #1 Respiration Questions 
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    We breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, but what exactly goes on in the body in between? I know it has something to do with the lungs..lol...what chemical reactions/physiological reactions take place throught the process?

    Also, does the oxygen we breathe ever form part of the molecules that we need for cellular respiration?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman Samuel P's Avatar
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    This is a pretty massive question so I'll tell you a few things, but mainly let Wikipedia do most of the work in terms of diagrams and such...

    When you inhale, air containing oxygen travels down your trachea and into your lungs. There are structures there called aveoli which have many capillaries running all around them. Oxygen in the inhaled air diffuses into the capillaries while carbon dioxide in the blood diffuses out into the lungs to be exhaled.

    See oxygen isn't actually used to form anything (except for water)... it acts as the final proton acceptor in the production of ATP from glucose in the body. This is aerobic respiration by the way...

    ATP is a source of raw energy as I understand and it what our bodies requires as the final product of respiration...

    Its addition to glucose (at the start of the reaction) means that it takes part in a series of reactions and goes through various cycles to produce more ATP, which is the desired product of respiration.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CellRespiration.svg

    That link is a diagram of the process that glucose undergoes in order to create ATP for the body.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    O2 acts as the final electron acceptor, not the proton acceptor , although it does gain two hydrogen as it is reduced and forms water.

    Also, the breakdown of lipids in peroxisomes uses O2 as final electron acceptor to form hydrogen peroxide instead of water

    CO2 is produced in the citric acid cycle and glycolysis. I'm sure there are some other pathways where it is produced too, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Maybe the pentose phosphate pathway. Since lipids are broken down by removing two carbon at a tine as acetyl-CoA, they eventually end up as CO2 through the citric acid cycle as well.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman Samuel P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    O2 acts as the final electron acceptor, not the proton acceptor , although it does gain two hydrogen as it is reduced and forms water.

    Also, the breakdown of lipids in peroxisomes uses O2 as final electron acceptor to form hydrogen peroxide instead of water

    CO2 is produced in the citric acid cycle and glycolysis. I'm sure there are some other pathways where it is produced too, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Maybe the pentose phosphate pathway. Since lipids are broken down by removing two carbon at a tine as acetyl-CoA, they eventually end up as CO2 through the citric acid cycle as well.
    Of course, sorry I forgot...

    The oxygen that we take in accepts electrons and H+ atoms... as the electrons are 'left over' from the production of ATP.

    :P
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