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Thread: Quick question: How many human biological systems are there?

  1. #1 Quick question: How many human biological systems are there? 
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    A google search has yielded me 10, 11, 12, and 14... wikipedia lists 13 (no joke.) Is there a general consensus in the biological community? Thanks.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    The biological system is x...

    x is 0..

    x is infinity..

    Depending on what counts as a biological system.

    If you mean totalistic function systems.. then there are just a few.

    Immune system,
    Hormonal system,
    pH system,
    Bloodflow system,
    Nerve system,
    Reproductive system,
    Digestive system,
    Resporatory system.

    So, i count 8..


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  4. #3  
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    Ok so now it's 10, 11, 12, 14, 13, and 8. Anybody else?


    Wiki...
    Major organ systems Main article: Biological system
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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Its not a question with a definitive answer due to it being totally dependent on what definitions are being used for the systems, and how they get divided out. (eg is the definition one that splits then, or one that lumps them?)
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    It is a bit like asking how many genres of popular music there are.

    Obviously, the answer is three: folk, pop and rock. Oh, but hang on, we can split rock into heavy metal, grunge, punk, urban metal, garage, post-metal ... And pop can be split into dance, disco, R&B, j-Pop, ... And R&B can be split into urban, hip-hop, soul, reggae, mento, lovers-rock ...
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    It is a bit like asking how many genres of popular music there are.

    Obviously, the answer is three: folk, pop and rock. Oh, but hang on, we can split rock into heavy metal, grunge, punk, urban metal, garage, post-metal ... And pop can be split into dance, disco, R&B, j-Pop, ... And R&B can be split into urban, hip-hop, soul, reggae, mento, lovers-rock ...
    You forgot honky-tonk.
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    Maybe we could begin by defining a biological system and discussing what distinguishes one system from another and the "closeness" of systems to each other. Obviously, in the end, they all interact with each other. For example, what use would a muscular system be without a skeletal system to interact with, a nervous system to control it, and a circulatory system and digestive system to feed it. I was surprised a few years ago to learn that, with very slight changes, muscles can become bones, so the muscular and skeletal systems seem very closely related.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  9. #8  
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    I was curious for the purpose of creating another thread. Refer to:

    Chronological order of human anatomical evolution?

    Thanks.
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Paleoichnium has nailed it: the division into systems is an artiticial one, so you have as many or as few as help you to make the point, or grasp the understanding, that most interests you.
    Last edited by John Galt; August 20th, 2012 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Correct typos
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    "Endocannabinoid system: neuromodulatory lipids and receptors involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, motor learning, synaptic plasticity, and memory."

    Does this have anything to do with proccessing cannabinoids from cannabis? there must be a link surely?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Many psychoactive chemicals work by mimicking substances that occur naturally in the brain. Others work by blocking or increasing the normal effect of the natural chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters, etc).

    There are some of these naturally occurring chemicals which bind to the same receptors that cannabinoids do. Not surprisingly, these natural chemicals are involved in things like appetite, pain, etc. Just the things that cannabis tends to interfere with (munchies!)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    All that is understood strange, cheers.

    But what exactly is the endocannabinoid system? It's to do with receptors in the brain that recieve chemicals? if so, where to the chemicals come from?

    One last question, this might seem absurd... what exactly is a 'chemical'?
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  14. #13  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    A "chemical" is a pretty meaningless term to be honest. Everything is made of chemicals: atoms and molecules. Water is a chemical (H20), air is a mixture of chemicals (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc).

    I suppose it is normally used to mean a specific element or compound that takes part in a chemical reaction (with other chemicals).

    I think most people assume that the brain and nerves work by sending electrical signals. But actually most communication is chemical arguably all of it is, even the electrical impulses are sent as a series of chemical changes).

    Different brain cells have "receptors" or areas of the cell which are sensitive to different chemicals. These stimulate or turn off the activity of the cell. There are hundreds of these nuerotransmitter chemicals used to transfer information between nerve cells, each with different functions. They communicate or control pain, mood, and everything else. They are generated by one nerve cell and absorbed by another. Or some are hormones generated elsewhere in the body that tell the brain that you have eaten, or need to eat, or ...

    By throwing other chemicals in there, you get mood changes, hallucinations, madness, death, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    A "chemical" is a pretty meaningless term to be honest. Everything is made of chemicals: atoms and molecules. Water is a chemical (H20), air is a mixture of chemicals (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc).

    I suppose it is normally used to mean a specific element or compound that takes part in a chemical reaction (with other chemicals).

    I think most people assume that the brain and nerves work by sending electrical signals. But actually most communication is chemical arguably all of it is, even the electrical impulses are sent as a series of chemical changes).

    Different brain cells have "receptors" or areas of the cell which are sensitive to different chemicals. These stimulate or turn off the activity of the cell. There are hundreds of these nuerotransmitter chemicals used to transfer information between nerve cells, each with different functions. They communicate or control pain, mood, and everything else. They are generated by one nerve cell and absorbed by another. Or some are hormones generated elsewhere in the body that tell the brain that you have eaten, or need to eat, or ...

    By throwing other chemicals in there, you get mood changes, hallucinations, madness, death, etc.
    I was of the opinion that chemical is a meaningless term also... so how can it be used to explain things?

    Is an electron or photon a chemical? or does something have to ba atomic size to be a chemical?

    Speaking of hallucinations (and chemicals)... is there any truth in the idea that LSD acts on receptors in the brain and can allow the senses to percieve things at frequencies that usually cannot be percieved or sensed?
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  16. #15  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I was of the opinion that chemical is a meaningless term also... so how can it be used to explain things?
    It is only "meaningless" in the sense that it doesn't have a single well-defined meaning. All "stuff" is chemicals: you, your computer, the table, the earth, the air ...

    It becomes meaningless when "alternative therapists" or "health food" vendors say something like "contains no chemicals". Whatever it is, it contains nothing but chemicals.

    Is an electron or photon a chemical? or does something have to ba atomic size to be a chemical?
    Chemistry is the study of how atoms combine to make all the stuff around us. So yes, chemical means stuff made of atoms.

    Electrons are components of atoms; photons are electromagnetic energy. They play a role in chemistry but they are not chemicals (because they are not made of atoms).

    Speaking of hallucinations (and chemicals)... is there any truth in the idea that LSD acts on receptors in the brain and can allow the senses to percieve things at frequencies that usually cannot be percieved or sensed?
    No. It acts on the brain and creates hallucinations and delusions. One of the delusions it can create is that you re seeing some sort of deeper or alternate reality. All you are perceiving is the output if a "damaged" brain.
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    So an atom itself is not a chemical? only a structure of atoms (is this a mollecule?) is a chemical compound?

    I'm sure I read that a photon is a partical as well as an energy packet.

    photons are components of electrons right, as discussed earlier. How is it that some radioactive stuff emits photons?

    As for the acid, yep a damaged brain, no doubt. luckily I never tried it. my brain is damaged more from hours in front of my laptop and lack of sleep.

    Is there a way that the rellevant receptors could be stimulated to perceive frequencies that are usually beyond our ability to sense?
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  18. #17  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    So an atom itself is not a chemical? only a structure of atoms (is this a mollecule?) is a chemical compound?
    Some chemicals consist of (large numbers of) single atoms. Chemistry is the behaviour of atoms and how they combine. And, yes, a molecule is a number of atoms combined together. They can be the same (a molecule of oxygen is O2 - two oxygen atoms) or several different ones (a molecule of water is H2O - two hydrogen and one oxygen). A molecule can have anything from 2 to billions of atoms. For example a DNA molecule (made from5 different atoms, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorous) can be several kilometres long and have a few hundred billion atoms.

    I'm sure I read that a photon is a partical as well as an energy packet.
    Packet / particle ... same thing. It is a "bundle" or "quantum" of energy.

    photons are components of electrons right
    Noooooo! Where did you get that from?

    Electrons are fundamental particles: they have no components. And electron is an electron.

    How is it that some radioactive stuff emits photons?
    We are getting way off topic here but ... when a nucleus splits, it may release various particles and some excess energy. The energy will be in the form of (gamma ray) photons.

    Is there a way that the rellevant receptors could be stimulated to perceive frequencies that are usually beyond our ability to sense?
    No. They don't receive "frequencies", they react with chemicals.
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    yet again your answer provide more questions than understandings, though im not implying thats your fault at all.

    I got the photon being part of an electron because when you described light to me, you said photons can be absorbed or repelled from electrons.

    Also, if light radiation is photons radiating from electrons in material then it has nothing to do with spliting a nucleus...

    I don't want to take up any more of your time with this though... it would take ages before i understood.
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  20. #19  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I got the photon being part of an electron because when you described light to me, you said photons can be absorbed or repelled from electrons.
    Ah, I see. Hmmm ... the electron absorbs the energy that the photon is carrying (and moves to a different energy level or "orbit" because of it). The photon does not become part of the electron; it is just a bundle of energy.

    Also, if light radiation is photons radiating from electrons in material then it has nothing to do with spliting a nucleus...
    Correct: completely different things. Electrons can absorb and emit photons of visible light (and non-visible frequencies).

    Radioactive nuclei can break up and emit gamma rays (photons) as part of the radiation.

    I don't want to take up any more of your time with this though... it would take ages before i understood.
    This is the problem with trying to learn random bits and pieces with no structure. There is always something you need to know before some new bit of information makes sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I got the photon being part of an electron because when you described light to me, you said photons can be absorbed or repelled from electrons.
    Ah, I see. Hmmm ... the electron absorbs the energy that the photon is carrying (and moves to a different energy level or "orbit" because of it). The photon does not become part of the electron; it is just a bundle of energy.

    Also, if light radiation is photons radiating from electrons in material then it has nothing to do with spliting a nucleus...
    Correct: completely different things. Electrons can absorb and emit photons of visible light (and non-visible frequencies).

    Radioactive nuclei can break up and emit gamma rays (photons) as part of the radiation.

    I don't want to take up any more of your time with this though... it would take ages before i understood.
    This is the problem with trying to learn random bits and pieces with no structure. There is always something you need to know before some new bit of information makes sense.
    Considering i'm uneducated though, and have never had the time or means, or even inclination to study any of this in depth... I do ask some good questions which displays a reasonable grasp of the basics of this specialised subject...doesn't it?
    Go on... caress my ego a little, just this once! i'm kidding, don't do it! Unless you want to create a monster?

    Well at least, I do listen and try to work with what i'm given. I also apreciate the effort you and some of the other guys make on this website.
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  22. #21  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    I guess you aren't doing too bad, all things considered. But being too lazy too learn is not a very admirable trait...

    (Was that fairly balanced? )
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    Thats a low blow!

    It's not a case of laziness, it's just weather it interests me enough to be enthusiastice enough to learn. I do think there is more to life than learning.

    I quite like the daoist philosophy: 'knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not knowledge, much knowledge means little wisdom' (I learnt that once).
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  24. #23  
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    knowledge + wisdom = understanding
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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    knowledge is the same as wisdom, but has no value. Though knowledge feels more personal, while wisdom seems to imply the whole species.

    Understanding = Experience * Logic
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Wisdom equals understanding of what is the best course of action...

    Knowledge equals understanding of a specific thing...

    Knowledge + Wisdom equals understanding how best to use your knowledge.
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    understanding = acceptance
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