Testing Your Comprehension

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1. Suppose a pregnant woman with severe morning sickness has been vomiting steadily for several days. How will her loss of stomach acid affect the pH of her body fluids? Explain.

2. Suppose a person with a severe anxiety attack hyperventilates and exhales CO2 faster than his body produces it. Consider the carbonic acid reaction on page 70 and explain what effect this hyperventilation will have on his blood pH. (Hint: Remember the law of mass action.)

3. In one form of nuclear decay, a neutron breaks down into a proton and electron and emits a 7 ray. Is this an endergonic or exergonic reaction, or neither? Is it an anabolic or catabolic reaction, or neither? Explain both answers.

4. How would the body's metabolic rate be affected if there were no such thing as enzymes? Explain.

5. Some metabolic conditions such as diabetes mellitus cause disturbances in the acid-base balance of the body, which gives the body fluids an abnormally low pH. Explain how this could affect enzyme-substrate reactions and metabolic pathways in the body.

Answers at the Online Learning Center

Saladin: Anatomy & I 2. The Chemistry of Life I Text I I © The McGraw-Hill

Physiology: The Unity of Companies, 2003 Form and Function, Third Edition

Chapter 2 The Chemistry of Life 91

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