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To maintain homeostatic conditions, living organisms need a consistent supply of energy as measured by the function of Gibbs free energy.

Which of the following strategies will jeopardize the maintenance of homeostatic conditions?

(A) Spend energy to import energy-rich reactants.

(B) Spend energy to export energy-poor products.

(C) Place the organism in the closed system, to achieve equilibrium.

(D) Link metabolic reactions into a sequential pathway.

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: Homeostasis is the maintenance of a stable internal environment in an organism. This requires a constant input of energy to maintain various processes, such as regulating body temperature, maintaining blood sugar levels, and fighting off infections.

Complete step-by-step Answer: Homeostasis is a crucial aspect of life, enabling organisms to maintain a stable internal environment despite external fluctuations. To achieve this stability, living organisms require a continuous supply of energy, often measured in terms of Gibbs free energy. This energy is utilized to drive various biological processes, such as maintaining body temperature, regulating blood sugar levels, and combating infections.

Among the given strategies, option (A), spending energy to import energy-rich reactants, poses a significant threat to homeostatic balance. Energy-rich reactants, such as glucose and oxygen, serve as the primary fuel for cellular respiration, the process by which organisms extract energy from nutrients. Without a constant supply of these reactants, cellular respiration would cease, leading to a breakdown in essential biological functions and eventually, death.

Option (B), spending energy to export energy-poor products, is a necessary component of maintaining homeostasis. Energy-poor products, such as carbon dioxide and water, are the byproducts of metabolic reactions. These waste products need to be eliminated from the organism to prevent their accumulation to harmful levels. If energy were not expended on exporting these products, they would build up within the organism, disrupting cellular processes and potentially leading to toxicity.

Placing an organism in a closed system to achieve equilibrium, as suggested in option (C), is not a viable strategy for maintaining homeostasis. Living organisms are inherently open systems, constantly exchanging matter and energy with their surroundings. Equilibrium, a state where no net change occurs, is not achievable in living organisms due to their ongoing metabolic processes and interactions with the external environment.

Option (D), linking metabolic reactions into a sequential pathway, is beneficial for maintaining homeostasis. By organizing metabolic reactions into a series of steps, organisms can optimize the utilization of energy and minimize waste. This efficient channeling of energy is essential for maintaining a stable internal environment.

Hence the correct answer is Option A

Note: Maintaining homeostatic conditions requires a constant influx of energy-rich reactants, as energy is expended for various biological processes. Exporting energy-poor products is crucial while linking metabolic reactions enhances energy efficiency. Placing an organism in a closed system is not viable due to its inherent openness.