Maintenance of the Steady State in the Human

  • Samuel Natelson
  • Ethan A. Natelson


The human body is a highly complex servomechanism. Like an airplane on automatic pilot, it reacts to stimuli so as to maintain its balance. Like the automatic oil burner, it reacts to stimuli from within by taking more fuel (food). It adjusts its metabolic rate automatically to temperature changes in its environment, and adjusts its rate of blood flow automatically with changes in load. It maintains a constant temperature, pH, and salt concentration automatically in its components, which in the human are called organs, such as the kidney and the lungs.


Equilibrium Point Urease Activity Methyl Acetate Blood Passing Automatic Pilot 


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Selected Reading—Equilibrium, Steady State, Homeostasis

  1. Adkins, C. J., Equilibrium Thermodynamics. McGraw-Hill, New York (1968). Blackburn, T. R., Equilibrium: A Chemistry of Solutions. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York (1969).Google Scholar
  2. Hill, T. L., Thermodynamics for Chemists and Biologists. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass. (1968).Google Scholar
  3. Mcllwain, H. and Bachelard, H. S., Eds., Biochemistry of the Central Nervous System, 4th ed., Churchill-Livingstone, New York (1971).Google Scholar


  1. 1.
    Walter, C., Steady State Applications in Enzyme Kinetics, Ronald Press, New York (1965).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lewis, G. N., Randall, M., Pitzer, K. S., and Brewer, L., Thermodynamics, McGraw-Hill, New York (1961), p. 149.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Society for Experimental Biology, Homeostasis and Feedback Mechanism, Academic Press, New York (1964).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Langley, L. L., Homeostasis, Reinhold, New York (1965).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mouquin, H., and Natelson, S., Equilibrium forces, acting on free drops in irregular capillaries, Mikrochemie 12 :293–302(1932–3).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Howell, S. F. and Sumner, J. B., The specific effects of buffers on urease activity, J. Biol. Chem. 104:619–26 (1934).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Natelson
    • 1
  • Ethan A. Natelson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryMichael Reese Hospital and Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Baylor College of Medicine Methodist HospitalHoustonUSA

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