metabolism defined in 1951 yearmetabolism - metabolism;
metabolism - (1) In general the chemical processes occurring within an organism, or within part of one. They involve breaking down of organic compounds from complex to simple (catabolism) with liberation of energy available for the organism's many activities; and building up of organic compounds from simple to complex (anabolism) using energy liberated by catabolism and, in the case of autotrophic organisms, energy from external non-organic sources (particularly from sunlight), Catabolism is by no means confined to the breaking down of the 'food-material' necessary for the organism's energy requirements. It involves, continuously, very many constituents of the organism, though they are broken down at various rates (DNA in resting cells is one of the constituents that seems to remain quite stable); and correspondingly anabolism involves, continuously, synthesis of many constituents. These processes go on even in an apparently static tissue like bone. This metabolic whirlpool, whose extent has become apparent only since the use of 'tracers' is a system of reactions predominantly controlled by enzymes. In most of the aspects of metabolism which have been sufficiently investigated, such as catabolism of carbohydrates, there is a fundamental similarity throughout a wide variety of organisms, including plants, animals, and bacteria. Correspondingly, there are close similarities between the enzymes of these organisms. See also: Metabolite, Respiration. (2) Metabolism of some constituent of an organism (e.g. 'fat metabolism'); the part of total metabolism involving that constituent.
near metabolism in Knolik
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