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Kidney in Detail. Standard Grade Biology. Excretion by the Kidney. Urea -nitrogenous waste -made by liver -excess amino acids in blood -toxic Why must nitrogenous waste be excreted?. 1 – Filtration by the Kidney. Supplied with blood from renal artery

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Kidney in Detail

Standard Grade Biology

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Excretion by the Kidney

  • Urea

    -nitrogenous waste

    -made by liver

    -excess amino acids in blood


  • Why must nitrogenous waste be excreted?

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1 – Filtration by the Kidney

  • Supplied with blood from renal artery

  • Inside it splits into many fine capillaries

  • Each capillary supplies blood to hundreds of thousands of tiny filtration units called nephrons

Renal artery

Lets have a look at a nephron!!!

Renal vein


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Blood from renal artery enters wide capillary

  • Glomerulus brings a large surface area of blood capillaries in close contact with Bowman’s capsule

    2. Liquid filtered from blood under pressure (filtration)

  • Glomerular filtrate produced containing:





    (Protein molecules and red blood

    cells do not pass into tubule as

    they are TOO BIG!!!!)

Blood travels through narrow capillary towards renal vein


Glomerular filtrate

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  • Which feature of the glomerulus helps the process of filtration?

  • Which 4 components of unfiltered blood appear in the glomerular filtrate?

  • Why do blood cells and protein molecules not appear in the glomerular filtrate?

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Key Words!!

Nephron: structure in the kidney that acts as a microscopic filtration unit

Glomerulus: dense mass of very fine blood capillaries at the nephron that act as a filter

Bowman’s capusle: cup-shaped part of the nephron that holds a glomerulus and collects the products of filtration from it

Glomerular filtrate: liquid removed from the blood by filtration in the kidney

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2 – Reabsorption by the Kidney

  • Once the main components of glomerulur filtrate enter the bloodstream

    -they are no longer in bloodstream

  • If nothing more happened in the nephron then all the useful stuff would be lost in the urine!

  • Therefore, glucose, water and some salts need to be reabsorbed!

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More water reabsorbed

Glucose reabsorbed

Final urine containing:

-excess water

-unneeded salts

-waste urea

Variable amounts of water and salts reabsorbed and filtrate gradually turning into urine

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  • Which three components of the glomerular filtrate are reabsorbed?

  • Why is it important for these to be reabsorbed?

  • Which substances are present in the final urine?

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2 – Controlling Water Concentration

  • Blood

    -important part of internal environment

    -constantly changing water concentration

    -e.g. exercising

    drinking lots of water

  • The body uses negative feedback control to regulate water content of the blood

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