The Search For Better Health

Essay by m.omar.auHigh School, 12th grade June 2007

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9.4 - The Search for Better Health:

1. What is a healthy organism?

Discuss the difficulties in defining the terms 'health' and 'disease':

'Health' is difficult to define as health has many components, such as physical, mental, and social, some of which are very subjective

'Disease' is also difficult to define, as it also has many components. Because it is describing a state of impaired functioning, it depends on an organism's normal level of functioning, and what they expect their quality of life to be.


Health: A state of complete physical, mental and social health, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Disease: A state of impaired functioning of an organism, including impaired physical, social and mental functioning.

Outline how the function of genes, mitosis, cell differentiation and specialisation assist in the maintenance of health:


Genes control the production of proteins in the body (needed for proper functioning) and so healthy genes ensure the correct proteins are made.

Through production of proteins (especially enzymes), genes ensure the correct cell processes occur, maintaining metabolism and homeostasis.


Mitosis is the process that enables genetic material to be copied exactly, ensuring the genes are correct and able to maintain health in their own way

Mitosis is also the process that organisms use to grow, and maintain and repair body cells, maintaining health

Cell Differentiation and Specialisation:

These 2 processes result in cells which are specialised for specific functions in the body, such as red blood cells, etc.

Together, all the specialised body cells work together in a coordinated way to maintain the health and proper functioning of the organism.

Use available evidence to analyse the links between gene expression and maintenance and repair of body tissues:

A healthy organism is the result of:

The correct functioning of genes...