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Unit 3 - Urine Production

You may not give much thought to urine - just an inconvenience which causes you to visit the toilet every few hours! But have you ever thought about the production of urine? Urine is made in the kidneys when they filter waste products from the blood, but how exactly do they do it? In this GCSE Biology quiz you'll learn all about the production of urine.

The urinary system is designed to remove certain waste materials from the body, including urea, excess ions and water. These waste materials are eliminated as urine which consists of the ions and urea dissolved in the excess water. The production of urine takes place in the kidneys. Here millions of microscopic filtering units, called nephrons, filter the blood and reabsorb important molecules such as glucose. Water and ions are also reabsorbed as required by the body.

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After it has been produced in the kidneys, the urine enters the ureter. One ureter leads from each of the kidneys and these take the urine to the bladder where it is stored and periodically eliminated from the body through the urethra. Blood is taken into the kidneys via the renal artery and removed after cleaning - the adjective renal refers to the kidneys so if you see something like renal damage written down, you know it means damage to a kidney.

Nephrons comprise the glomerulus, the Bowman's capsule, the convoluted tubules and the loop of Henle. The glomerulus first filters the blood. The glomerular filtrate contains water, urea, glucose and salts dissolved in water. Urea is a waste product from the breakdown of proteins in the liver. This filtrate is then collected by the Bowman's capsule and directed into the tubules where all of the useful materials, including all of the glucose, are reabsorbed. The loop of Henle is where osmoregulation occurs, ensuring thet the blood has the correct concentration of water. What is left is known as urine and it reaches the ureter via a collecting duct for transport to the bladder.

Kidneys are bean shaped organs that are situated just below the ribcage either side of the spine. If one fails, it is possible for the other to do the job of both. People suffering from complete kidney failure can be treated by dialysis or a kidney transplant. The dialysis machine takes over the job of detoxifying the blood and regulating the concentration of the blood plasma. Kidney failure patients who have a transplant often have to wait many months or even years before a suitable organ is found. The antigens of the donor need to be as close as possible to those of the patient to reduce the chances of tissue rejection.

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  1. Which tube conveys urine to the bladder from the kidney?
    The nephrons supply urine to these via collection ducts
  2. If the kidneys fail, urea builds up and is a problem because it is...
    Dialysis filters the blood and removes urea from the patient's blood
  3. Urea is made here from excess amino acids.
    The liver processes many molecules produced by digestion
  4. Urine is stored inside which part of the body before being expelled?
    If you are dehydrated, your urine is dark yellow
  5. Urea leaves the body in the...
    It is stored in the bladder
  6. Which organs are responsible for filtering the blood?
    The kidneys produce urine which consists of urea and excess ions dissolved in the excess water that has been removed from the blood
  7. Which of the following is a microscopic filtering unit found in the kidney?
    Nephrons have several sections. You should know their names and jobs for the exam
  8. All of this important substance is filtered then reabsorbed by the nephron into the blood.
    Glucose is filtered out of the blood but is then reabsorbed back into the blood again
  9. Kidney transplant may be rejected due to...
    Donor and recipient tissue antigens are matched as far as possible. Antibodies are often formed which attack the new kidney. This is called tissue rejection
  10. Water leaves the body in sweat, urine and...
    We lose a significant amount of water as water vapour from our exhaled breath

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