Lead poisoning could reduce gene expression in humans

Scientists have unveiled a correlation between high blood lead levels in children and methylation of genes involved in haem synthesis and carcinogenesis, indicating a previously unknown mechanism for lead poisoning.

Researchers identify key steps in development of kidneys

The discovery of how certain key structures in the kidneys are formed could have important implications for treating renal fibrosis (or scarring), a feature of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study by a researcher ...

How very hungry caterpillars grow and grow and don't get sick

What if I told you that right in your backyard there lives a creature that eats five times its weight every day and grows a thousandfold in weeks. Instinctively, you'd probably want to stay away from the gluttonous beast! ...

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Kidney

The kidneys are paired organs, which have the production of urine as their primary function. Kidneys are seen in many types of animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are part of the urinary system, but have several secondary functions concerned with homeostatic functions. These include the regulation of electrolytes, acid-base balance, and blood pressure. In producing urine, the kidneys excrete wastes such as urea and ammonium; the kidneys also are responsible for the reabsorption of glucose and amino acids. Finally, the kidneys are important in the production of hormones including vitamin D, renin and erythropoietin.

Located behind the abdominal cavity in the retroperitoneum, the kidneys receive blood from the paired renal arteries, and drain into the paired renal veins. Each kidney excretes urine into a ureter, itself a paired structure that empties into the urinary bladder.

Renal physiology is the study of kidney function, while nephrology is the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the kidney. Diseases of the kidney are diverse, but individuals with kidney disease frequently display characteristic clinical features. Common clinical presentations include the nephritic and nephrotic syndromes, acute kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infection, nephrolithiasis, and urinary tract obstruction.

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