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The kidney is a complex filtering organ that collects waste from the blood and delivers it to the bladder.

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The Master of Filtration
Teacher Contributed

The Master of Filtration

Student Exploration

What Do You Do With Dirty Blood?

A fundamental problem all organisms face is how to acquire the resources they need to live. With all the diversity of organisms and resources, organisms can only rarely get all they need from one source or use every little bit of a resource. They are faced with a situation of acquiring what they need and getting rid of what they don't. So how do they do this? Well, there are many ways to deal with this basic situation and many organisms have come up with a variety of solutions, but for mammals one very big solution is their kidney. Find out more about how the mammalian kidney functions and the kinds of problems that arise when your kidney isn't quite right.


Extension Investigation

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. What is a nephrologist? What do they study?
  2. What is the function of the kidney? What structure in the kidney is key to this function? How is this function accomplished?
  3. How big is the human kidney? Where is it located? How do you think kidney size will vary between species of mammals? What may impact this variation?
  4. What is kidney disease? What factors come into play in determining kidney disease? What are some symptoms of kidney disease?
  5. What are some symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)? What are the treatment options?
  6. How can your diet help your kidney function? What other factor besides medication can help improve the functioning of your kidney function?

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