Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Blood Buffers
Name: Adrienne
Status: Student
Age: 17
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: September 2004


Question:
How do salts in plasma regulate the pH of blood?



Replies:
Bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) and Phosphate ion (H2PO4-) derived from Sodium Bicarbonate and Sodium Phosphate are both excellent buffers around pH 7. The way a buffer works is that it consists of a weak acid and a weak base; when acid is added to the system, the acid (H+) reacts with the weak base to form the corresponding weak acid (which by definition binds up the H+). On the other hand, when base (OH-) is added to the system, it reacts with the weak acid to form the weak base, and thus in either case the change in the concentration of H+ or OH- is minimized.

Regards, Ron Baker, Ph.D.



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory