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2.1 Breathing and Gas Exchange

The lungs and Gas Exchange

  • Can you label a diagram of the thorax, including the ribs, intercostal muscles, diaphragm, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli and pleural membranes?
  • Can you explain how the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm are used in ventilation?
  • How is diffusion involved with gas exchange?
  • Can you explain how alveoli are adapted for gas exchange?
  • What kind of experiment could you do to investigate the effect of exercise on breathing in humans?

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This video looks inside the lungs and specifically explores how the tiny air sacs called alveoli work to allow gas exchange when we breathe.

Click here to use an animation to help you understand the process of breathing.

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Click here to find out how respiration and breathing differ with Tim and Moby.

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Click here to see an animation of how breathing occurs.

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Click here for a worksheet on the lungs.

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Click here to learn about how gas exchange occurs in alveoli.

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Click here to see an alternative animation explaining how gaseous exchange occurs in alveoli.

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Click here to watch an animation explaining how the cilia work in the lungs.

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Click here to see how breathing is affected by exercise.

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Test your knowledge with Quizlet: IGCSE Biology – Respiration and Gas Exchange

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Smoking

  • How does smoking effect the lungs and the circulatory system?

Watch Gunther von Hagens, of Bodyworlds fame, explain the dangers of smoking below.

Click here to learn more about smoking related diseases.

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Click here to see what happens during cardiovascular disease – smoking can increase your risk of developing this type of disease.

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Click  to try a quiz on breathing and gas exchange.

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Test your knowledge with Quizlet: IGCSE Biology – Smoking

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Extension Material

Click here to learn how a spirometer can be used to measure lung volume.

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Click  to learn more about asthma.

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