Why is the human body 98.6 F?
Name: sweet potata
Date: Around 1993
Why is the temperature of the human body 98.6 F?
This is like asking-why is there life. I cannot answer "why" but
I can tell you that in many organisms - BUT NOT ALL - 98.6 F (37 C) is the
temperature at which most reactions occur most efficiently. Our enzymes have
adapted to that temperature. When a mammal hibernates, their body temperature
actually falls and they are much less active. Not only do they appear to be
asleep, but they breathe less often and their heart rate is greatly reduced.
Some organisms have adapted to other temperatures (mostly the temperature of
their surroundings. When their enzymes are isolated and studied in the lab
they are found to function most efficiently at the higher (for "thermophiles")
or lower (for "psychrophiles") temperatures their cells normally live in.
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Update: June 2012