By Levy Merhav

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This type of effect is commonly caused by drugs, and so are also known as pharmacological 40 Bodily Functions effects. They are often due to the drug or chemical interacting with a particular receptor (see above). This effect may be the desirable action of a drug, for example salbutamol. This drug is known as a β-agonist and is prescribed for the treatment of asthma. The drug acts by dilating the airways (bronchioles) in the lungs and it does this by interacting with βreceptors present in the cells in these airways.

The human body, indeed the body of any mammal, is immensely complicated and its functioning is a wonder to behold. Given this complexity, it is remarkably tolerant of the foreign chemicals to which it is exposed but, not surprisingly, at times these chemicals do interfere with the normal workings of the body. A chemical that is foreign to the body, such as a drug, can interact with the substances of which the cells are made, for example to mimic them, such as when a drug interacts with a receptor.

The chemical and its breakdown products then usually pass into the blood flowing out of the liver into the vena cava, the largest vein in the body. From there the molecules of chemical or the products of metabolism are carried around the rest of the body. 18 Bodily Functions The chemical may interact with proteins in the blood (as happens with many drugs), or diffuse into the cells of other organs or tissue and remain there. Alternatively it may be filtered out of the blood by the kidneys and appear in the urine, and so be eliminated from the body (see below).

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An Image Watermarking Scheme Based on Information Theoretic Principles by Levy Merhav


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