return to glossary

Diagram of glucose metabolic pathways

  • Metabolism describes the system of changes that maintain life in living organisms.
  • These processes are biochemical reactions that operate in chains of actions and reactions.
  • They are often described as 'pathways'.
  • They allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.
  • The metaphor of metabolism has been applied to the planning of cities and how they sustain themselves. (see Metabolicity).
  • It is important to consider that the term reflects a material-based perspective, rather than a 'flow-based' perspective (e.g. the Chinese term Qi)

Return to glossary