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The respiratory function of the lungs

Energy production in living organisms often uses oxygen and produces carbon dioxide. Hence, life necessitates an efficient means of oxygen delivery to cells and carbon dioxide excretion from cells. In smaller organisms, such as single-celled bacteria, this process of gas exchange can take place entirely by simple diffusion. In larger organisms this is not possible; only a small proportion of cells are situated close enough to the surface for oxygen from the atmosphere to enter them through diffusion.

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