It is proposed that the plasma membrane in the active zones of synaptic terminals contains self-assembling cooperative domains whose Ca2+-induced solidification may be the driving force of the fast neurotransmitter release in the central synapses. This hypothesis and a qualitative model of the phase-transition-driven exocytosis provide formulation of a unitary approach to a number of general problems in the physiology of animals. It allows answering the following questions, among others: (i) What is the physical reason for the existence of a narrow optimum range of body temperatures in warm-blooded species? (ii) What is the physical reason for the inevitable necessity of regular sleep in animals? (iii) Does there indeed exist any general mechanism of general anesthesia?

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