Your body weight is 17 percent protein. Did you know that each protein is a ‘machine’. All the movenment and actions your bodies perform are done by these miniature machines.
The BODY is one of the chapters in the first book, Inventory or the Universe, of The Explanation series. As I worked on this an amazing number of facts came to light that I share with you to go more in-depth than what we tend to think about generally. I wanted to bring to light some of the wonders science has and is discovering practically every day. It’s not just the wonders that are of interest but how all of these ‘parts of the puzzle not only fit together, but work together.’
Your attention was drawn to the ‘Walking Protein Machine’ which helps in the division of cells which I’ll get to in a sec. What I realized as I read about proteins is that almost one fifth of our body, which contains some 37 trillion cells, is composed of proteins. And that each of those cells can have up to TWENTY THOUSAND proteins. In other words twenty thousand ‘machines’ similar to the one pictured above. This one ‘transports’, others filter, pump, signal, constuct, verify, glue, direct… just about every activity imaginable is accomplished by proteins.
But ‘protein’ isn’t just a ‘word’. Proteins are composed of amino acids, chemicals… which we can look at in a pharmacy or laboratory. That’s the image you and I have of ‘protein’, something we can ingurgitate to build muscles and the rest of our body. NO, NO, NO…
When the body builds ‘proteins’ it is building ‘machines’, lilliputian machines by the hundreds, thousands, millions, billions. Day in day out it builds and replaces these machines which make our bodies run… literally and figuratively.
The image we are generally shown of mitosis, the dividing of a cell, is of these spindles (they yellow lines in the image below) strung between the two end points of what resembles a rugby ball. We’re told the spindles get shorter and shorter, pulling the chromosomes apart with each half moving towards one of the two end zones called centrosomes.
The much deeper picture is that the Kinesin machine proteins are actually WALKING and PULLING the chromatids, which will be the chromosomes for the new cell, along the spindles to their destination! Yes, with powerful microscopes we can now witness what we’ll call this protein walking machine. On the website www.theExplanation.com you’ll soon be able to see incredible real life and animated videos of this process. At present they are visible on Youtube. As the walking proteins proceed to their end-zone destination, the already walked sections of the spindle break apart and ready themselves to form the nuclear membranes of the two new nuclei.
I don’t know about you but I’m mesmerized by the gif animation of the Kinesin walking protein. There’s a whole other aspect to this which I’m not going to broach here. It’s called ‘protein folding‘. Another fathomless accomplishment with regard to the forms and time needed to fold a string of thousands and thousands of amino acids into the shapes for these proteins to perform their functions. Enter ‘protein folding’ into a search engine and you can learn about it. The Inventory of the Universe covers this subject and I’ll give you some highlights in a future blog post.
Estimates of the number of TYPES of proteins we have in our bodies run from 100,000 to two million! There could be 2 million different types of machines running our bodies. When it comes to the total number of protein machines in your and my bodies… it’s incomprehensible: 2050,000 That’s 20 followed by 50,000 zeros. Just try to imagine one factory producing 2 million different machines AND millions and millons of EACH different type, colossal.
Yet… that’s what your body does, for as long as you live. What can I say, amazing!
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