Friday, April 3, 2009

Hemoglobin is Proof of God I: Oxygen Transport

If you came to this series of posts hoping to find a rigorous theological debate regarding the existence of an omnipotent power...I'm sorry to disappoint (not really!).

Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. Hemoglobin consists of four subunits and each subunit can bind to a single oxygen molecule. This is the main method of oxygen transportation in our bodies, 98% of our blood oxygen is bound to hemoglobin. If we didn't have hemoglobin, we would die because our organs would suffocate, they would not get enough oxygen (at least you would leave a pretty corpse).

The remaining 2% of the oxygen in our blood is dissolved in the blood fluid (note: if the idea of gasses dissolved in fluid confuses you, think pop (soda for the americans), the bubbles in pop are created because carbon dioxide is dissolved into the drink at the manufacturing plant).

Hemoglobin is, in a sense, a perfect protein. It has several properties that make it an optimal molecule to help with gas exchange. This series will cover several background topics, culminating in a final post explaining these optomized properties.

The next post will discuss carbon dioxide transport in the blood.

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