Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Warm Day in January

Today, the temperature reached 53 degrees Farenheit. It's January 31st, and I'm writing this in a small town snugged up against Michigan's western coast. Normally, it's very cold right now; I can't remember it EVER being this warm at this time of year. It's so warm, the below picture shows the open sunroof that I was comfortably enjoying as I drove our car to the shop to have them fix a chronically leaky tire.
As crazy as this warmth is, variations in weather such as these are exactly what I've come to expect growing up in Michigan. We got over a foot of snow two days ago, all of which has melted by now, and we'll probably have another blizzard this weekend... Gotta love the lake effect.

In other news, I was reading out of my Biochemistry book today when I found the following diagram of a mitochondrion accompanied by the below blurb:
"The inner membrane of a single liver mitochondrion may have more than 10,000 sets of electron-transfer systems (respiratory chains) and ATP synthase molecules, distributed over the membrane surface. The mitochondria of heart muscle, which have more profuse cristae and thus a much larger area of inner membrane, contain more than three times as many sets of electron-transfer systems as liver mitochondria."(1)
This made me think about how oftentimes people are so enthralled with the knowledge we have and how far we have come in our ability to create order in the world around us, particularly in the form of awesome technology, such as that being use to write (and read!) this blog post. I fall into this category far too often. As I read this statement about the complexity and variability of mitochondria - just one small (albeit important) piece of our bodies - I realized something: a person who has become prideful in his or her ability to create needs only to look inside him-/herself to find humility. The complexity and number of structure/function relationships at work within us is truly astounding.
For some perspective, here's an example of just one of the above-mentioned 10,000 electron-transfer systems commonly found on the inner mitochondrial membrane of hepatic cells. I followed it with a 3D representation of the ATP synthase complex (the lower-left intermembrane protein in the system shown) as well as a corresponding ribbon diagram for added nerdalicious wow factor:
(1) Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 5th Edition.


Allison said...

I didn't even wear a jacket today! Crazy weather.

atlanta property management said...

Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you


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