Introduction Page

Click here for How many cells are in the human body (and how long do they live)?

Click here re Semen and sperm, atoms and molecules, the "building blocks" of life.

Click here to go to Hormones and Enzymes and Amino Acids.

Click here to go to DNA, its approximate weight in each cell's nucleus, notes on the sex chromosome pair and how often anomalies occur.

Atomic Numbers of elements on this page: Hydrogen 1, Helium 2, Carbon 6, Nitrogen 7, Oxygen 8, Fluoride 9, Neon 10, Sodium 11, Chloride 17, Magnesium 12, Aluminium 13, Silicon 14, Phosphorus 15, Sulphur 16, Argon 18, Potassium 19, Calcium 20, Vanadium 23, Chromium 24, Manganese 25, Iron 26, Cobalt 27, Nickel 28, Copper 29, Zinc 30, Selenium 34, Molybdenum 42, Silver 47, Tin 50, Iodine 53, Gold 79, Mercury 80, Lead 82

Back to molecules. Click here for Precious Metals and Stones.

Click here re Uranium, as used in nuclear weapons.

Click here for the Four Forces in Physics — and a further introduction by Albert Einstein — and a prayer — bind us together Lord with cords that cannot be broken Chemical Elements that we can see

Chemical Elements that we can see

The Universe

Click here for Time and Relativity adapted from an email sent to a number of friends in June 2007.

Most of the chemical makeup of the universe (stars / suns, etc) is hydrogen (75%), a very combustible element, and at a lower level, helium (23%) with the fusion of hydrogen into helium producing both light and heat. These two elements, incidentally, have been located in our moon's very thin atmosphere. The next five most common elements are estimated as being: Oxygen (1%), Carbon (½%), then Neon, Iron and Nitrogen (at about 0.1% each).

Click here for the chemicals in the Makeup of the Moon plus estimates for the other eight planets in our Solar System.

The Earth's Atmosphere

The air in our atmosphere in contrast — all 5140 trillion tonnes of it — is very rich with nitrogen 78% and oxygen 21%, followed by argon 0.9% and carbon dioxide 0.03%, then very small percentages of other elements that include water vapor, dust particles, pollen, plant grains and other solid particles.
Contrasted with 1½ million trillion tonnes of water (click here for its placement) and 6 billion trillion tonnes of earth.

The Human Body

The average adult human body is about 53% water, i.e. H2O, with its mass approximately 88.8888…% oxygen with 8 protons & 8 neutrons, and 11.1111…% hydrogen 2x1 proton. This water component is much higher in babies, about 75% or so, and then it becomes less as we age. It is also normally lower in women than in men.

Human BodyAtoms
(volume)
MassComment
Hydrogen62%10%with about 40½% as being a part of the water volume
and about 5.89% as being a part of the water mass
Oxygen24%65%with about 20¼% as being a part of the water volume
and about 47.11% as being a part of the water mass
Carbon12%18½%This figure remains fairly stable in adults
Sub-Total98%93½% 
Nitrogen1%3% 
Sub-Total99%96½% 
Remaining 1% of volume, 3½% mass consists of (1) Calcium in teeth and bones about 1½%, (2) Phosphorus about 1%, and (3) about 15 trace elements: **Sulphur, Potassium and Sodium Chloride about 0.3% each, Magnesium about 0.1% then Iron, Iodine, Fluoride, Copper, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Vanadium and Cobalt.

**Sulphur compounds produced by certain bacteria in the gut make up the source of the odour associated most with waste and decay. Regarding bacteria cells, there are perhaps 30 to 50 trillion (or more) of them in our body alongside the 30 trillion (or so) human cells in the average adult. However as single celled micro organisms they have no nucleus, they have primitive DNA and RNA for duplicating themselves, and each one weighs just trillionths of a gram. Well over 90% are thought to be in our lower gut, and the odd trillion or so live in our saliva. In total they make up perhaps 1 - 3% of our total body weight. They are about 70% water, they have differing amounts of carbon nitrogen and oxygen, and small amounts of phosphorus and sulphur.
Viruses (RNA and DNA), another life form, weigh one thousandth of the weight of a typical bacteria cell and thus have minimal mass. At any given time, the average healthy human may have 5 viruses co-existing with the rest of their body.

In human bones, as opposed to the rest of the body, the water content is 31%, carbon content is 36%, calcium content is 17%, phosphorus varies anywhere up to a max of 7%, and nitrogen is 4%. Numerous trace elements follow.

In human hair and nails, composed of the keratin protein, carbon content is 45%, oxygen content is 28%, nitrogen 15%, hydrogen 7%, and sulphur 5%.

 

The Earth

Plant Life: Average oxygen percentage via water and carbohydrates is much higher at about 77%, hydrogen percentage remains steady at about 10%, while carbon percentage is accordingly lower, an average of 12%. Nitrogen percentage is about 1%, with various trace elements following.
In fruits and vegetables, the water percentage varies from, say, 74% in bananas to 96% in lettuces and cucumbers. Most vegetables have a water content above 90%.
With living trees, the wood content causes the carbon percentage to be higher, around 15 - 18%. With oven-dried wood the carbon percentage lifts to about 50%, and continues to increase as the wood ages and toughens in old timber buildings.

Earth Crust: Oxygen 46% Silicon 27% Aluminium 8% Iron 6% Calcium 5% with last 8% of the crust made up of many dozens of elements.

The solid inner core is almost entirely made of iron.

 

** End of page
and Introduction

Hormones and Enzymes and Amino Acids

A brief primer on life starting with amino acids and vegetation.

Amino is an adjective form of ammonia, a pungent gas with the molecular formula NH3 (one Nitrogen atom and 3 Hydrogen atoms), name derived from sal ammoniac, salt deposits containing ammonium chloride found near temple of an ancient god, Baal Ammon, in Egypt and Libya.
These NH3 molecules then interact with hydro-carbon molecules, each time losing one hydrogen atom and having it replaced by the hydrogen atom in the hydro-carbon. These form long molecule chains that often include oxygen atoms and occasionally sulphur atoms, grouping always around a solid carbon atom in the centre. There are a huge number of variations to these chains. Then, along with water (liquid) and oxygen (gas), they become the basis of all life forms on the earth.

Click here for further information.

Let's go on

Amino Acids
There are twenty standard amino acid molecules, bending and flexing inside each body to build its form. In humans, all are produced (synthesized) inside the liver. Of these, twelve amino acids are produced naturally, while the other eight are produced through nutrition.

Peptides traditionally consist of a chain between 2 and 50 amino acids long. An example is insulin produced inside the pancreas to regulate blood sugar levels. In the process, each amino acid is referred to as a monomer, as the carboxyl group (-COOH) of one is joined to the amino group (-NH2) of the next by a peptide bond of the type -CO-NH- and water. This forms a polymer, a macromolecule, with each amino acid unit referred to as a residue after the elements of water are removed.
A polypeptide is a long unbranched chain between 50 and 2000 amino acids long.
Proteins are defined as one or more polypeptides.

 

Hormones (from the Greek word "To impel") travel around inside the blood through the body, building new structures. There are four hormone groups: Amino Acids, Peptides, Steroids, and a special fatty acid group known as Eicosanoids (or "local" hormones) that don't travel very far .

Stress Related hormones
Adrenaline (C9H13NO3), Latin for "at the kidneys", also known as epinephrine, Greek for "upon the kidneys" is derived from the amino acid Tyrosine (C9H11NO3), and is generated in the adrenal glands for a "fight or flight" response, with a half-life of approximately one minute. Adrenaline of course gives you the "rush", binds to receptors on the heart and heart vessels, contracts your muscles, focuses on "movement".
Cortisol, on the other hand (C21H30O5), derived from the Latin word "cortex"/"tree bark"/"covering" of the adrenal glands, is a steroid hormone that acts as a "stopper", inhibiting much bodily activity (temporarily), while binding to receptors on your fat cells to break 'em down into glucose reserves for your muscles.
Not very healthy, all that simultaneous intense stopping of bodily functions in order to move in a focused direction over an extended period. Compared with prayer, pressing into God, and his unshakeable love for us. While studies show that stress causes women to be more prone to depression than men, other studies show men tend to ignore depression more, deny it when it develops, are slower to seek out help, and tend to die younger as a result.

Other Steroid hormones include androgens and estrogens. They too are produced by the adrenal glands atop the kidneys, and also the sex organs, both males and females. Androgens (from the Greek word for "males") are hormones more commonly found in males such as testosterone (C19H28O2). Estrogens (related to the Greek word for "frenzy or passion") are hormones more commonly found in females to assist with reproduction e.g. estradiol (C18H24O2). Chemically both are related to cholesterol (C27H46O) a lipid (fat) that coats each cell's membrane.

Click here for a full list of hormones, including a list of Amino Acids, Peptides, Steroids, and Eicosanoids.

Click here for another list of hormones, this time with links to Proteins and Growth Factors.

 

Enzymes
While made up of amino acids, they are not hormones. Enzymes (from the Greek word "in leaven, yeast"), are a specialist group of amino acids that don't do any actual "body-building" , but as large chains they do speed up activity inside the body, particularly in the digestion of food.

Click here for a list of digestive enzymes.
Note too that while most enzymes are proteins, a few are catalytic RNA (single stranded) molecules, called ribozymes.

 

DNA Blueprints

In the nucleus of every cell (in humans) there are 23 pairs of chromosomes containing 20,000 genes (genetic blueprints) in two double stranded "ladders" (one ladder initially from mum, one ladder from dad). These are encoded inside 6 billion units (base pairs) of DNA inside the two ladders (3 billion initially from mum, 3 billion from dad). Each ladder includes atoms of phosphorus.

Approximate weight of the DNA is 6 picograms (6 trillionths of a gram).

The sex chromosome pair and the SRY gene: In the case of normal-functioning males, there is always a Y chromosome present in that 23rd chromosome pair. However, in the rare case of the SRY (Sex-determining Region Y) gene at the tip of the Y chromosome not functioning properly or other genes not functioning properly, (Swyer syndrome), the XY male will become a eunuch, like a female in appearance but without functional ovaries. Affects about one in 80,000 births. This also occurs, rarely, when Complete Androgen Insensitivity syndrome occurs, when the Androgen Receptor gene in cells is broken or missing so the cells can't bind (respond) to androgen hormones to build male testes. Affects about one in 20,000-80,000 births. Another very rare genetic anomaly, about 200 cases reported worldwide, (PMDS) can cause XY males to develop a uterus and ovaries.

Other rare genetic cases can occur with females causing them to function more like males, though never with an ability to produce sperm. Experiments, sadly, are working on this.
One example is the XX male syndrome which occurs when an X chromosome on the father's side picks up the SRY gene. Affects about one in 20,000 births and always sterile.

With regard to other anomalies affecting the sex chromosome pair, below are the statistics.

  1. XXX Triple X syndrome. Affects one in 1000 female births.
  2. X Turner syndrome. Only a single X chromosome present. Affects one in 2000 to 5000 female births.
  3. XXXX Tetrasomy X syndrome. Very rare with 100 cases apparently on record.
  4. XXXXX Pentasomy X syndrome. Also very rare with 40 cases apparently on record.

     

    Y chromosome anomalies

  5. XXY Two (or more) X chromosomes in males. Klinefelter syndrome. Affects one to two in 1,000 male births.
  6. XXYY Affects one in 18,000 to 40,000 male births.
  7. XXXY Affects one in 50,000 male births.
  8. XXXXY Affects one in 85,000 to 100,000 male births.
  9. XXYYY One boy reported.
  10. XYY Affects one in 1,000 male births.
  11. XYYY Affects one in 1,000,000 male births.
  12. XYYYY Affects one in 1,000,000 male births.

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