Written by Barry Meyer, Advanced Chemistry teacher
My advanced chemistry class is currently studying organic chemistry. To this point we have learned that the chemistry of living things is very complex, yet fascinating as well. There are literally thousands of compounds composing the vast creation surrounding us as well as within our bodies.
Muscles are made of proteins, which in turn are made of amino acids, which are themselves primarily made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. There are twenty different amino acids connected to one another in a myriad of ways, resulting in a multitude of different organic compounds. Insulin, critical to our bodies, to maintain and control blood sugar, is just one of these. The photograph below is a very small portion of a single insulin molecule constructed by my students. There are just fourteen amino acids in our model, whereas an actual insulin molecule has 51 amino acids linked to one another. Our model looks very big and it should for it’s over 10 million times bigger than an actual insulin molecule — much too small to be seen by the naked eye. Yet, in our bodies this miraculous molecule does its duty in our blood stream 24/7. God’s creation is truly wonderful, in both large and, in this case, very small ways.