How many molecules in a human body?
- 1 decade agoFavourite answer
The human body consists of between 10^13 and 10^14 cells. (The number another answerer gave of 60 trillion would be 6 x 10^13.) It is difficult to measure the exact number, and of course it would vary somewhat from person to person.
The next question is, how many molecules are in each cell? The size of cells varies, from tiny granule cells in the cerebellum to a large fertilized ovum, and the size of molecules within the cell varies from tiny water molecules consisting of just two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom, to enormous DNA molecules consisting of hundreds of millions of base pairs.
A cell is about 70% water, and because the water molecules are so small, that 70% water represents 99% of the molecules in a cell. The next largest contingent of molecules are the protein molecules, making up over 50% of the dry weight of the cell or 15% of the wet weight, and those proteins have a molecular weight of between 1000 and 100,000 daltons.
There are about 10^14 atoms in a typical human cell, which is coincidentally about the same number as cells in a human body.
So, if 70% of those atoms are in water molecules, with three atoms per H20 molecule, that's 2.3 x 10^13 water molecules.
Because the size of the protein molecules is so much greater than that of the water molecules, the amount they contribute to the number of molecules in the cell is miniscule. For instance, the typical liver cell contains only about 8 x 10^9, or 8 billion, protein molecules.
That's less than one tenth of one percent of the number of water molecules, above.
There are various other molecules in the cell besides proteins and DNA -- polysaccarides, lipids, and RNA, for example. Some very large molecules -- macromolecules like DNA and some very large lipids -- are only present in small numbers. But various small molecules are present in large numbers.
But the abundance of these small molecules still doesn't begin to approach the abundance of water molecules.
"The small molecules ... are abundant and diverse. ... Because they are so much smaller than the macromolecules, a very small mass of them consists of a very large number of molecules. If we assume an average molecular weight of 100, then an average E. coli cell would contain approximately 70 million small molecules."
Now, an E. coli cell is a lot smaller than a human cell, but even if that 70 million were 70 billion (as it would be in a cell 1000 times the volume, or 10 times the size in each of three dimensions), it is still dwarfed by the 23 trillion (2.3 x 10^13) water molecules, above.
So if we take roughly 2.3 x 10^13 (23 trillion) as the number of molecules in a cell, and roughly 5 x 10^13 (50 trillion) as the number of cells in the human body, we get approximately 10 x 10^26, or 10^27, or one thousand trillion trillion molecules in the human body.Source(s):  http://ask.yahoo.com/20020625.html  http://www.helium.com/items/699545-the-largest-and...  http://www.tetonnm.com/pics/IndependentSamplePages... [PDF]  http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200711...  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=mcb....  http://books.google.com/books?id=ykfUN84wQQ8C&pg=P...
- 4 years ago
The whole body is animated by the living breath of the soul. It is the energy that is delivered by God upon conception. Science cannot detect and never will be able to. The unseen is clearly out of reach for worldly science. To ask if the human body is smarter than the host is ridiculous. The primary parts of the body that are required to live are directly connected to the soul. If this is interrupted, then the body dies. But only because the soul separates from the body. And millions of testimonies going centuries back should be enough to convince non-believers that there must be a spirit. Aside from that, there are millions who accept the "soul" because they have become in-tune with their own spirit. I am one of those people and to doubt it would be lying. There are many many cases of someone simply dropping dead without explanation. No autopsy could find any cause of death. Some foolish people may say, "Well, science just hasn't caught up yet". But the fact is that if for ANY reason the soul detaches from the body, it will cease to operate...PERIOD.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
The human body consists of about 60 trillion cells, and each cell has about 10,000 times as many molecules as the Milky Way has stars.
- 1 decade ago
A bazillion gazillion molecules.
There are 2.3 times 10 to the 28th power atoms in the human body.
- rahatxlr8Lv 41 decade ago
- Anonymous4 years ago
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Blessings to all. Humans cannot successfully “direct our own evolution” because we’re nowhere near as smart as the intelligence that created life in the first place and we do not have the ability to gather as much data as the Mutation Algorithm can gather. Humans will not “take over” our own evolution in some triumphal Eugenics experiment of the future. The very notion of engineering our own evolution is preposterous. It will continue to be preposterous until the genome is fully understood, an achievement that is at least several hundred years away. 5. This new view of evolution as an engineered process (i.e. the genome uses concepts comparable to Six Sigma, Kaizen and Quality Control to adapt to its environment) will lead to specific discoveries and systems in DNA that can be directly applied to man-made systems. This is in stark contrast to Darwinism, which is virtually useless for teaching anyone how to design anything. (After you learned about Darwinian evolution, what did you suddenly know how to do or build as a result? Nothing!) Our cave-man ancestors knew that the fittest survive. There’s nothing profound about that; and Random mutation as an alleged path to improved designs is useless. If Taguchi or other Continuous Improvement methods are the fastest way to improve a design, a random walk is actually the fastest way to destroy a design. (Also notice that even in the best of circumstances, like Dawkins ‘methinks it is like a weasel’ program, Random Mutation still does not work without a pre-programmed selective goal.) Genetic Algorithms that mindlessly grind through millions of permutations are notoriously inefficient, which is why their use in the software industry is so limited. Thus the most potentially productive hypothesis for evolution is that it follows an algorithm that’s pre-engineered for maximum improvement within the smallest possible number of steps. A program that starts with single cells and ends up with human beings in only 3 billion years is an engineering achievement of the highest order. Reverse-engineering the Mutation Algorithm will be one of the most powerful future applications of applied science. To understand this 21st century view of evolution will be to know something that has immensely practical, real-world applications. Eventually, unlocking the secrets of the Mutation Algorithm will be the “Holy Grail” of biology. It’s the secret to everything. The 20th century theory of random mutation will be seen as being just as foolish and detrimental to the practice of real science as the church’s opposition to Galileo. 6. The adaptive capabilities of DNA (the Mutation Algorithm) are best understood as a function of intelligence. This adaptive algorithm that makes evolution possible does not blindly plod forward the way man-made programs do, but makes remarkably fit choices in environments that it has not faced before. 7. DNA’s information storage is an optimal combination of physical data density, error-minimizing redundancy, and data compression. Common sense observation: The entire human genome builds a 3-dimensional biological machine with a lifespan of 70-80 years and all the data necessary to do this can fit on a 750 Megabyte CD-ROM. A DNA molecule is thousands of times denser than a CD-ROM. Windows Vista can’t begin to fit on a CD-ROM, it has thousands of bugs and requires a never-ending series of software patches. A man-made data storage program (i.e. CAD program) would require hundreds, perhaps thousands of times more storage space than DNA, to accurately represent the human body. Hypothesis: DNA currently stores data at a higher density than any man-made digital information storage system, and as we approach or attempt to surpass the DNA benchmark we will encounter physical limitations that result in severe tradeoffs (i.e. greatly increased possibilities of long-term data loss).The resources DNA devotes to error correction are extensive and absolutely necessary. In DNA a single sequence of data is used in more ways and does more jobs than researchers presently imagine. In DNA, nothing goes to waste.
- 1 decade ago
- jizzumonkeyLv 51 decade ago
Hold on i shall count them for u now.