Wednesday, January 10, 2007

January 10, 2007 - The Inner Life of a Cell (Video)

Reading through the blog of Lynne Dahlborg, a gallbladder cancer survivor – “Life Changing Cancer” – I come across a link to a very cool video, “The Inner Life of a Cell.” Evidently, it was put together by some people associated with Harvard University, matching electron-microscope pictures with a new-agey soundtrack.

Viewing it, I’m reminded, yet again, of the remarkable processes going on inside me, on the molecular level. The cells in our bodies are numbered in the millions (maybe even billions). Most are healthy, but sometimes cells appear that are malignant. All follow the detailed instructions encoded in their DNA – a biochemical script that tells them precisely when to be born, when to die, when to multiply, when to mutate.

We are, all of us, at the mercy of these microscopic processes, although we’re scarcely aware of it. Indeed, most aspects of the microscopic reaches of our own bodies are every bit as incomprehensible to us as the stars and planets were to the Psalmist of old, who writes:

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?”

– Psalm 8:3-4

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