The Energy of Life in Your Cells: The ATP Molecule
1.Light, 2.Heat, 3. Electrical energy, 4.Physical processes in the cell, 5.Cecretion, 6.Chemical reactions, 7.Movement
The processes that use ATP and the types of energy produced
Energy we obtain from food cannot be used directly by our cells in carrying out the processes required for their continued existence. First the energy is packaged into a special molecule called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Later on, it's used to carry out all the manufacture and transferals taking place in the cell.
The body uses 48 kilograms of ATP a day. But amazingly enough, at any one point during the day, the amount of ATP in the body never exceeds one gram. The reason for this is that ATP is not stored, but rather is prepared in special packets for immediate use. Never forget that the cell's life depends upon this energy. For this reason, the production of ATP must occur very quickly. And so, at every second, each of your approximately 100 trillion cells consumes and regenerates ten million molecules of ATP.
How is this speed maintained?
Whenever a cell needs energy, the end phosphate linkage of the ATP molecule's three phosphate groups is broken; that is, the packet of energy is opened. With the breakage of one phosphate linkage, the subsequent release of energy lets the cell carry out its functions with ease. And this amazing process continues with amazing speed and without fail.
Without doubt, it's impossible for a molecule made up of atoms to determine a cell's energy requirements and then produce the appropriate energy. That this production is carried out in a most efficient way and with the most appropriate packaging system cannot be the product of coincidence. The Creator of the cell and of every action and process of the molecules within the cell is God; it is He Who put the ATP molecule at the service of living things in such a perfect manner.
1. ATP is a packet of energy produced in the cell. The threedimensional image of the ATP molecule, above, is shown in more detail on the right. It contains three phosphate groups, with high-energy phosphate bonds between the atoms.
2. THE BREAKDOWN OF THE ATP MOLECULE RELEASES ENERGY:
2a. ATP has three phosphate groups. Whenever one linkage is broken off, energy is released.