Consciousness In The Cell



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How Great a Miracle It Is to Breathe!

From the moment you were born, you've been breathing with ease and, as a result, have been able to continue your existence. If you stop breathing for only a few minutes, this will lead to the cessation of all of your bodily functions and most possibly, to your death. Your very life depends upon a substance known as a surfactant, found in your lungs.

This substance envelops the roughly 300 million tiny air sacs, or alveoli, that let the lungs take in oxygen. Surfactant helps in the opening and closing of these sacs every time you breathe—no easy task.

One very important feature of this substance is that it starts being produced only one month before a person is born. And here begins the miraculous nature of this event.

How is it that a baby, who hasn't used its lungs while in its mother's womb, can foresee the difficulty of breathing when it comes out into the world—and then feel the need to start producing this substance? How does it know that the surfactant is able to help its alveoli? What type of chemical knowledge can it use to estimate its help in the movement of these sacs?

The absence of this substance—as in babies born prematurely—can lead to an infant's death in a very short time. But this seldom happens. For millions of years, every full-term newborn has emerged from the womb with lungs coated in this substance, enabling it to breathe with ease.

Undoubtedly this miraculous event is not realized through the will of the baby, nor through the intent of the mother. The One Who created this perfect system and Who allows it to be initiated at just the right time is God.

O man! What has deluded you in respect of your Noble Lord? He Who created you and formed you and proportioned you and assembled you in whatever way He willed. (Qur'an, 82: 6-8)

A substance called a surfactant facilitates the proper expansion of the alveoli, allowing them to fill with air every time we take a breath.

alveol, red blood cell

1. Lungs
2. Alveoli coated with surfactant
3. Cross section of an alveolus
4. Membrane of capillary
5. Surfactant layer
6. CO 2
7. O 2
8. Red blood cell


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