Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Laminin, The Cross, and Being Held Together

Today a friend of mine in Houston sent a youtube video to me. I wanted to give you the link as well as a few pictures to go along with the video. Basically, there is a protein that holds our bodies together call laminin. Where this becomes interesting is that laminin looks eerily similar to another image that holds us together spiritually.

For one who is ignorant about most things science, it is great to see science point things towards Christ. Laminin is the major non-collagenous component of the basal lamina, such as those on which cells of an epithelium sit. Basically, laminin is a protein found in the "extracellular matrix", the sheets of protein that form the substrate of all internal organs also called the "basement membrane". It has four arms that can bind to four other molecules. The three shorter arms are particularly good at binding to other laminin molecules, which is what makes it so great at forming sheets. The long arm is capable of binding to cells, which helps anchor the actual organs to the membrane. The laminin protein is made up of three separate parts, called the A, B1, and B2 chains. That gives it a total of six "ends", which accounts for a lot of its flexibility in connecting up various kinds of molecules. Because of this, scientists who create biomaterials are extremely interested in the whole family of laminins. They are a family of glycoproteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding in almost every animal tissue. Laminins are secreted and incorporated into cell-associated extracellular matrices. Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together.

Some might call this a coincidence, but God is wise enough to know exactly what he is doing with something as small as a protein molecule. For me, it is no coincidence that the very thing holding our bodies together is in the very image that holds our lives together as well.

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