• WATER • AGUA • VODA • PANI • SHOUEI • How do you say it?
In recognition of World Water Day, here’s some of my favorite water trivia.
• Water Channels: If you were impressed by Google’s announcement of ultra-high-speed internet service to Kansas City at one giga-bit per second then consider this: the water channel Aquaporin moves 10,000,000,000 molecules of water each second! Aquaporin (Image 2) is a protein found in cell membranes of all plants and animals, wherever water needs to be moved.
• Water Dipoles: Although a molecule of water is neutral, it is a strong dipole with a negative (oxygen) and positive (two hydrogens) end (Image 3). This accounts for the mutual attraction between water molecules (hydrogen bonding) and explains many of its wonderful properties such as surface tension, structure of ice and high boiling point. Ion channels can be selective for a larger ion (such as K+) over a smaller one (Na+) because of the energetic costs of stripping the larger hydration shell off the smaller ion.
• The ocean is a large drop; a drop is a small ocean. Ralph Waldo Emerson (Image 4) Did you ever wonder at the thought that the same molecules of water we use today were around when the earth was formed?
• Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. –Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. 97% of all water on earth is in the ocean but we can’t drink it. We need salt and we need water, so what’s the big deal? Because seawater is more concentrated than our cells, we actually lose water by osmosis and become dangerously dehydrated. Interestingly, drinking too much pure water is just as dangerous and athletes have been known to die of water toxicity. Osmosis drives balance of water across our cells (Image 1).
What are some of your favorite or weird water facts? 🙂
Many Thanks to Feisal Kamil who suggested a post relating to World Water Day!