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Going Up a Level

February 19, 2008

Last week, we started exploring the Tower of Ten on Nanotechnology Island, starting on the bottom level.  Today, we’ll climb up the stairs to the next level…

…which has exhibits about the human body!  First of all, there’s a full-size human.  He’s about 1.7 metres tall.  Then there’s a cross-section of human skin, which is about 3 millimetres deep (and a millimetre is a thousandth of a metre).

On the other side, there are models of red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen around the body.  They’re about 7 micrometres across (where a micrometre is a millionth of a metre).

Lastly, there’s an exhibit with a (conceptual) model of a haemoglobin molecule – the molecule which does the actual carrying of oxygen.   (The four oxygen-carrying “haeme groups” are shown in more detail.)  Haemoglobin is about 3 nanometres across (where a nanometre is a billionth of a metre).  Nanotechnology is technology which lives at that scale.

The signs beside the exhibits have interesting facts on them.  (Did you know that the total surface area of all your red blood cells is more than 3/4 of an acre?)  To learn the other cool facts, just teleport there now.

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