[the protein ubiquitin - the cleaning machine]
According to a recent article in the New York Times, proteins are the machines that carry out the directions of genes. They must be formed at a certain moment and destroyed when they are no longer needed, or when they go bad.
A cell is something like an orchestra, with thousands of players. These are the proteins. They must all work together in harmony and play their parts at the right moment.
A cell knows when to eliminate a protein by using a tagging system. Every cell has within it a special protein that is everywhere: ubiquitin. Out of the thousands of proteins, this one tags damaged and bad proteins, binds to them and creates a molecular “kiss of death” until they are chopped up and degraded.
Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s are caused by proteins accumulating in the brain and destroying brain cells. The reason we don’t get Alzheimer’s when we are 10 is that when we are young, the bad proteins are disposed of quickly. With age, the cell’s machinery may lose the ability to do that.
It's incredible to consider the vastly complex and perfectly orchestrated machinery which is functioning in each one of our 60 to 90 trillion cells.
How accurate the Jewish prayer said after elimination is: Blessed are You, Lord, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.