Just as a brick is the basic building block of a wall, the human cell is the basic functioning unit of the human body. Our body has about a hundred trillion of them and each one is a living organism protected by its own membrane. The main substance of the cell, which fills up the space within the plasma membrane, is a fluid called the cytosol. The cytosol consists of water with different chemicals dissolved within it.

Each cell not only consists of water, but is also surrounded by water. The water inside the cell has a high concentration of potassium and protein and a low concentration of sodium, but the water outside the cell is exactly the opposite of the water inside. The plasma membrane serves to separate the two different solutions from each other.

Suspended within the cell are structures, called organelles and important proteins, which together perform functions that allow for life, including the ability to produce genetic information, generate energy and re-cycle used cellular material.

For the cell to survive, it needs to constantly receive new supplies of chemicals, like glucose, for energy. It must also constantly rid itself of toxic chemicals, like carbon dioxide from the breakdown of glucose. If it opens its gates to allow new supplies to come through, it is exposed to the chemical content of the water just outside its doorstep and if it cannot control its chemical content and volume, it will die.

So how does each cell control the flow of chemicals and deal with the natural laws of diffusion and osmosis which govern chemical and fluid movement? This is an important question because the natural laws work against the cell. Diffusion wants to distribute all chemicals evenly inside and outside the cell. Osmosis wants to bring in the water but not the proteins and if too much water enters the cell, causing its volume to rise, the cell can die by explosion, just like a balloon. The cell needs to take control or it will not survive.

This brings us to the wonder of the sodium-potassium pump. It is a gateway which allows transition of chemicals through the membrane. In Diagram 1, we have a depiction of the gate as it is about to move sodium ions (NA+) from inside to outside of the cell. It is like a valve which will open and close when energy is supplied. In this diagram, 3 sodium ions have attached themselves to the protein channel and for this to occur the pump has to have an exact loading dock shape for that particular ion. But it needs energy to change the shape of the channel and drive the ions through the channel.

This is where ATP comes in. Adenosine-triphosphate, or ATP, is the principal molecule for storing and transferring energy in cells. When it combines with water and special enzymes, energy is released and, in this case, that energy provides the means of driving the ions into position and changing the shape of the pump.

In Diagram 2 we see that the channel has changed shape allowing the sodium ions to be released to the other side of the membrane.

In Diagram 3 we see that the new shape of the channel has a high a nity for potassium ions (K+) and two of these ions now bind to the channel.

In Diagram 4, this binding again changes the shape of the protein channel, causing the release of the phosphate group into the cytoplasm within the cell. This release allows the channel to revert to its original shape and the process commences all over again. The important characteristic of this pump is that both sodium and potassium ions are moving from areas of low concentration to areas of higher concentration, which is directly against the laws of fluid distribution.

In other words, if the pump were not there from the very beginning, no cell would be alive today. For the cell to work properly, it must have a membrane which has the right-shaped docking ports for the right ions it needs, a transition mechanism that works contrary to the physical laws of fluid movement and an ability to accept the right amount of energy generated by the ATP molecule. If any of these components were missing or if ions were simply to behave according to the natural laws of physics, nothing would work and life would not be viable. All of this marvellous and elaborate system implies special and immediate creation, linked with the wisdom of intricate design.