What Is the Most Basic Composition of Our Body

Let's say that we had access to fancy laboratory equipment capable of determining the most fundamental composition of an object. If we used this equipment to assess a man or woman it would spit out some interesting data on our most basic level of composition—elements. Elements are substances that cannot be broken down into other substances. Scientists have determined that there are one hundred or so of these elements in nature. Some of the more recognizable elements include carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and calcium. All of the elements known to exist can be found on the periodic table of elements, which we have all come across at one point or another in our schooling. (the periodic table of elements is included as Appendix A in case you feel the need for another peek.) Now, imagine that everything that you can think of is merely a skillful combination of these same elements. This includes cars, boats, buildings, clouds, oceans, trees, and of course our body. In fact, our body employs about twenty-seven of the elements as displayed in Table 1.1 and Appendix A.

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