|MadSci Network: Evolution|
Hi, Carl. At first, I thought that finding an answer to your question was going to be like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack. However, I've run across some information dealing with nitric oxide and oxygen respiration that might at least point you in the right direction. A recent (2002) study by Timothy McMahon, et al. at Duke University points to nitric oxide as sort of a control mechanism for the distribution of oxygen throughout the body. That may not seem relevant at first, but when you realize that over 70% of the atmosphere is nitrogen, it might become a little clearer. True, this may not be exactly the answer you were looking for, but at least this could be an answer to a related question: Why don't we breathe nitrogen instead of oxygen, since nitrogen is the more prevalent gas in our atmosphere? I hope this was of help. If I were you, I'd also read the URL I listed as a source, since it goes into great detail about the subject at hand. Justin Miller Geneva College source: http://dukemednews.duke.edu/news/article.php?id=5553
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Evolution.