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How many different chemical substances are there (on the average) in a human cell?

I saw of an estimation of ~ 1 billion (10^9) in sci-pop books.

Is there any reliable estimation rooted in the scientific community?

There is this question, but it does not have any answer. It only states that modern researches use (model) only a very limited number of chemicals within a cell. But what is the estimation of the real complexity of a problem.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why do you care? This is Guinness Book of records stuff, that went out of science two centuries ago. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 27 at 21:42
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    $\begingroup$ For the scope of the question, it will largely depend what elements should be considered. All chemical substances would include atoms, molecules, basic chemical substances (for example amino acid, nucleic acid), supra molecular substances (peptide, protein, DNA molecule), and complexes. When considered from this point of view, any pair of amino acid or nuclei acids is a new entity. With all the possible building blocks that makes a huge combinatorial list. So the answer will largely depends at which "level" of details the question should be asked. $\endgroup$ – Dr. H. Lecter Aug 27 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the sci-pop books will be as reasonable as any other estimation. $\endgroup$ – James Aug 28 at 8:54

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