ATP, or Adenosine triphosphate, is the primary nucleotide for storing and transporting chemical energy between cells, and also plays a vital role in synthesizing nucleic acids.
ATP is chemically composed of adenosine and three phosphate groups, or a triphosphate. Most of the chemical energy stored in ATP is found in the bond between the second and third phosphate groups. In aerobic creatures (non-bacteria, basically), ATP is synthesized in the mitochondria of the cells. In plants, the energy is provided by photosynthesis.
ATP is not a common substance in the human body, and is therefore recycled about 2000 to 3000 times in a day in most people. ATP cannot be stored, so once it's synthesized it must be used up.
Scientists today are researching the possibility of using ATP as a biological power source for nanotechnology and implanted electronic devices. Some experiments in using ATP to power artificial limbs have been promising. Soon, pacemakers that need battery changes every few years may disappear, replaced by pacemakers that simply process ATP to get their necessary energy. The attempt to copy ATP technology from nature for the purposes of human design is an example of biomimicry.
Web Resources On Adenosine triphosphate-ATP
Simplified Diagram of Cellular Metabolism
ATP and Biological Energy
Book Resources On Adenosine triphosphate-ATP
Cell Adenosine Triphosphate Physiology by Bridger & Henderson
Understanding Nanotechnology by Scientific American