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The Mitochondria Lab

 

Mitochondria

Mitochondria are essential organelles and are present in all of our cells. They are known as the "powerhouse" of the cell since they burn carbon to make chemical energy (ATP). They are also the "poison-cupboard" of our cells since if the mitochondrial outer membrane is opened, proteins are released that cause cell death (apoptosis). Cell death is important since as our cells divide we must kill others - otherwise cancers may arise and so this process is very well regulated.

Mitochondria are also involved in aging, reactive oxygen species production, immune responses, and defects in mitochondria are implicated in many diseases including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.