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Power Failures in Our Cells


In this fluorescent image of a cell, the mitochondrial network is labelled red and the DNA stained green. The bulk of the green staining is in the nucleus but you can see the green spots throughout the mitochondrial network, which represent mitochondrial nucleoids. These are thought to contain multiple mtDNA molecules plus much of the protein machinery needed for mtDNA replication and expression. Credit: Dr Ann Frazier

By David Thorburn

Severe defects in mitochondrial function affect at least one in every 5000 births, but mitochondrial disorders can reveal themselves at any age through a wide range of symptoms and as contributing factors to conditions as disparate as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

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