Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Mitochondrial Health

So, Mitochondria Aren't Actually The Powerhouse Of The Cell After All

The most basic thing you learned in high school biology might be wrong.

Mitochondria are not exactly the powerhouse of the cell.

Maybe you learned it from the meme. Either way, probably not entirely correct.

Grab your note pad. There might be a quiz later. Meanwhile, refresher course:

-Eukaryotes are complex cells.

-Mitochondria are basically the digestive system in those cells.


Except now, scientists have found one of these cells that straight-up doesn’t have any mitochondria in it. 

Where did they find it? Chinchilla poop. Czech chinchilla poop, specifically.

The, um, findings were published in the journal Current Biology.

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28 thoughts on “So, Mitochondria Aren't Actually The Powerhouse Of The Cell After All
  1. +Newsy
    Ok… thats half the story

    and it doesn't change much… nor does it change the fact that eukaryotes need an internal powerhouse cell source
    the only thing in the finding was that it WASNT mitochondria… but instead, a series of other bacteria which did the same job… albeit less efficiently…. so the bit about us needing mitochondria isnt completely gone….. cuz thts still the most effecient known method… and therefore the most likely method of having an internal powerhouse… by having a quasi separate bacteria inside your cell doing the job

  2. I don't think the editors at Newsy read the paper past the summary.

    What the paper actually says: "Hey you know those mitochondria, you know, the powerhouse of the cell? Well we've known since the 1980's that some microscopic eukaryotes don't seem to have them, but then further research showed they do have them, but they were completely mutated so we didn't recognise them. Well we found this other microscopic thing that actually doesn't have any, for realsies this time. Like seriously, we looked through all its genes and didn't find any trace of mitochondria. But it does have bacteria living in it that pretty much do what mitochondria are suposed to do. Cool huh?"

    Here's the paper:

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