The Ultimate Catch-22: Will Life be the Death of Us?

Louisa Petchey

Abstract


Whatever it is that you live, eat and breathe, the point is you eat and breathe. Remarkably, these two simple (and occasionally pleasurable) activities are all that’s needed to keep the biology of your body ticking over. By getting oxygen into your lungs and food into your stomach you are providing all the raw materials required for aerobic respiration: the chemical reaction that is constantly firing away in every cell of your body to give you energy. This fantastic life-giving reaction comes courtesy of a tiny organelle in your cells called the mitochondrion. But don’t be fooled by their apparently selfless nature - they might just be the death of you.

Keywords


mitochondria; free radicals

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