Science Past for December 6, 1958

Find cell “power plants”—Fragments of mitochondria, microscopic “islands” in the cell protoplasm surrounding the nucleus, are helping scientists find out how a cell gets its energy to carry on vital life processes. All energy comes from combustion of foodstuffs, but exactly how the living cell does absorb, store and release energy is unknown. Now, Dr. Albert L. Lehninger of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has reported, the mitochondrion membrane has been taken apart and analyzed. It has been found to play an essential role in the exchange of electrons needed for energy storage and release. Of all the parts of the cell, Dr. Lehninger pointed out, only the mitochondrion [membrane] is known to play a part in combustion.

From the Nature Index

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