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22 May 2023


Mitochondria – How the powerplants of our cells work

Why do humans breathe faster during physical activity? The answer is because we have mitochondria! Mitochondria are organelles found in the cells of most eukaryotes such as animals, plants, and fungi. They use oxygen to convert food into useful chemical energy in a process called respiration. Respiration is carried out by the mitochondrial electron transport chain, a biochemical system extremely well-refined through our evolutionary history. In this talk, I will discuss the evolutionary origin of mitochondria, as well as reveal some of their “secret weapons” to provide the energy that living organisms need.

Genis Valentin

Karolinska Institute

I’m a structural biologist at Karolinska Institutet, and I investigate the atomic structure of biological macro-molecules using an electron microscope. Biological macro-molecules such as proteins carry out fundamental biochemical processes in living cells, so it is fascinating to understand their mechanism of function. My research showed me multiple times the beauty is in the details, and that’s something that engaged me in outreach activities that communicate the impact of research on our society!

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