Mitochondria

1376 WordsDec 11, 20116 Pages
Mitochondria are the cell's power producers. They convert energy into forms that are usable by the cell. Located in the cytoplasm, they are the sites of cellular respiration which ultimately generates fuel for the cell's activities. Mitochondria are also involved in other cell processes such as cell division and growth, as well as cell death. They convert oxygen and nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the chemical energy "currency" of the cell that powers the cell's metabolic activities. This process is called aerobic respiration and is the reason animals breathe oxygen. Mitochondria are bounded by a double membrane. Each of these membranes is a phospholipid bilayer with embedded proteins. The outermost membrane is…show more content…
But what about a case such as that for the Haplogroup K1 person (shown earlier)? Here the results suggest that the subject has a mutation linked to a significant heart condition. In such a situation it would seem important to convey things in their proper proportions and give the person the most complete understanding of the situation as is possible. In most instances it would be sufficient to explain that most mtDNA mutations do not cause the disease with which they are associated, but rather explain why the particular condition might arise. Just at present it would seem that most genealogical testing companies are not involving themselves in analysing their results for any medical implications; and it is uncertain how such service might be provided. But what is clear is that counselling people who have been been found to have important mutations will not be easy, and perhaps will lead to as many unanswerable questions being posed, as questions for which answers can be given. But it is not just the person who receives test results indicating possible medical problems who is affected—other family members will also have obvious concerns. A mother who receives adverse test results will certainly worry about the health of her children; and a younger person will have concerns about their siblings and mother. Medically significant mtDNA mutations should not be ignored, in the author's view, and their
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