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November 25, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(22):1848-1849. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640220040014

About thirty years ago, the attention of biologists was directed by Altmann4 to certain structures in the cytoplasm which he believed to be elementary microorganisms and to represent the only living constituent of this portion of the cell. Subsequently these granules, visible in the living organism and stained only by special processes, were termed mitochondria. As they have been assumed to play an important physiologic part in the cell, the mitochondria have been the subject of increasing study and have had a large variety of functions assigned to them. Thus, a recent writer5 has asserted without hesitation that, physiologically, mitochondria are organs of elaboration. In them, through some unknown physicochemical phenomena, most of the products of cell activity may be formed. The product, whatever may be its specific nature, has its origin in a granular mitochondrium or in a rod mitochondrium. Each product is surrounded by a mitochondrial

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