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Medical News & Perspectives
February 11, 2004

Scientists Probe Roles of Mitochondria in Neurological Disease and Injury

JAMA. 2004;291(6):679-681. doi:10.1001/jama.291.6.679

New Orleans—If ATP is the fuel that keeps the cellular engine running, mitochondria are the gas stations open all night for service. But these "powerhouses of the cell" have a dark side. Provoked by stressful conditions, mitochondria—semiautonomous organelles that maintain their own genome and life cycle—can be transformed from beneficent energy suppliers into ticking time bombs capable of triggering events that lead to cell damage and death.